i I’m Starr Shaw; no it’s not a joke that’s my name! I wasn’t sure whether to go with the title of ‘My Best Friend’ but having thought about it long and hard, may as well go back to brass tacks because although Tyler Mercer was ‘my’ best friend, this story really started with our mothers.
Jackie Shaw and Jane Mercer.
My mum and Tyler's mum Jane had been best friends since infant school. They grew up together, went right through school together, even got pregnant near enough at the same time with Tyler and I. They also got divorced the same year. They saw each other through the best times and were always there for each other during the worst.
Tyler and I were born about a month apart he is the eighteenth of October and I’m the nineteenth of November. So our mothers held our birthday party in the middle. I think they were often quite sad that we weren’t both boys or both girls; but as I was quite the tomboy it didn’t matter, we were still ‘besties’ and promised to stay that way.
When our mothers had a night out, it was always my nan or Tyler's gran who looked after us. Tyler's gran had this really old house with a back bedroom that had a double bed which was ours when we stayed there. It smelled of palma violets the whole time and we never found them. It had this huge eiderdown quilt that must have been at least a hundred years old and duck feather pillows that used to spew out feathers causing us to sneeze. It was where granny Mildred kept her photo albums and I spent a lot of time looking through them or adding to them while Tyler was out on his bike.
My nan was ultra modern. She had a very modern house with all mod cons, and she wasn’t really sentimental in the way Tyler’s nan was. We had bunk beds at my nan’s, and a sign on the door which read Tyler and Starr’s room. I had a bookshelf and Tyler had a punchbag. We had a television and as soon as my nan's boyfriend Paul figured out how; we had our laptops linked up to the television to watch movies.
Both our mums worked in shops in town, so we always went to Tylers gran’s or my nan’s after school or on a weekend until we were in senior school and could look after ourselves.
Looking back in all honesty, we might have been ‘besties’ but we had nothing really in common. Tyler was all for sports, he did martial arts, weight lifting, played football and then rugby then back to football again. He watched the grand prix religiously. I liked books and consoles and learning. I was what you’d call a bit of a nerd.
When we got into high school Tyler and I just drifted apart. He had his friends, all the popular beautiful people. I had mine, the gamers. So it got to the point where apart from a ‘hey’ in the corridor in passing, we saw very little of each other unless he had to cram for something and he needed my help.
By the time we were in Year Eleven Tyler had the worst reputation with girls imaginable. Every week he’d be seen with his arm around a different girl in the halls, and if he didn’t, it meant she was at another school or as in many cases was at college. Tyler had blonde hair and blue eyes, he had muscles in well, every place, he was the most popular boy in school, probably in the whole of the town but as I didn’t socialise with the kids in town I couldn’t really say for certain.