Friday, January 25, 2008

Pictures of Lily

Today, while cleaning out a cabinet, I discovered an envelope full of negatives and test prints of from Lily's wedding. Lily was once one of my best friends. We became friends right out of college, when we were still interns. I was one of her three bridesmaids. I haven't spoken to her in over a decade. Lily really pissed me off.

Lily is super smart and charismatic. She was on the fast track at an agency, working the desk of a powerful talent agent...who asked her to do extra work...after work...if you get my drift.

Lily sued for harrassment. Her stories of abuse were atrocious. It was like a bad Lifetime movie. You know, television for women? I totally supported her all the way to court as her agency friends began to shun her one by one. Yeah, she was the victim and all, but the perpetrator is the one who hands out the promotions. You should have heard their ugly rationales. It was so yucky and wrong.

But then weird things began to happen.

Lily had a miscarriage that she told mutual aquaintances about in great detail, but failed to mention to me, ever. She wrote a letter to the head of security at her sister's company alleging that her sister was a kleptomaniac who stole clothes from high end department stores. She romanced a female friend via email on a dating site pretending to be a man, and then spent hours counseling the friend on how to "move the relationship from the internet into real life."

I began to doubt Lily's credibility. Which made me feel like a terrible human being, like those horrible people who blame the rape victim.

Then the head of HR at the studio called me into her office to show me the hilarious letter that had been sent to her anonymously. It detailed my longstanding career as a shoplifter. According to the letter, I like to steal clothes from high end department stores. "Luckily for you," said Ms. HR, "This was obviously written by some nutcase."

I called Lily's husband at work. "Lily's having some sort of breakdown," I told him. "I think she's in real trouble."

It was at this point in the conversation that her husband threatened to sue me for slander.

About five years ago I ran into Lily's sister, ironically, at a high end department store. Big surprise, neither of us were shoplifting. We had a pleasant conversation in the shoe department about her recent promotion and my summer vacation plans. Neither of us mentioned Lily.

Today, when I looked at the pictures, I was surprised by how young and skinny everyone looked. I was even more surprised to realize that none of Lily's bridemaids are still friends with her. She had burned each one of us over the years with her increasingly bad behavior.

I thought about throwing the pictures and negatives in the trash, but somehow that didn't feel right. Those photos documented a happy time between friends. Instead, I sent the photographs to Lily's husband at his office address.

I wonder if they are still married.

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