I was in West Hartford Saturday night at one of those lovely, Instagram-worthy restaurants that have perfectly watered flowers and strings of white lights outside creating an ambiance of style and calm. I was sitting in a nook looking outside. I saw a girl walking with her friend. The girl reminded me of you. She was tall, thin and platinum blonde. She even had that punk style you pulled off so well. The closer and closer she got, the more and more I realized she looked nothing like you. She had a different body type, her hair wasn't that blonde, and her style wasn't even a hint of your DIY punk. I knew from the beginning it wasn't you, but in my own way, I wanted a sign. I wanted it to be you so I could say the last time I saw you, that you were walking in the warm rays of the August sun, laughing and smiling. I wanted to see you one last time for my own selfish reasons, I suppose, so I could have some closure.
I think about you at random times. When I shop alone at Joyce Leslie, I imagine the things we'd laugh and joke about and the outfits we'd try on - both in jest and in seriousness. I imagine your running commentary on the clothes, the people, the styles as we shop. I think of you when I'm driving to work. I'm not quite sure why, but I do. My eyes tear up. I wish I was there the past two years. It was so hard to be, but I wish I powered through and was there. I miss you. I miss our friendship. You had so much life in you, Carissa.
I'm sure I'll keep finding things that remind me of you - a leopard print scarf, a glittery makeup case, a blonde girl from faraway. They are all these little reminders of you to get me by until we meet again. My friend, my "soul sister born at Wal-Mart".