(pictured- Rachel and I pre-gaming before a wild night out)
I’m not sure where to start with this one. It’s one of those fights that still hurt to bring up to this day, and I didn’t mention it to Rachel for years- even after we were in high school and all through college.
Anyway, it happened the summer when I was eight and she was six, and I went with her family to Rhode Island for a week for vacation. Anyway, our families were close, and Rachel was my absolute best friend, so going away with her family wasn’t weird at all. In fact, I’m sure I would have been 100% offended if I wasn’t invited.
Her family rented a small house in Charlestown, Rhode Island. It was about a five minute drive to the beach, and right across from a magical looking pond, swimming (literally) with swans. We had a run in with these swans, but I won’t go into detail. To hear about our misadventures with birds, you’ll have to wait for another story.
I remember quite a lot from that trip. We went to the beach everyday and built huge sandcastles. We were convinced they were great, and even asked random kids on the beach if they’d want to organize a sand castle contest, but I’m pretty sure they sucked and just looked like huge blobs of poop.
After the beach, we’d eat greasy grilled cheese at a small shack, and then walk across the street to get cones of black raspberry ice cream. Then we’d bug Jennifer (Rachel’s mom), to go into the gift shop next door and buy us mini ceramic animals. (We collected them for years after this).
One morning, we did not go to the beach. We did not get greasy grilled cheese or a cone of black raspberry or a mini ceramic animal. That was the morning of the Gatorade fight.
I was thirsty. For the entirety of the trip, Rachel and I lived off of red Gatorade. Not just any red Gatorade, but the kind in the long bottles with the twisty tops you can drink right out of. So I go to the fridge and grab one. It happened to be the last one.
Rachel saw this, deemed it unfair, and demanded that I give it to her.
I found it first, I said.
But still, she said.
Could we split it?
I really couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe she wanted it all to herself! But there she stood, arms crossed, her face getting punch-red with anger.
Of course, we both pitch a fit. Rachel cried to her mother how badly she wanted the Gatorade. I cried about how unfair it was. I could tell Jennifer was getting exasperated with me. I was the older one, after all. In her eyes, I should have given it to the younger child.
But instead, we fought for hours, or so it seemed. In the end, Jennifer took the Gatorade and gave it to her Rachie.
I was infuriated. Of course she did!!! Because nothing is fair when it came to Rachel!
I stormed off in our shared room and cried into my pillow. I hated the injustice of it all. Not just then, with the stupid Gatorade, but always! At my house, Rachel was treated like our treasured guest. She got the bigger slice of cake or the bigger half of the sandwich. At Rachel’s house, she was treated like Princess of the castle, and I was the court jester there to keep her entertained. She got first pick of the cookies and the cheesier pizza slice. Nowhere I went was I the Princess.
Then there I was, crying over a bottle of red Gatorade.
What felt like hours later, Rachel appeared in the doorway, the Gatorade cradled in her hands. Only a few sips were taken.
“Do you want some?” she said innocently. I mean, I’m pretty sure she said it innocently, looking back on it. It was probably a truce- a gods honest truce. But that’s not how I heard it then. The way I remember it was little Rachel standing in the doorway, with her head cocked to the side and a slight smile snaking its way across her face.
“Want some?” she asked slyly, knowing she had won and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
I got out of my bed, wiping sticky tears from my cheeks. I stood in the doorway and looked her right in the face.
“You are a stupid, spoiled brat!” I yelled, and slammed the door in her face.
I’ve held on to this memory for years. I swear, I didn’t bring it up even when we were both well above 18, for fear there were still hurt feelings.
About a year ago, when I was 23 and Rachel was 21, I Facebook messaged her about it. I found my courage and did it.
This was her response:
“Hannah wtf are you talking about”