dsc02550.jpg We’ve been friends for 6 years. We are best friends for that matter. She was my go to gal, through thick and thin. So of course when she drops me off at an airport 3000 miles from home, 2 days before my flight, without looking back, I think, What the hell just happened these past 20 hours??

When she told me she’s moving across the country I was upset. How can she just leave me for some guy? Why would she pack up everything she owns and leave everyone she knowns for this guy? What was she going to do out there? When is she leaving? She doesn’t even know anyone else out there! I was consumed by these questions and many more. So consumed that every time I saw her I would be sarcastic and some could even have considered me rude. Apparently she did, and told me so. So I took a step back and told myself that this wasn’t about me so stop it and be there for her. I decided to view the situation from her side and grow up. I realized that this would be good for her. She’s young enough to do something like this (and it would give me a place to stay for free!). So I started being happy and excited for her.

Two and a half months left before she leaves I decide that I will drive out with her so that she doesn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to ship all her belongings and her car. Please keep in mind that at the time I was a fairly new mom to a 15 month old baby boy (my first) and I was still nursing him. I decided, in my mind, to make a HUGE sacrifice; I would ween my son sooner than planned and I will leave my family for a week. I never fathomed leaving my child, ever, let alone when he was still just a baby. But my best friend needed me, what kind of friend would I be. My baby’s still little, he won’t realize how long I’m gone. And she can’t drive out there by herself and the cost to ship everything was outrageous. So I will give her the ultimate going away present, ME! (Well at least save her money and having one last hoorah together.) I tell her the great news, “I’ll drive out with you!” She was so excited, genuinely excited.

We started mapping our route, planning on where we were going to stop, what we were going to see, when we were leaving and when we would make our final destination. I bought my plane ticket to get home and requested vacation time from work. I saved money little by little to go, money is always tight. We planned her going away party and it went off without a hitch. Everything was now set in motion.

It’s 8 in the morning and we were saying our last good-byes. I think I hugged and kissed my son so much his cheeks got chapped. I couldn’t believe I was leaving. It’s going to be a week before I see my family again. Will they survive without me?? Too late now, no turning back. We hop in the car and drive away. Let the fun begin! And it did. . . . for the first 3 days.

We were to cross 15 states in 6 days or less. We were going to see the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas, the Rockies, Four Corners, the Sears Tower, and maybe some other random things that may peak our interest along the way. We left on a Friday morning and our only goal was to be at the airport by the following Wednesday night; or so I thought.

dsc02510.jpgWe were both known for our lead foots so we weren’t too surprised when we first stopped for the night almost 800 miles away. We got further than what we originally planned. Wow, this is great. Maybe we can get there a little earlier than what we planned. We went to bed that night with already a few stories of our adventure so far and excited for what laid ahead. *At this point I need to note that if you are ever to drive on route 80 (or 90 Idsc02522.jpg forget when it changes) in Illinois, they have these tolls that you can just drive through if you have a special reader in your car. But if you’re from out of state (as we were) STAY TO THE RIGHT! Apparently the first one, which was right after a bridge, isn’t clearly marked and we drove right through it without paying the toll. Luckily at the next booths they were able to gives us a paper to mail in and pay the toll we missed.

We woke up bright and early to hit the road. Again, in our original plans we were going to get on the road around 8 – 9 in the morning. But that’s okay, I can handle 7, we wanted to dsc02591.jpgget moving. Half way through the second leg we realized that we may be able to get to Mount Rushmore before dark. Wow, we originally had planned to stop about an hour before it. Now we were going to stop an hour after it. Well, we did get to Mount Rushmore before ‘dark’ but it was dusk. Pictures weren’t great but you could still technically see it with the naked eye; and that’s what I wanted, to ‘see’ it. Urrrr, alright, we’ll keep going I did get to ‘see’ it. We then saw Crazy Horse and finally stopped in a cute little town right before our next state. Tired, a little grumpy because it was now 9 and the last time we ate was around 1, but that’s okay. I’m with my best friend experiencing our ‘country’ and we don’t know when we’ll see each other next. I got over it.

