Two Peas in a Pod

Two Peas in a Pod by Alexandra Ronn

By Alexandra Ronn

You save me
When I am a new kid in school
Shy, awkward, four-eyes, tinsel-teeth
Blushing all shades of pink and red
Eighth grade lab partner, note-passer, new best friend
You say we’re two peas in a pod
I smile
You lead, I follow

High school together, we laugh and laugh
No books for you
So I dumb down to stay
In your shadow
14 years old, 15, 16, 17
Drinking age 18, easy to get
You lead, I follow

First time off the path: senior year
Higher level English, my favorite class
All A’s
You frown and ask why

Commuting to junior college
You lead, I follow
We’re going to be travel agents, you say
Two peas in a pod

After one semester I switch my major
To English
Why? you ask, frowning

Still, the drinking, the bars
You lead, I follow
You drink so much
I can’t keep up

I date a guy because you’re going out with his friend
We marry them
He’s always liked you more than me

I have three kids, you have none
My second child is your godson
I no longer drink
I’m a mom

We go out to lunch, shopping, dinner with our husbands
You love your godson
You’re at every family event
Bearing gifts
Even when I’ve asked you not to

At long last I go back to college
You frown and ask why
My kids are nearly grown
I love being in school

You cheer loudly when my name is called
And I receive my diploma
You’re there if I ever need you
Forty years of friendship
You kiss my cheek, laughing
We always laugh
I’m not sure why

You say I’m foolish when I tell the cashier
She’s undercharged me
"What’s wrong with you?" you ask
Shake your head all the way home
You think I’ll be happy when you tell me
That you like Sarah Palin

Two peas in a pod
I flinch
I cringe
I hear how you talk about other people
More than you ever did before
People of color
Jewish, gay, autistic
Anyone "other"
You say you hate

You look at me when you say these things
Your liberal, hippie, women’s-libber friend
You laugh when I speak up

It took me so long
I’m stronger now
The phone rings
I don’t answer
You have a party
I don’t go

You’re angry
You say, "I forgave you for going back to school
But I can’t forgive you for not drinking with me"
You say you pity my husband

I try to pick up the pieces, but I can’t
I won’t
I don’t want to be in that pod

With you

After two years I see you at my son’s wedding
I approach you
We make small talk for a minute
It’s hot, yes it is
I walk away to sit with my family
You put down your empty glass and head to the bar.

About the Writer:
Alexandra Ronn
is a writer, book editor, Reiki master, and librarian. A lifelong New England resident, she loves reading, painting, and spending time amongst the trees.