She opened my eyes to realize the finer things in life, and for once, I felt completely free to say and think, and even do whatever I wanted to do with her without being judged. We enjoyed each other's company whenever we linked up. We would do the most random things together, and everyone enjoyed to be around her. My friends would always make sure she was invited to anything we did together: studying, going to eat on the weekends, parties, and even just chill movie nights with about $10 worth of CVS snacks and the $9.99 pizzas from Pizza Hut.
We didn't always have the best relationship, let that be clear now before you get all excited for me. Everyone knows I'm a very reserved person, and when I was first introduced to her, I was kinda skeptical. I could not understand why everyone was so cool with this girl, and I never heard anything bad about her. I met her my sophomore year in high school at a house party. She was watching everyone roll up and drink, then we made eye contact. Somehow a joint was passed to me by a few seniors, and it was the moment where I could punk out and say no to drugs, or act like I knew how to inhale and blow out the smoke to look cool in front of all these older kids. I knew she was still watching, as I held her in my hand, so I tried it. As long as I didn't inhale too much, I wouldn't get high, right? So I blew the smoke out as if I knew what I was doing. Forty minutes later, I was leaving the party with her number, a few new Twitter followers, anxious to see her again. By the way, her name is Mary Janae, MJ for short. (I told her I would not include her last name.)
Things got a little more intense since we both went to the same college. Taking up different majors didn't stop us from studying and going out together, or going to grab tacos and french fries from Jack in the Box at 2 am whenever we got the munchies. Once I started working, I stopped seeing her, and we would only see each other every few weeks. When midterms and finals came around, she seemed to be the person that everyone would go to as a study guide. The students would just be so damn happy to see her, as if they didn't see her every night to occur their boredom. I would ask her to come to the library with me to study, but she always found an excuse to ditch me. I didn't really take it personal, because I knew if she was there, she would have been more of a distraction to my education... an enjoyable distraction at that. So our relationship had a downfall, to where we would see each other about once a month, then once every two or three months. I would complain to her about the stresses from working full time, paying bills, along with being a full time college student, and she would ease my mind and make me forget about the downfalls of that week, and lift my spirits for the moment we would spend together. MJ had this effect on me, like a dark paradise that could pause reality, like a gray paranoia... or a kaleidoscope dream.
Whenever I would travel back to Kansas City for the holidays, I would explain my relationship with MJ to my parents. I would remind them that we were distant, but kept in contact with each other. My mother was not really here for any toxic relationships in my life, but she understood that I was mature and could make the best decisions for my future. I was, and still am, glad that I can talk to my parents about my private life and the encounters that I have, but they had never met MJ while she was around me, so their judgements were not too useful to me.
I try not to think too far ahead, but I actually miss Mary Janae. We sparked up and spoke to each other Thanksgiving Day and enjoyed our third plate of macaroni and cheese and peach cobbler together. Her last words were: "Keep your dreams alive, this is only the beginning for you!"