Friends Forever
Shirley Holmes Lyrics Challenge

by Serina Christensen
July 2000         1,700 words

"I had better be doing the right thing here." He ran a hand through his blond hair, not caring how he looked anymore, wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and knocked firmly on the door. He heard footsteps down the hall that he knew so well and the door opened. "Shirley? Shirley Holmes?"

"It's Shirley James now. Are you who I think you are?" She was taller, her red hair still long and her blue eyes still sparkled. She looked happy.

"It's me. Bo Sawchuk." He straightened up to his full height, six foot four.

She scrutinized him. He was taller than before, his hair still cut short, his eyes still didn't make him look serious at all, and he was still as handsome as he had been when she had seen him graduate. She saw the surprise in his eyes when she had announced her last name. He was surprised that she had married Bart? Maybe he was regretting his decision to leave Redington to go down south the States for a carrier in Basketball? "I haven't seen you since graduation out of Sussex, high school. Wow you....you look great! The same as ever! Wow! Come in."

"Thanks. You too Shirley....James? Whoa, that's a surprise....wow. When did you marry him?" He followed her into a bright kitchen.

"Right after university. He came to Princeton with me, remember?"

He shifted in his seat. "Where's Bart....uh, your husband.....whatever." He stumbled over the words. It was strange that she married (married!) Bart. Sure, they had been good friends but, marriage?? He hadn't seen that coming.

"She chuckled. "He's in England. Oxford. Astonished that I married Bart? I thought so. You're married, or so I've heard and seen in the magazines."

"What? Oh, yes, twice. First to a supermodel, Anike Merocher. That was a big mistake. Then, last year I met the most incredible woman and married her, she's an actress. You probably heard of her, Linnaea Hart?"

"Yes, you being the basketball superstar after all. Where is she now?"

"Former superstar," he corrected. "She's shooting a movie with Karley Bennett up in Alaska. I was on my way there and decided to look you up. Inherited your dad's house I see."

She repositioned herself in the seat. "Yes, he died a year ago. God! I wish he were still alive. Your parents still alive?"

"Yeah, they're on a cruise in the Caribbean......what happened with Matt?"

She laughed. He was still astonished that she married Bart. "He disappeared the year I went to university and started I dating other guys because I thought he was not coming back." She stopped. It was obvious to Bo that Matt's not coming back for Shirley was still painful for her, even after all these years. Way to go Sawchuk, he admonished himself, congrats, you're still the same jerk that you always were.

"I remember when we graduated, Bo. It was when we started going out. Then you went to the States with your scholarship and I went to Princeton." She sighed. "I didn't know much of love. I kept thinking about people and their jobs."

"Same old Shirley thinking about other people. Do you still love mysteries?"

"I suppose." She leaned back, then changed the subject. "You look almost the same as you did when we graduated. Any kids?"

"No. We decided not to have any." He fidgeted in his chair, looking everywhere but at Shirley.

"Oh." That was a mistake, mentioning children, she chided herself.

He noticed her staring off in space and decided he had had enough torture. "It was nice seeing you again, Shirl, but I have to go," he said, despairingly. He had thought about this every minute since he stepped off the plane at the airport. How he would come visit her and and what, Sawchuk? She would just drop her life for you? And what about Linnaea? Isn't she enough for you? Or should you be asking yourself, if you're thinking about Shirley that much, are you good enough for Linnaea?

Her eyes welled up with tears when he said his pet name. She led him to the front door where they stood awkwardly.

"I'll always remember the times we had together, Shirley. Bye. I'll write and maybe call" He kissed her on the cheek, and then turned away. He wouldn't let her see the tears welling up in his own eyes.

"Sure.....and Bo?"

He stopped on the steps, looking up at her. "Yes?"

"Bring Linnaea next timeI want to meet her. And not just because she's an actress I want to meet the woman who loves my best friend. And tell her she's lucky to have you."

"I do every day." He grinned then grew serious again. "I'll bring her next time."

He stepped out onto the sidewalk into the rented car. As he drove to the airport, all he thought was, I guess I thought that this would never end.

She watched his car drive away down the street towards the airport and out of her life, again, and all that she could think was: I keep thinking it's not goodbye. Every time he leaves. It's always the same

Three years later

"Welcome to the decade anniversary of the Sussex Academy graduates of 2003. Hope you enjoy the music. Dance and mingle with the crowds! Hey, maybe you'll remember some of them, if they're still the same

"Isn't that Stink up there, saying all that?" asked Bo. He was standing with his wife, Linnaea Hart, Linnaea's friend Karley Bennett and Karley's husband Felix, Shirley and Bart James, and Alicia.

"Its Sterling now.....don't ask me because I don't know." She threw up her hands in frustration. "Ever since he inherited his dad's company he's gone off the deep end"

A slow song came on and Felix and Karley slipped off to dance. Shirley looked over to Bo and he returned her gaze. Stink sidled up to Bo.

