You always have more than one best friend. Admit it. One is the person who knows what fires your soul, one (if you are lucky) is the person who will always be in your corner, one is the person you played with in the dirt. Something like that.
I had three, when I was a half-riveted Sled with no lacquer or motto painted on my slats. One got all fascinated with the Struggle of poor people thousands of miles from her and decided that nothing else deserved her time and attention. One kept marrying people till I decided there was no point trying to compete.
One locked herself in a garage, on the twentieth night of February forty-one years ago, and left the car engine running.
No one told me for a month or so, in those days before Twitter and e-mail and what ever all, when the telephones in college dormitories were catch-as-catch-can anyway, but mostly because the majority of the human race is fairly gutless. I never fully grasped the topography of her despair, though the inklings I have would not flatter any of her survivors. I have never visited her gravesite, nearby as it is; when no one is brave enough to tell you that your childhood friend has died in time for you to attend her funeral, subsequent observances seem pointless.
If the dead can know anything, they know everything, so it is all right, I imagine. Still: Linda Jean, I remember. Every year.