Five rings and Kakki finally answered her cellphone. I could just picture her springing to action, reaching into the back pocket of her jeans, expecting an emergency on the line as she stood in the barn of her horse ranch in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Kakki leads her life on call; she’s always ready for something.
“Hey,” I said, “you busy?”
“Never too busy for you,” she said. I could hear voices in the background, a gate latching, something metal jangling.
It’s a two hour time difference between California and Mississippi. It was just after eleven Kakki’s time, which is all but the middle of her day. “We have to talk about Ava,” I said. “What is this, she wants to move back to Memphis? Can you talk now, or do you want to call me back?”
I’ve had more friendships than I care to list come and go over the years. People I thought would be in my life forever fell by the wayside for one reason or another, some leaving me baffled and bruised, and second guessing, but Kakki Thornton and Ava Cameron have remained beside me. The progression of years and disparate locations hasn’t altered our bond one iota. We became friends when we were fifteen, and now that we’re in our mid-forties, each of us knows we’re in it for life. Our dogged loyalty to each other is partially based on longevity; we’ve invested too much time in each other to turn back now. We overlook the fact that we’re as different as night and day in what our lives have become, but we began at the same starting point.
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