I had a friend once, a best friend really. We met our freshman year of college - she was my next door neighbor in the dorm. We lived together from the second semester of that year on through three years of graduate school...so seven years in all, plus some.
We were both English majors (though neither of us began that way). We liked the same books and music. We were both liberals at a very, VERY conservative school. We sat together at undergraduate Commencement, which was actually quite a feat as it was a huge graduating class...but my last name started with Bu and hers with Co. There was someone who was supposed to sit in between us, but he/she didn't show.
She moved away to go to grad school, and later moved back and lived with me again briefly while she was finding her own place. Then she moved back to her hometown after a year.
During the first time when she lived away, she would sometimes "disappear" - not call or write for weeks. Her younger sister would also not hear from her. We'd get very worried and leave many messages on her phone, write all kinds of letters and cards, etc. One time we actually called the police to go to her house and make sure she wasn't dead. She was VERY ANGRY about that.
This was all way before email, Internet, Facebook, Twitter. And even now, in the heyday of those things, I can't find her that way. Nor can I find her sister (who I know got married) or her brother. I do have an idea that she is still alive and still in the same town...but I could be wrong.
I haven't heard from her now for over 10 years. It's been at least that long, because I can remember fretting to Ken about it when we were first married. Letters I sent (including our wedding announcement) never came back, so I think she is still in the same place.
Finally he looked at me and said, "Forget about her. If she doesn't want to talk to you, then don't worry about her. Just forget it."
But...all those years? Nothing, not a word? While we were roommates, her parents both died, and my parents considered her a fifth daughter. She helped us move my parents to Florida, a perfectly nightmarish experience otherwise known as "The Worst Move Ever." She was at my sister's wedding, and helped with cleanup and recovery afterward.
I had another "bestie" in junior hign and in high school, and I have still a different BFF now. I also have a number of very good, dear, trustworthy people who I am fortunate to call friends of the soul. I have sisters. I have DOK sisters.
But there's a hole in my heart shaped like her. And I can't forget.