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I will be wearing black today because it’s a time honoured tradition. Valentine’s Day has sucked in the past – disappointments, break-ups, cancelled dates, lonely nights, harsh words, bitter tears…you get the picture! I’m certainly not alone here. But I have another “good” reason to dislike Valentine’s Day – I miss my best friend!

My dear friend, D.J., and I became inseparable BFFs in Grade 5. In Grade 6, we had to band together to survive our 6th grade teacher (she was a scary, menopausal mess!) In Grade 7 we sang “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the tops of our lungs, and danced “as if no one was watching”. In Grade 8, she told me why she wasn’t a virgin; she also told me that just before we became friends, she had planned her suicide, right down to the note…and it was only a matter of days. In Grade 10, she went with me to buy a pregnancy test. We shared everything (except boyfriends) and I could trust her to be honest with me, without being brutal.

Even when I went to college, and she moved away, even though we didn’t speak for months at a time, it was if no time had passed; we could pick up right where we left off! I mailed her fictitious stories of life in our “hick town” (complete with a cast of stereotypical “small town” characters), and she would mail back advice on surviving big city life (e.g., how to pick out the hooker in a crowd). We just got each other in all our weird and wonderful ways!

My wedding took place 2 months after D.J. lost her parents (their truck collided with 2 passenger trains), and although I hadn’t receive a reply from her, I included her in my guest list. The day before the wedding, I got a call from my Mom at the Reception Hall to say D.J. had just phoned and she was coming! I imagine it was difficult for her to come, but she was best wedding present!

My “Funny Valentine” died in a single car accident on Valentine’s Day, 1997. Her car slipped on the ice and went over the overpass. Ironically, she was on her way to a bereavement group meeting. She had spent the day at her parents’ house with her siblings, sorting through her stuff. Her brother told me at the funeral that she had talked about me that day, how we had met at a mall the previous Christmas and I had made her laugh…and how good it had felt to laugh! A few weeks later, he passed on some pictures and things she had set aside to take home with her – pictures of us being the goofy girls that we were.

D.J. and I agreed in high school many (many) years ago, that we would “rebel” every Valentine’s Day by wearing black, and with the exception of one year in college when my Mom bribed me with a gorgeous red dress (which was the same year my date stood me up), I have always worn black. Without a doubt, if my dear friend was still alive, she would be wearing black too…and we would laugh and laugh…and it would feel so good!

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To read more Funny Valentine Stories from participants of the Weekly Writing Challenge, click here!

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