Forever in my Pocket


Forever in my Pocket

By Erin Boc

I am freezing in the not so warm temperatures of December. So dumb, I should have brought a jacket. Light snow covers the sidewalk and downtown is quiet on this particular day. No one is really out and about the day after Christmas. Except me… and I guess that homeless woman a couple streets over. Just two lonely girls on the holidays. I was supposed to go to the store to pick up some cooking spray because we ran out, but it was closed, so I turned back home. And to kill time on the way, I Facetime my best friend Dawny.

The phone rings for a bit and she answers. 

“What’s up Dawny.” I say. I am always happy when I see her face, but don’t tell her that. My joy was present only for two seconds before her profile icon replaced her face. When we facetime, we always show our faces for a second and then turn off our cameras. No clue why.

“Eh.” Dawny said, “and you?”

“Same boat as you. Have a good Christmas?” I ask, figuring she wasn’t gonna start the conversation.

“It’s Hanukkah in my house.” 

“Oh yeah…” There is about 30 seconds of awkward silence. Of course, I knew her family was Jewish, it’s not like we’ve been friends since forever ago. “Anything… wrong with you? Like, is everything ok?” 

“Dude no!” She snapped.

“Which question were you answering…”

The silence is loud. I can tell she is not in a good mood and she did not want me to know that. I am used to this though. I have been friends with Dawny since about 4th grade. Who knew getting seated next to each other would change our lives forever. From then to now, time flies whenever I am around her, and she will always go before me, that’s how it is. Lately however, she has been acting strange. For a year, she has gotten increasingly worse and it’s been showing for a while now. She won’t tell me what’s going on. 

“Ok fine.” I continued. 

I heard Dawny sigh. I could sense it was filled with guilt. 

“Alright, I can’t hold it in any longer. I have been putting off telling you for a while,” She mumbles quickly under her breath, “Crazy how time just keeps going huh?” 

“Um Dawny… what are you talking about.” I am neck deep in confusion, at this point I am just standing in the middle of the sidewalk, periodically feeling the frozen raindrops on my eyebrows. 

“Where are you? I’m coming.” She said abruptly, I hear through the phone her rushing to put her boots on.

“I’m uh,” I looked up and around at the shop name I am next to. “I’m out in front of um Cherry’s Liquors. Don’t worry though, I’m sober.” I force a laugh as I cringe at my very… interesting joke.  

“Be there in five.” She hung up.

“Oh uh… k.” I say to no one at this point. I make little shapes in the snow with my sneakers as I wait for her. I start to wonder what she needs to tell me. She said she has been holding it in for a while? Maybe she’s talking about the past year… when she started acting the way she does now. Maybe-

“Oh-Lee!” I heard her call from a distance. My name is really Lee-oh, but Dawny calls me Oh-lee because she thinks it sounds too much of a boy’s name, so she changed it as she pleased. Her jeans were as ripped as ever, and the band tee resting on her torso was slightly faded.

“Oh hey!” I didn’t know if I was supposed to be happy to see her or still serious from the call. She didn’t seem any happier than she was. 

“Let’s go sit.” She said as she turned and began to walk away.

“Guess I’m following you.” I say under my breath. Dawny took me to the old stone bench. That bench has been our spot for as long as I can remember. It was built way before I was born as a dedication to some veteran guy in the 70s. We sat down. Me on the left and her on the right, that is how it’s always been. 

She grabbed my hand and rested it on my knee. This is weird, she never acts like this. I look at her waiting for her to say something, but she just looks at me. I give an awkward smile, I never know what to do in these situations. After some time, she talks.

“Do you want me to tell you straight up? Or ease into it?” She asked with a shake in her voice. 

I shrug, “Straight up, for my sake.” I say.

“Ok, I’ll ease into it…” She begins.

“That’s not what I sai-”

“You know how my mom is crazy religious. She listens to what God is telling her. She gives God everything he wants. She’s even the head of that committee with all the moms at the Synagogue. My entire life, I rejected it. That stuff makes no sense to me, but my mom loves her world. Recently as you know, she got diagnosed with breast cancer a few months back, and though I don’t see eye to eye with her religiously, I have learned to respect her and not take her for granted.” She paused for a moment as I spoke.

“Listens to what God is telling her… she gives God everything he wants. Huh.” I repeat, trying to process what Dawny is telling me. She lets go of my hand and turns away from me, facing forward. 