Again an early rise. “It says 6am already, I’m up, I’m up”. We got up and headed out. Day three and we’re more than half way there. We’re definitely going to get there by Tuesday, possibly even late Monday night. We can save money on andsc02663.jpg hotel then. Off to the Rockies, today we get to go through the rockies! WOW are they beautiful. It’s really neat to see how each state changes in landscapes from one to another. We stop just 1/2 hour from the Four Corners. A bit late but we hit a local restaurant. We eat some grub have a drink and call it night. We decided that we are going to get up really early so that we can get in by late Monday night and not have to pay for another hotel. We will set our alarm for 5am, yep, I said 5. As she did every other night, she went outside to have a smoke and talk to her awaiting boyfriend. I get ready for bed, watch some TV, 4400 was on that night. “Wow it’s already 11 where is she?” So I go out and check on her. She was a bit of the way down the hall (balcony). She said she would be in soon, she was just chatting and smoking. So, not thinking much I went back in. Then it happened. Little did I know my best friend was about to put a huge wrench in our adventure of fun.

She comes back in the room a little after 11 pm. And it started and boy was I blind-sided.

Her: ” So, I was thinking, you said you would cut out Las Vegas if you had to, right?”
Me: “Yeah, if we were behind schedule, we’re 2 days head.”
Her: “But you said that that would be the first place, right?”
Me: “Well technically yes, but there’s no need to. Why?”
Her: “Well I just thinking, we don’t have to go there. I mean, you just wanted to drive through anyways it’s not like we would really see anything so what’s the point.”
Me: “The point is the ambiance. If I’m driving all the way out here I would at least like to say I saw the Vegas strip. We planned to do this from the beginning, what’s the big deal, it’s not that much out of our way so why wouldn’t we go.”dsc02697.jpg

This is where it went all down hill. For me to continue writing about it in this fashion would take forever. And I would also like to note that the above is not verbatim. And for anyone who says they can remember an argument, verbatim, is lying. You will remember what you ‘heard’ but not necessarily what was said. I now continue paraphrasing the remainder of the events.

So at this point I’m totally shocked and confused as to what is happening. Her whole reasoning of not wanting to go to Vegas, which was only about an hour extra, was because she missed her boyfriend. He moved out 5 months earlier and she was tired of not seeing him. Yes, I said boyfriend, they were not engaged. And she was moving in with him. It wasn’t like we were going out for a visit. She was permanently moving out there. So what was the big deal, we are talking an extra hour. We pushed through and were 2 days ahead of schedule and now she wanted to cut out another hour! What the heck?? At this point she got upset and stormed out.

Ten minutes later she’s back. “How can I not understand her feelings. She loves him and misses him and just wants to be with him. She just wants to be there.” Huh? How do I not understand. We just drove 15-16 hour days so that we could get there earlier than planned; we skipped some, minor, things to get there earlier; we were sleeping only 6 hours to get there earlier and I don’t understand. I thought this trip was our trip together, not about her move but about us hanging out one last time. FINE, we won’t go to Vegas, in fact lets not go to the Grand Canyon or 4 Corners either, lets just go straight through. She storms out again.

