Partners In Crime
I have often written about the influence my cousin Becky has had on my life. When I was a kid, I was a sworn and loyal disciple of this girl. I loved her more than anything and wanting nothing more than to be just like her. She protected me once she realized just how weak and vulnerable I really was. However, with Becky almost always came trouble. I didn’t mind it, though. For the price of a spanking - or whatever was being served with punishment in the house that day - the memories with Bec were always worth it.
I was about 9 years old when it was decided that we would be partners in crime. She figured that, since we were kids, we would surely not be caught. Who would ever suspect two little girls? It made sense to me, and I was all in.
It all started with her teaching me how to shoplift. One would wonder why I didn’t find it odd that she knew how to do this stuff, but the fact of the matter was that I didn’t care. The adrenaline and hardy-laughs were a given and I eagerly ate it up. It came time for my first attempt at the whole “stealing” thing. I pocketed a pack of gum, and before I knew it, I was caught. This was even before cameras! I was really that bad. Bec went for a larger item and was in the clear, but valiantly turned herself in once she saw I had been captured.
I didn’t know which was worse: sitting handcuffed at the University Police Station while waiting for our parents or Bec leaning over and whispering that she learned how to hot-wire her parents car. I would have began to question her if my mom hadn’t walked through the door at that very moment. My plate was pretty full, I’d have worry about stealing cars after I got in trouble.
Things eventually calmed down and Bec and I were off to the next adventure: we were going to hijack her family Buick. Our mission went surprisingly smooth. We traveled like royalty, waving to friends and onlookers with confidence. We were on top of the world, that is, until we arrived to our parents standing in her driveway. Busted.
I wish I could tell you that I never got in trouble again, but I would be lying. My mom realized that Becky and I were trouble together, and my family moved away shortly after my sister graduated from high school. Unfortunately, Becky continued on her adventurously reckless downward spiral. She traveled into worlds I only read about and got involved with drugs and bad people. After hitting bottom, she took control of her life and cleaned up. For a moment, I thought she was finally back. I thought Bec and I were together at last - that we had made it.
Becky’s old-life and history did end up catching up with her and in the worst of ways. She was taken from us far too early. I am still her disciple and will always be loyal to her name and memory. Bec was a double edged sword: I needed her, and yet, her judgement was suspect - I loved that about her. My mom was right to separate us, but the heartbreak of watching her disappear into the distance will never leave me. It was topped only by saying my final farewell to her in a church filled with people who didn’t know her.
I miss you Bec, I miss you so much. I wonder if you see my mom or Bonnie. Do you still see me? Do you remember all of the good times? I do, Bec, and I will never forget.
Lex and I are off to Los Angeles for a few days and will be posting from there. Let’s talk again tomorrow, I’ll bring the coffee. -R.