Days after I had moved into the house I was to grow up in, and six months after turning four years old, a mischeivious, white-haired little girl knocked on our front door and asked me to come out and play. She was four as well and I came to find out she lived just across the street. Her name was Angie and we were best friends all through our childhoods. One day my mother in a fit of silliness called her "Angelina Fettuccine" and the name stuck.
Those years we were inseparable. She was the closest to a sister I ever had and we could fight like sisters too! We would get in petty arguments and each of us would go to our respective front steps and stare across the street at the other until one of us relented.
As a pre-teen, she defiantly stopped going to church (I was never made to go) so Sunday mornings we'd sneak into her dad's record collection and play oldies. It was on one of those morning that we founded our own Church of Elvis. We'd blast that once-scandalous music and dance like we were possessed. This started a long tradition of collecting cheesy Elvis memorabilia (there's no lack of that around!) and every birthday or Christmas we could expect a wrapped imitation velvet painting or a sno-globe with the King's likeness on it.
Angie was my polar opposite and therefore my total complement as well. Blond-haired, blue-eyed and brazen. She was always the athletic one, and excelled at basketball. This suited her well as she grew to be six feet tall. I, on the other hand am brunette with brown eyes. Shy, awkward, and, well, not six feet tall.
After high school, Angie went to college in Wisconsin where 12 years of Catholic schooling completely backfired. She blew off school, started smoking, drinking, hanging out with scary people and ended up moving back home after her freshman year. In my usual style, I was intimitated about going away to school, so I went to the University of Minnesota and lived at home my first year. I thrived at college (not really having anything to rebel against) and made good friends with whom I would share an apartment the next few years (an entirely different post...). When she moved back across the street, I moved into an apartment and things were never the same. I think she secretly resented my academic success and we had a hard time maintaining contact. We talked on and off after extended breaks. Since our parents were still neighbors I always knew what was going on with her.
When I moved to Florida, Angie made an appearance at my going away party. We cried and promised to do better about keeping in touch. All was forgiven and she was going to visit often. We exchanged a couple of letters, nothing though for two years now.
I heard from my grandparents (who also live in my old neighborhood) that Angie was going to get married to her long distance boyfriend and move with him to New Mexico. Up until that point, we seemed like opposites, leading different lives and wanting different things. I think the fact that she decided to move far away and explore the country with the man she loves proved that we are more alike than we ever thought possible.
I was upset not to have been invited to her wedding. To see my best friend get married I would have flown to the ends of the Earth. I heard after the fact that it was small, intimate and in Las Vegas. I like to think she did it in classic Angelina Fettuccine style with an Elvis impersonator and that while in one of our houses of worship, she thought of me.