“She also… follows wherever she feels he’s leading her.” 

I look at Dawny with confusion. This is all new news, how does this have anything to do with her attitude for the past 12 months. “Where are you getting at with this story?” She is calm for the first time in a while.

“God is apparently leading my mom to Taiwan,” There is a hesitant pause, “And I am going with her.” Dawny can not bear to look at me.

“What!” I shot up from the bench and turned towards her, all of the blood drained from my body. “You’re moving, and you didn’t bother to tell me!? What the hell is wrong with you!? I have waited very patiently for an explanation and now is when you decide to tell me? Over 300 days later?” I begin to pace, each step filled with more and more anger.

“Oh-Lee, you don’t know the full stor-”

“But I know enough to figure out if you really consider me a true friend! I thought, like I really genuinely thought that you and I would be friends forever, and I am not just saying that.”

“We still can be.”

“No no no that’s the thing! We can’t! I have done everything I possibly can for you! I listened to every rant, I have been the shoulder that you could cry on, I put my day on hold for you whenever you need me. And now, after a year of waiting, you tell me you’re moving away!? To the other side of the world!?!?” 

“At first I wasn’t gonna go because of you!” She raised her voice loud enough so I could hear her over my racing thoughts. I shut up. Standing there like a stubborn idiot I cross my arms.

“Originally… I wasn’t gonna go because of you,” She repeated, standing up. “You are my favorite person in this entire world. You are MY person. You are the only one in my life who I can count on 100% of the time. Believe me, believe me when I tell you that I notice everything you do for me. I promise you that we will be friends forever. Only death can separate us.” We stood there for a moment. “Once my mom got sick, I felt like I had no other choice than to go with her. To spend every possible second I have with her, with her, ya know?” Another moment stood in silence, and I calmed down a bit.

“You waited ‘til last minute to tell me didn’t you…” I asked, looking at her, she nodded. “When are you leaving?” 


I look down, accepting defeat while I step away for a minute. The world seems sorrowful, old and ratty. The snow is cold rather than refreshing. I need to think, I need  to think. Dawny is moving away and there is nothing I can do about it. I want to be mad at her, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It was strange the way I started to become empathetic. I am starting to realize how this is making her feel. She must feel guilty, even though she shouldn’t be. This is her life and she can do whatever she wants with it. Not everything is about me.

 God I feel like such an awful person for lashing out at her the way that I just did. The only thing to do is to apologize. I walk back over to Dawny, who is looking at the ground pacing back and forth. As I approach her, she begins to speak, but I beat her to it. “I’m sorry I snapped at you Dawny, I really didn’t mean to. It just caught me by surprise, you know? I’m sorry you bottled that up for so long too.” 

Dawny gives a slight smile as she gives me a quick hug. “Thank you Oh-Lee, thank you… .” She begins to walk me home and I can already tell that she is feeling better, and she forgives me, that’s why she is my best friend.

“Hey remember that one time around like six months ago when I couldn’t go to a concert because I was sick, and you stood outside my window dressed like the singer to try and make me feel better?” Dawny said,  genuinely smiling for once, it made me smile. “It was like my own private concert from the comfort of my own home.”

“Well I actually dressed up like the actor that happened to have the same name as that singer and you never bothered to tell me until I found out months later that they were two different people this whole time.” We chuckled together, it felt like we were kids again. 

We arrive at my house and I turn to her, “Hey do you want to hang out tomorrow before you leave? For like an official goodbye?”

Dawny goes quiet, “Uh yeah, sure.” she says hesitantly, My smile fades just as hers does, when I get the sudden realization.

“You’re not leaving tomorrow… are you.” I say. She looked at me with diamond tears in her eyes. “You’re leaving tonight.” 

“Yeah.” She says as I pull her in for a hug that lasts for several minutes. I let her cry. I know that this is much harder for her than it is for me. 

“You are like the coolest person I know, so I know that you are going to make friends very very quickly.” I give a quick chuckle, “And all the boys are going to think that the mysterious new girl from the other side of the world is hot.” Dawny laughs, wiping her tears.

“I feel like this is goodbye forever.” She pulls away.

“Dawny what!” I flick her on the head and she laughs, “You’re moving away, not dying! Besides… we can always facetime.”