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Just before her 22nd birthday, she died.

Molly, I call her, in this, the anonymous version of my life. Molly, because there is a lovely song about a girl named Molly. And because my friend’s real name was also a lovely song.

Today is Molly’s birthday. Just before midnight I realized this, and now I can’t sleep. I can only think of where I was last year on her birthday, frantically running around trying to get sparklers and rice crispy cereal to recreate the traditional “rice crispy blob” of years passed. I remember staring down at the burnt of sparklers sticking out from the quickly hardening marshmallow mess and thinking, “God damnit. There was a reason we stopped making these shitty things.” I think the last one we made together, we threw out the window onto the front lawn. My confused brother found it a few days later.

I keep thinking about all the birthdays I missed when she was alive. Sometimes I wouldn’t even realize I had missed it until I got a text from her wishing me a happy birthday a few weeks later.

Another reminder of what a shitty friend I was. I’ll probably never forget her birthday again. As long as I carry this guilt inside me, I’ll always remember her birthday.