From what I can remember, Andrew Bosley and I were true friends. Our friendship, though short, was most likely the most genuine off any friendship I had during those years of early elementary school. Andrew was genuine. He was quiet, pensive you might say. Andrew and I used to talk about meaningful things, not about guns or cartoons or popularity or girls. Maybe girls, but I can't say for sure now. I don't remember what we talked about but I recall that it felt the same as those dorm room talks that wander from subject to subject as if touring the academic programs available at a liberal arts university. When Andrew and I hung out, it felt fulfilling, inspiring, grounding. It felt real. He was the kind of child that would tell you he was sad and he didn't know why. He was the kind of boy that would tell you how proud he was of his Mom's garden. Even in first grade he was that kind of person. I used to admire and resent that about him.
But, if my memory serves me, I feel like I kept our friendship a semi-secret from my "other" friends, my popular friends. Could I have actually gotten on the bus with him to go to his house after school and still somehow guarded our friendship? Yes, I think it is possible. We might only have been friends for a season or a year and I have always been sneaky and heartless like that. The only "popular" girl that rode his bus was Celena Real, the prettiest girl in our grade and I didn't know her well. I have never disavowed intrigue and double cross entirely. I am still a realist in affairs international and otherwise.
Then came my birthday party, I believe my sixth birthday. I didn't invite Andrew. It seemed strange to my parents and surely to his as well. It was hard for me not to invite Andrew, but I rationalized that we would be playing baseball at the party and Andrew was horrible at baseball and might embarrass himself or, surely more importantly in my own mind, me. And it would have been difficult for me to play host if he had come. He wasn't friends with those other boys. In the days leading up to my birthday party, even up the moment it started, my Mom kept asking me if I still didn't want to invite Andrew.
No, I didn't want to invite Andrew. He wasn't like me. He didn't have ambition. He didn't even try to be good at baseball. Andrew seemed dirty to me, deviant even.
I went to school with Andrew all the way through high school graduation and believe I never spoke to him again. I always admired Andrew, from a distance safe enough for my own growing but fragile ego. Andrew was the best artist I have ever met and I have met many good artists. He was always quiet and seemed humble although I cannot say for sure because I didn't associate with his friends even. Toward the end of high school, I almost became friends with some of his friends, but I was too busy with athletics. For that matter, they were probably too busy in drama practice. Or maybe, our high school's political environment never quite allowed room for that sort of alliance.
Whatever the case, ever since that birthday party, I remember myself being squarely among in the "popular" crowd. And why not? I was just as blonde. My family could afford to keep me in the latest Nike's and take the friends of my choice on trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas. I was good at sports. I was smart. When I had to be, I could be cocky, mean, aloof. I, in short, had the right stuff and at six years old, I was not yet willing to squander my bright social future on one measly little friendship. At my elementary school, popularity had lots of advantages although I cannot recall any of them off hand. As I matured, it helped to be popular in more immediately recallable ways. I relied a fair amount on my social standing when trying to attract girls. I wasn't comfortable enough in my own skin to be handsome.
I seem to remember that in high school Andrew had a very pretty girlfriend, if maybe a little plain looking. I too had a very pretty girlfriend, although she wasn't very interesting in retrospect.
I don't know what ever happened to Andrew. I hope he is happy. I hope his art career is flourishing. I wish I could be friends with Andrew again. I wish I could introduce him to my friends now. I think he would like them. I think they would like him. Recently, I've been getting sad about Andrew Bosley's strange and premature departure from my life. I have a feeling I could still learn a lot from Andrew.
I want to tell Andrew that I'm sorry.