After I went to college in a different state and she remained at home, I continued to be her number one cheerleader. I’d constantly assure people that they would be so lucky to meet my best friend in person. During moments of doubt in my dorm room, it was her lessons and images of that beautiful blue shirt that energized me. When I returned home for visits, she was my finish line. We spent countless hours during those short weekends reminiscing and exploring.
Gradually, a new group of people began calling her their best friend. They saw her as broken and in need of repair, so they bombarded her with new beliefs that she reluctantly accepted. She became something she’s never been before, and was rid of that blue shirt that was such a part of her identity. We still see each other on the weekends, but the majority of the conversation is dominated by her new friends. I’d be happy to tell them who she really is, if they ever care to go searching for the real Milwaukee.