I’m looking at a photo of her from May 2009.
Was that really four years ago? It was my high school’s annual awards banquet, where the school’s 100 or so students received academic-based awards. It was a private high school, and awards banquet was our version of prom. Everyone went. The girls searched for the perfect dress and did their hair and makeup.
And there’s a photo of Estee and me from that night. We weren’t as close as can be, but we spent a lot of time together. We talked in school. She was always an artist, and she drew little drawings for me in class. She would show me her latest works of art. We sat together in the hall during lunch. We had movie nights together along with other friends.
She was quirky and always gave big hugs. Like many female teenagers, her hair color changed as often as the weather.
In that photo from May 2009 on the night of awards banquet, her hair is orange-red.
It was the end of my senior year, and it was the end of her junior year. It was one of the last times we hung out.
After I graduated, we talked every so often on Facebook. We saw each other a few times. But it’s been a few years, and our interactions shrunk to happy birthday posts on each other’s timelines.
Facebook was also how I found out Estee passed away.
Now I’m looking at that photo of her from May 2009. “My date and I,” the caption reads. We always had a running joke that we were dating, and we frequently had faux lovers’ spats that would devolve into laughter. It was part of our friendship.
I’m reading the comments Estee posted on that photo. “I love it,” she typed of the picture. She had put a heart. Then she commented with a smiley face.
Much of these observations seem superficial, but I’m not a skilled enough writer to relay every conversation and moment. All I can say is the cliches everyone says when someone passes away.
I can’t believe she’s gone. I miss her.
But sometimes, cliches are used so much because they are true.
I can’t believe it. Even though we weren’t as close over the last few years, I miss her.
Rest in peace.