It was only a few days ago, Thursday to be exact, when I found out that my childhood-best friend had just been taken to foster care by her cruel and mentally psychotic mother.
However, I was told that Erica had tried to run away again, so I cannot blame her mother for being stressed and put out by her actions, though I think foster care is a little too strong for such actions by a confused, emotionally wrecked teenage girl.
Honestly? I knew Erica was surrounded by bad influences and she was dating a guy who lived on the edge of risk his whole life and she had done drugs in the past and her womanly hormones are destroying her from the inside...but I knew she could quit acting like a hopeless teenager and become strong again if she wanted to, which was why I hadn't given up on her quite yet.
But Erica, being a rebel since she was born, wasn't finished feeling like she could do whatever she wanted. She sluffed class, she swore up and down, she dated Skyler despite her mother saying no, and she didn't get her school work done. Most of these were her mother's concerns, of course, and I agree with her mother for trying so hard to keep her in line. I think it was Erica's fault in the sense that she didn't stop to think about how her actions would play out with her mother or with neighbors or friends or police.
There was a period of time when Erica told me she would try her very hardest to get her work done, never sluff a class, and do whatever her mother told her to do. Her reward? Her mother pulled her out of school for lunch! But it was Erica's weakness of needing to have attention, needing to be rebellious, that she began to slack and follow her old habits of bad, even downright inappropriate behaviors.
I knew that when she began to slack again, I couldn't help her, no matter what I said or tried to do for her. I gave up, and I just talked casually with her. I tried to divide my attention amongst all my friends. My attention to her started to slack, and it wasn't until after Tyler told me about her being in foster care that I realized what I had been missing.
She would stand in the hallway and just talk and talk with Skyler right up to the bell, when she was forced to come into class, and every time I saw her talking, her manner, her expression, her body language said it all. She was depressed, stressed, and angry. It never dawned on me.
Then there was the picture.
Two days before she was taken to foster care, I took a picture of all my friends because I desperately wanted a memory of us in tenth grade. I didn't know why it had to be in the middle of January, but I felt that I needed to. So I gathered us all together and I got a picture. I was going to edit them after school, but I got to be too busy, and Wednesday was a very bad day for me.
So it was Thursday, after I heard the news, after Tyler left my house, that I pulled up my pictures and decided to edit them for my friends. I began to cry again as I stared at Erica's blank, somber face in the picture.
She's at the far left, the one apart from everyone else. I feel so lucky to have at least gotten a picture of her before she was gone.
Tyler keeps telling me he thinks it's not going to last, and that she'll come back, but I know that won't be for a while. If at all.
Now I get to go over to Patty's house and try to get my books back from her before she touches any of Erica's stuff. If something happens to "Clockwork Angel", I'm gonna be pissed off.