Pepper and I met through tragedy, but our friendship has been pure joy. She worked for a law firm, doing HR, in the building downtown Seattle known as “the black box” or “the box the Space Needle came in.” Ripe, my deli and catering company, is on street level, and she came in a few times a week for lunch or coffee, or take-out. We got to be friendly—she’s very smart about food, and even smarter about people—but nothing more than that.
Until my husband was murdered. It was front page news, and still, years later, not solved. Half the people treated me like nothing had happened, and the other half acted like I had the Black Plague and tragedy was contagious.
Not Pepper. She sat and talked to me. Or listened while I ranted and raved. Or held my hand while I cried. Then she practically tripped over her husband with another woman, and it was my turn to offer a little comfort. She was staying with her friend Kristen, a dear, sweet cloud of a woman, in the fabulous old Capitol Hill house that they grew up in. One evening, Kristen’s husband and daughters were out at some father-daughter thing, and my son was at a friend’s house, working on a school project, so Pepper invited me up to watch a movie with them.
Now we call ourselves the Flick Chicks. We get together every Tuesday night to talk and eat and watch a movie. Well, sometimes we skip the movie, or talk right through it. We all have different tastes, which is great—I never would have seen “Bladerunner” if it weren’t one of Pepper’s favorites, and while I wasn’t in the mood for the romantic comedies Kristen loves when we first met, they’ve had enormous healing powers.
Friendship. That’s the spice of life.
Part of any groups of women—book club, bridge club, a knitting circle, or a meditation group? What’s the best part?
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.
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