Do you remember that day, about 14 years ago?
It was the middle of summer
I can't recall the day, the month...but it was hot outside
I had just gotten into a fight with Paul
That insistant neighborhood bully
He got a few good licks in, but I think I won
Anyways, I was sitting on the curb outside my house
Drinking apple juice, watching the older kids play basketball
The jeans that were once Monica's had a rip in the knee
And I knew mom would be angry
My lip was bleeding, but I don't remember noticing, or caring
I looked down the street at the house Matt used to live in
Saw the moving van, the new car, the new everything
Then I saw you for the first time
I thought, in my seven year old mind
That you were the neatest looking kid ever
You were short, with long gold hair that seemed to blind me
You were wearing a white dress, and I remembered that it was Sunday
We never went to church, but I assumed you did
Why else would you wear a dress?
I soon learned that you liked them
That was always weird to me
You saw me a moment later, staring at you
And you walked up to me
I thought for a moment that you might try to fight me
You don't stare at people in that neighborhood
But you smiled
And told me my lip was bleeding
We laughed at that moment together
Joined by something that wasn't funny
You were from California
And I was sure you had seen the world
You became my idol, my older playmate, my dream friend
The bad girl and the good girl
Don't they always become best friends in the movies?
We were like Jekyl and Hyde, you and I
I was always daring you to step up
And you were always warning me to back down
"Don't climb that tree!"
"Your mama is gonna kill you, Rachel..."
"I can't believe you snuck out last night..."
"Why are you the way you are? I don't understand."
But you did understand
We were the same, you and I
You just had a conscience
Or else you didn't have the guts
Do you remember when that song "Stay" by Lisa Loeb came out?
You and I would sing at the top of our lungs
Until Monica or Erica turned the radio off
Remember that one time, in the fifth grade (I think)
I dared you to super glue a stuffed elephant to the floor
Outside of the teachers lounge
You finally did it and we got caught
I took the blame, and they believed me, of course
You never got in trouble, and I didn't want you to start then
I got suspended for three days
I remember you tried telling them that you did it
But they thought you were just trying to protect me
When I got back to school, the principal sat me down
Told me that I should stop hanging out with you
That I was a bad influence on you
That you were going someplace big
And I was just a little punk
With my ratted Joan Jett hair
And over-sized combat boots
I never told you that, did I?
I suppose I thought that maybe you'd believe him
And you'd stop loving me
If you thought I was holding you back
I was selfish, wasn't I?
You were gonna be big, you know that
I remember how we used to sit on my bed for hours in the middle of the night
And you would explain politics to me
You had a great mind for all that right-wing, left-wing bullshit
You would tell me how you were going to be the first female president
Or a great congresswoman
Or even a judge
I would laugh and say that if you ever became a judge
You could get me out of jail someday
I don't think you ever liked my jokes
What was it about me that pissed you off so badly?
Was it my lack of compassion
Or my lack of drive?
I know you hated that
That I never "took charge of my destiny", as you'd often say
"Get up, Rachel! Do something with your life."
"You'll live to see 18, you know. What will you do then?"
Hey baby, look at me now
I was always laughing at you, M&M, wasn't I?
I'd say to you, "M&M, you'll be great, I know it...
You just have to stop hanging out with thugs like me."
And I'd laugh like it was my last one ever
And you would get so mad at me, that was the best part
I loved pissing you off, and you loved picking my brain
Always asking me, why why why?!?
"Why did you beat up that boy?"
"Why do you stay with James when he hits you?"
"Why do you have those marks on your arms?"
"Rachel, why do you do these things? Aren't I good enough?"
Yeah, I pissed you off pleanty, I know that now
I always had an answer for you though
"That boy made fun of me."
"James and I were wrestling, that's all."
"Those marks? I was playing with the cat."
"I'm not doing anything, M&M. Maybe it's all in your head..."
You'd fall asleep in my arms at night
I'd lie awake next to you sometimes and just cry
I knew I was hurting you
Damned if I could stop it though
I would kiss your sleeping lips
And spill my heart out to your sleeping ears
"That boy was making fun of you, M&M."
"I stay with James because it distracts me...the pain distracts me."
"I hurt myself to get your attention, to keep your attention, your concern."
"I do these things because I'm not good enough..."
"You're everything to me, M&M."
"I love you, I love you, I love you so much. Never leave me, please."
Sometimes my voice would wake you up
As I was reading my poetry to you
You would smile at me
That smile that made up for every smile I never got in return from someone else
"What were you saying, Rach?"
I'd chuckle, shake my head, kiss you again
"Nothing, M&M, go back to sleep."
I know now that these are things I should have said while you were awake
While you were alive
I always did things too late
I remember, minutes after your funeral ended, your mom walked up to me
I was wondering if I should bow my head in shame
Or if I should hug her
I just stood there, looking at my feet, kicking the grass
I was in the middle of heavy withdrawls by that time
Withdrawls from both you and the drug
Your mom, she was crying, and she pulled me into her arms
Hugged me tighter then anyone else had before
And told me how sorry she was that never saw it, never knew it
I felt I should cry with her, but I didn't
I wouldn't cry until that night, alone in my room
I told her that I was sorry...so sorry, Mrs. Daniels
She forgave me in that hug
Her and Mr. Daniels left for California the next day
Alot of things have happened in the last six years, M&M
I've fallen in love, fallen out of love
I've grown to hate some people, and forgive some others
I've become enraptured by my sisters children
They're beautiful, and they would have loved you
Mom is doing good
She's happy and silly as usual
Every once in a while, she'll hear me cry in the middle of the night
But she never asks about it
She can't say your name...
She can't hear me talk about you at all, even
So we haven't spoken about you since a week after you died
You know, M&M, I think about you every day
And I miss you every day
But I'm doing good now...I feel healthy
Ever since that night, I've never touched the poison again
I don't drink any more...not like I used to, anyways
I remember every person I sleep with
That's saying alot, isn't it?
I have to go soon, M&M
I'm sorry for all the shit I put you through
I'm sorry for breaking your Lisa Loeb tape...it really was an accident
I'm sorry I told Bobby in the fourth grade that you liked him
I'm sorry I took you to that house that night
And I'm sorry I never told you anything while you were awake
Forever and a day and a half,