Fifteen minutes pass and she comes back in. Round three begins. Apparently she just wanted to ‘drive the most direct route from A to B but took the round-about way because of me’. She made all these ‘compromises’ for this trip because of me. Again, HUH? Almost 3 months ago we were talking about our plans, if she didn’t want to make those stops she should have said so. Apparently she:
1. left 2 weeks later than what she wanted too. (my husband was graduating from college, sorry I wasn’t about to miss that, she knew that and I thought at the time was fine with it. She went to it.)
2. took a longer route than what she would have because I wanted to see things. (again, I told her that I wasn’t going to drive all the way across the country without seeing it, she knew that and was fine with it, at the time)
3. had me come instead of her sister. (SO, that was her choice, I didn’t even know her sister could go, it was never brought up, and that was a compromise??)
4. Oh, and she never ‘asked’ me to do this. (What? I know, I volunteered, I offered, she said yes, ‘This is going to be the best trip ever’, ‘This is going to be awesome’. Ha!)
I can’t remember anymore what else she might of said, but I think these four pretty much sum it up. Then she decides to try and make me ‘understand’ how she feels about her boyfriend (because it was pretty apparent that I didn’t *sarcastically*) and chose to make the comparison of her feelings for her boyfriend for my feelings for my child. WHAT?? Did I hear that correctly? I didn’t say anything, at this point I felt that she was off her rocker so anything she was saying wasn’t really her. I don’t know who that was, I never met that girl before. So at this point I again say fine, let’s skip everything and at this point I ‘feel’ like just going to an airport hotel when we get there. (Note, I said feel.) She’s screaming by now and saying ‘I never said I didn’t want to go to anything, I just don’t want to go to Vegas’. Now lets step back for a second and recall compromise number 2, she just wanted to drive straight through and not stop at anything, now she’s saying she wants to go to these places? *Very Confused* And she exits stage right.

It is now midnight, mind you, are plans are to get up at 5 the next morning. I turn off everything and when she finally comes back in I pretend that I’m sleeping, I can’t do another round. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the room they had available was a single queen. Yeah, now I’m sharing a bed with a ‘stranger’ because my best friend wouldn’t act like this.

dsc02702.jpg‘It is about time it’s 5, I thought time had stopped.’ I got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, and restless they were, and now we were planning on driving hundreds of miles. I get up, get ready, and as she was in the shower I can finally call home. They’re 2 hours ahead of us, when I needed to talk last night I couldn’t because it was 2 hours later, but now they are 2 hours later into the morning. I get my ‘pep’ talk and am told ‘Don’t worry you guys will work it out, your best friends’.

We pack up and leave without talking to each other. Half hour later we stop at 4 corners, check it out, I ask her to take my picture, practically forcing the words out of my mouth, and we leave. Three hours later we’re at the Grand Canyon. We get out and go our seperate ways. I am at one of the World’s Natural Wonders and I can’t even experience it the way I had thought I would. Again I ask for a picture and forced a smile that was harder to do then asking for the picture to be taken. Again I have a chance to quick call home and am tolddsc02716.jpg to not to worry, it’ll work out. (Again I feel the need to make a side note. The entire time driving, which was a total of 13 hours, she was texting constantly, being able to hear from someone, I assume it was her boyfriend, and all I could do was sit a foot away and stare out the window.) Every time she stopped I made sure to use the bathroom because I didn’t know when we would stop again. It was the longest I have ever ‘played the quiet game’ and I didn’t feel like a winner.

We finally get there. We were actually there too early, go figure. We had to drive to her boyfriend’s job because she didn’t have the apartment key. We go in, still not talking to each other, but individually talking to him and his co-workers. By now he only had a couple of minutes left in the work day so he decided to leave with us. He gets in his car and we get into hers. We’re now 5 minutes from the apartment and she says, “Well, what are you going to do?” I say that I don’t feel very welcomed anymore. We just drove 13 hours without talk all because of an extra hour?!? She replies, “I think it is about more than just that hour.” Yeah, apparently. And then we ring in for round four. Again how she made all these compromises and not just for this trip but during our whole friendship. She was always giving and I was always taking. She was always the third wheel and she always had to visit me. I “never” went out after I moved a couple of towns away.

