Content Notice: This story contains references to Death and Gun Violence.
Jenn and I had been best friends since the first grade—instantly buddies, we were bonded together by life in a small town. We knew her as “Jiffy.”
High school in the small town of Calistoga was a blessing for our parents and a curse to our high school selves. Our class was so small that Friday nights meant double duty: first playing in the high school band at football games, then dropping our instruments and running on the field to be cheerleaders. Then, racing off the field to rejoin the band. Bikes scattered across front lawns informed parents of our whereabouts long before the invention of cell phones.
Many of us stayed close through college, jobs, marriages, and relocations. Jenn and I never went more than a week without calling or texting each other. Even when we were at different colleges, we were only separated by class schedules and the causeway. We still managed to sneak into bars together with terrible fake IDs, take road trips to Lake Tahoe on a whim, and spend weekends eating ramen and watching Father of the Bride on repeat. But it didn’t matter what we did: life was just more fun with her.