Yesterday, my friend died.
We got to know each other our sophomore year. We had English class together, and for some reason, she always wanted to talk to me, which I actually thought was kind of odd, because we ran in very different circles, and we at least seemed like very different people. But she was so fun, and funny, and kind, and we became fast friends. Soon, we were integral parts of each others’ lives. I knew just about everything there was to know about her, and she knew so much about me, too. That was a time in my life when I was really struggling with mental health issues, and Maggie was fighting some demons, too. We held hands and walked through those storms together.
We stayed close through our third year of high school. We took Mr. Zach’s AP US History class together, sat side-by-side every day, studied for every test together.
We went to football games together, or if the stands were packed, we’d listen to the game on the radio in the car.
When she got heavy into church, I was at a church event at least once a week, not as an attendee but as Maggie’s cheerleader or photographer or plain old friend. She knew I was an atheist, and once she even defended my atheism to a mutual friend, who was appalled at the idea.
Maggie even played soccer for a while, and after practice every day, we’d go play racquetball at Texarkana College. And then usually we’d go eat somewhere. If it was a Thursday, of course, we’d go to Applebee’s for Karaoke Night (well, until the karaoke guy moved to Buffalo Wild Wings). Maggie and I’d sing a duet from “Grease” (she was always Danny, because she was such a hoot) or we’d badly belt out “Don’t Stop Believing.” Some of my best memories are from Karaoke Nights with Maggs.
We grew apart when I went off to college after junior year. I hate that we did, but just because we weren’t close these past few years doesn’t mean that I loved her any less, that she loved me any less, or that our two years of inseparability mean any less—and we both knew that. We were an unlikely duo, but man oh man did we care for each other. Last week, she posted on Instagram a photo of us for #throwbackthursday. She said she missed me. I “liked” it as an “I miss you too.” I wish I had called her instead.
Maggie Catherine Minter made me step up, get out of my box, be a big girl, and have a little fun. She showed me what it means to love people 100%, all the way. She showed me loyalty. She showed me vulnerability. I am having a really hard time dealing with her passing; we all are. I am angry at the world for taking her like that. I am angry at myself for not picking up my phone and calling her (she put her number in my phone as “Maggie<3sEllen :))” a long time ago, and it remains that way). But mainly, I just really miss her. And I really miss that time we had. I miss having her as a friend. What I wouldn’t do to have her friendship right now.
I love you, Maggie. Rest well, sweet friend. You will always have a hold on me like nobody else.