My Friend Peter
I knew Peter since I was about 7 years old. I think Peter and his family came directly from Poland. He spoke with a thick accent and rolled his "r's" when he talked. He was my neighbor and I thought he was a strange kid. He had a good imagination like most kids do. One time he was hanging upside down in the tree in front of his house. He was dressed up in a cape pretending to be a vampire or a bat. He had a friend, I can't remember his name but when they were together I thought their sense of humor was weird.
As we grew and became teenagers, I would sometimes hangout with Peter and his friend. I could tell that he liked me more than a friend. I was a bit of a tomboy so I used to build forts and go fishing with him. One day as we were walking across the bridge he said, "Do you dare me to jump off?" This bridge was very high and below it was a fast moving river with strong swirling currents. I said, "Yeah, I dare you". All of a sudden he was hanging from the bridge and down he went. I panicked because I didn't see him come up. I ran all the way home to tell my parents. Just as I was almost home I saw all of Peter's clothes hanging on the clothes line in his yard. He was alive!, and he beat me home!
Peter's mom would get drunk and say, "Are you going to marry my Peter?", I would just laugh and change the subject. She liked me and I guess she knew Peter liked me. It was unfortunate that Peter later got involved in drugs. He became an addict. It started off with just pot, then pills and LSD. Later he got into some other stuff I'm not sure what exactly.
One day long after I was married, divorced and in another relationship. I got a phone call saying that my childhood friend Peter had overdosed and died. I liked Peter and maybe I was supposed to marry him. Well, I didn't like him in that way but would if I could have helped him.
I miss him and Peter will always have a special place in my heart. I always wonder if I could have helped him in some way.