"Hey, Bo, can I dance with your wife?" He grinned.

Bo looked at him for a moment, checking, seeing if he had any jokes in store, then finally nodded. Stink swung Linnaea off to dance in the middle. Bo glanced at Shirley and Bart.

"Fine. Go ahead. You guys should do it for old times sake anyway," said Bart, throwing up his hands, exasperated.

Shirley took Bo's hand as they swayed through the crowd.

"Feels like old times, doesn't it?" Bo asked.

"Yes, it does," answered Shirley dreamily. "What would have happened if we had gotten married, Bo?"

"What?" asked Bo, surprised.

"What if you and I had married? Would we have been happy?"

"I don't know."

"I think you would have regretted it for the rest of your life that you didn't take that scholarship"

"Shirley"

"Bo, I think it was better that you left Redington and took the scholarship. You wouldn't be the same person now if you had stayed."

"I'd be married to you."

***********************************

"Your Father was the English ambassador?" Linnaea asked. She, Bo, Shirley, Bart, Karley and Felix were sitting down eating. "You never told me that, Bo. No wonder you have such a large house, Shirley."

Shirley blushed. "It isn't that big. Especially compared to the mansion you and Bo live in."

"Oh man!" Stink yelled. "Howie's here!"

Bo started laughing. "He's still alive? How old is he, like ninety or something? Come on Stink......I mean Sterling. Lets go see if he still remembers us. Bart, are you coming?"

"Yeah."

The three of them left to see their old teacher, Mr Howie. Linnaea and Shirley both sat quietly and Karley talked to Felix, when her phone rang.

"Hello," she said, annoyed. "No not now, I'm busy. Yes, hang on. Linnaea, it's Maria. She wants to know when we're going to LA for the premiere and who's coming with us."

"Wednesday, and Bo's coming," Linnaea said softly.

"Me too," Felix chimed in.

Karley went back to her phone. "Maria, we're going on Wednesday and Bo and Felix are coming. Don't call me again; I'm at a reunion. Bye." As soon as she hung up her phone, it rang again.

"Hello," she snapped. "Oh, Mom, no I'm not angry at anyone. You want to talk to Felix? Yes, he's here. Felix, she wants to talk to you. I think we should take this outside, it could get ugly." Karley and Felix left, leaving Shirley and Linnaea alone.

"So," Shirley said trying to break the silence. "You and Bo are going to LA next week. It must be nice being so famous and everyone knowing you all he time."

Linnaea twisted uncomfortable in her seat. "I guess. It's not all great though. I mean, look at what happened. I get interrupted like that all the time.......you know when Bo went to your house, a few years ago?"

"Yes?"

"What happened between you?"

"Nothing. We were just good friends before. I-I didn't want him to leave Redington. But he did and now I'm the one with the regrets."

"Oh. I'm sorry" Linnaea looked down to her plate.

"It's not going to change, forget it. I'm sad to think I could be the one in your place right now but I'm not. And I don't care."

"Umm, okay." She was starting to feel uncomfortable. She looked over to where Bo was standing with Stink, Bart and Mr. Howie. As if he knew that she was watching him, Bo looked over and smiled. She smiled back uneasily.

What's wrong, he mouthed.

She glanced over to Shirley then back to him.

His phone rang. He groaned and gave her a pained look.

***********************************************

"Ready to go? Flight leaves early tomorrow," Karley prodded.

"Yes, we're ready," said Bo, then he turned to his old friends. "See you guys around!"

"Bye, Bo!" said Stink. "Your wife dances beautifully!"

"I know!" Bo shot back. "Bye, Shirley."

"See you later."

He walked to the car with Linnaea, Karley and Felix. "Well, that was fun, wasn't it?"

"Sure, Bo. We have to go. Plane leaves tomorrow and I have to get home to do my hair" Karley rambled on about the premiere.

Linnaea turned to Bo. "They were nice."

"Thanks." He looked back to the group standing outside, waving. "Bye"

THE END

Friends Forever
by Vitamin C

And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn 25
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same
But when we leave this year we won't be coming back
No more hanging out cause we're on a different track
And if you got something that you need to say
You better say it right now cause you don't have another day
Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound
And I keep thinking of that night in June
I didn't know much of love
But it came too soon and there was me and you
And then we got real blue
Stay at home talking on the telephone
We'd get so excited, we'd get so scared
Laughing at our selves thinking life's not fair
And this is how it feels

1:
As we go on, we remember
All the times we had together
And as our lives change, come whatever
We will still be, friends forever

So if we get the big jobs and we make the big money
When we look back now, will our jokes still be funny?
Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
Still be trying to break every single rule
Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
Can Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan?
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly
And this is how it feels

Repeat 1

La, la, la, la; yeah, yeah, yeah
La, la, la, la, we will still be friends forever

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there? Can we make it somehow?
I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly

Repeat 1 x3