Kirsty is the one I turn to when all other doors slam shut.
And, yet, I frequently betray her —sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident, and sometimes without knowing it. It can be as simple as accidentally breaking a treasured family heirloom or as complicated as making a pass at her ex-boyfriend. (She said it was okay but once the deed was done, it clearly was not.)
For over a decade now, and despite being separated by the Atlantic, we are best friends. She forgives my sporadic gaffes, and trusts in me even when I don’t.
I was nervous when she invited me to come live on her boat when I was moving to London. She had been offered a job in New York, and the switch worked well – she got a tenant, and I got a place in the last affordable housing in the city – the canal.
Kirsty’s boat was lovely. Everything in it was full of so much intention and love, including plush Rosie and Jim dolls, the stars of a kids’ British TV show from the ‘90s. And Kirsty loved her Rosie and Jim dolls.
So, perhaps, it was inevitable the morning I woke up to find Jim lying facedown on the woodstove, his limp little arm and leg hanging off the side. His body was still warm as he lay in a puddle of black, plastic blood. There was a startling black crater where his face once was. His acrylic red hair framed the concaved plastic, like a cartoon interpretation of fire.
Typical. This is exactly the type of thing that could happen to anyone. But, of course, it happened to me. It was the realization of my worst fears – I am just as irresponsible as I suspected. Kirsty trusted me with her house; I ruined something she loves. It looked like the crime scene of what I feared would be the end of our entire relationship
I decided she could not — would not —know about this! So I launched an elaborate plan to cover up the incident. I had to. One of the most important parts about enduring love is knowing when to lie.
To hear Sarah narrate her thwarted-at-every-turn search for a new doll, click here.