Again I need to make some notes:
1. I met her after I was with my now husband, she was always both our friend and many times had a boyfriend around and we made sure not to make her feel uncomfortable. We are not the PDA type of people.
2. When we lived in the same town we went out a lot. Always drinking, partying. She lived with her mom and we had our own place. Where would you want to hang out and drink?
3. When I did move away it’s because we were married and buying a house and planning for a baby. She knew this was the next stage in my life. I was done doing the heavy partying. However I did go down once in a while. And fairly soon after the house was bought I was pregnant. So let alone money was extremely tight, I wasn’t going to a smokey bar to watch people get wasted. I – was – past – that!
4. Once the baby was here my going out days are over. So she started coming up every week to see us. She said she loved doing it.
All of a sudden all these things that I never knew was an issue was turned into resentment. And for the second time in 20 hours she compared her feelings for her boyfriend to my feelings for my son. I couldn’t stay quiet. “Please, do not compare your feelings for your boyfriend to my feelings for my son.” I ended up having to repeat this statement a couple of times before she would stop the comparison. And then she said, “You want to go to a f*cking hotel, fine I’ll take you to a f*cking hotel, is that what you f*cking want?!!?” Do I have an option? Well, if you ask her she would have said yes, the apartment or a hotel. But when I have someone cursing and yelling at me I don’t feel that I have an option. “Yeah, that’s what I want.”

At this point I’m fighting the tears that have been in me for the last 20 hours. Here and there a few have slipped out but I quickly wipe them away. We show up to the apartment and she tells her boyfriend that they’re taking me to a hotel. I hear him say, “Why don’t we wait a couple of hours?” And her response I hear, “NO, We’re going right now!” I hop out of the car and say “I’ll just call a cab.” Her boyfriend insists on giving me a ride so I get in the back with my bag.

dsc02744.jpgHalf hour later we’re near the airport and he asks me what hotel. *Is this for real, is this really happening? How should I know what hotel, I don’t even know where the heck I am.* “Um, just drop me off at the airport.” I’ve had A LOT of time to think by now. I figure the airport would have information on car rentals and hotels or possibly they could even change my flight. They drop me off and as I was getting out she mumbles “How you going to figure this out?” (Referring to early at one point I had said something about just going to a hotel and I’d figure it out from there.) I literally choke out, “I gotta go.” That’s all I can say without bawling on the sidewalk. I grab my bag and shut the door and head for the doors. They drive off without looking back.

WHAT THE F*CK? I’m 3000 miles from home and have no clue what to do next. I couldn’t hold it any longer. I go inside, sit against the wall and cry. No, I bawl, I’m hysterical. Five minutes later I calm myself down, the best I can and go to the check in to talk to a representative. All I can say at this point is, “I, need, to, leave, now.” She must have thought someone had died. Tears are streaming down my face, I’m hitching trying to breathe and I can barely talk. After typing away for what seemed like forever, she was able to get me on a flight the next morning. Only 13 hours away until I can leave here and start my way back home. All I want to do now is get home. I thank her and walk away. Now what am I going to do?

Fortunately my sister has a good friend who lives some where near here, I hope. I give my sister’s friend a call and I get her voice mail. I leave a message asking her to call ASAP! I then call my sister to see if she also has a home number. Scaring my sister awake because I’m crying I quickly explain what happened. Unfortunately she only has her cell number. But she’ll give it a try too. She calls me back within a couple of minutes, she too got her voice mail. While on the phone with my sister my other line rings. It’s her friend! I click over and I briefly explain what happened and if she could get me. She was there within 20 minutes. I now call my husband to tell him what happened and my plan until morning. He was upset but relieved I wasn’t sleeping in the airport.

dsc02735.jpgWe ended up going out to eat and dipping our toes into the ocean. I can’t drive that far and not see the freakin ocean! And because of my story the waitress gave me a drink on the house, and boy did I need it. My eyes were so swollen I couldn’t see. I had to run back to the car to take out my contacts and it took me 15 minutes to get them out. (I couldn’t even get them in the next morning.) An angle had rescued me from having to sleep in an airport. She took me back to her apartment and then to the airport in the morning. We say our good byes and I hop on the plane. I thanked her at least a hundred times. But finallydsc02740.jpg I’m on my way home.

It’s been over a month and a half and I have yet to hear from my ‘friend’. No mail, email, phone calls, nothing. I did send out the pictures we took along with a 3 page letter. I just got it back in my mailbox the other day with a stamp saying “Unknown Address”. I took it back to the post office and told them that it was a deliverable address, they looked it up and confirmed that it was and we sent it back to the postmaster with a note stating so.

I guess we just have to wait and see, but I’m not holding my breath.

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