The memories always came back the same way. I would be going about my daily life and someone or something would remind me of them: my two close friends who were no longer my close friends.

Don’t worry, they didn’t die or anything. They were simply replaced in my life. Not that anyone could replace them…not really, anyways.

The memories, vivid as they were, shut everything else out. If I was having a conversation, I would go on auto by saying “yes” and “uh-huh” repeatedly. If I was working on something, my fingers would keep moving but no longer have a purpose until the memory played out.

It was sort of like being tasered. Or what I imagine being tasered might be like…

The last memory that had accosted me was still laying somewhere in my mind, like a lily pad in a pond.

I let myself explore it once more.

“You know, Cathy, I couldn’t imagine not having you in my life. I don’t know how that would even work!” My friend Beth told me as she plucked a leaf from a tree and admired it.

Todd piped in with, “It’s odd, but I think I actually agree with Beth, here.”

“This is so unfortunate, I think I’m simply going to fall to pieces,” Beth replied as she ripped the leaf she had to shreds.

I laughed at them, throwing my hair back and noticing the trees and just how tall they were. I wondered how many other groups of friends had walked along this path.

“I’m so glad I can trust you two,” I told them warmly. They smiled back at me and at each other but their smiles didn’t last nearly as long as mine did. I didn’t even wonder why, at the time.

I know why now.

They were never really true to me, oh no they weren’t. They were only using me. And in the end, I was only using them until I found their replacement.