We were five years old when we first met. Young, childish and innocent. It was our first day in primary school; you were nervous but quite excited. I remember that glowing, bright smile you had when you introduced yourself in front of the class: “Hey, my name is Mason!” Your hands were trembling in great fear and trepidation, and yet you somehow managed to hide it from the rest of the class – but not me.
You were different from everyone else.
Sitting on the chair opposite me, next to Amber, you found it difficult to communicate with others. While everyone was talking about their favorite TV program. “Sesame Street,” you laid your head on the table, being quiet and probably felt extremely isolated and alone. What did I do? I included you in our conversation by saying: “What about you, Mason?” I remember how your eyes instantly lit up with joy and excitement. It was honestly unforgettable.
At playtime, we would play “It” together and chase each other around the playground until a teacher blew the whistle. We despised the whistle because it stopped us from enjoying ourselves and running around the playground ( if we could have chosen when playtime would end, it would have been never). Do you remember when you accidentally pushed me too hard that I fell on the ground and scraped my knee while we were playing “It”? I told the teacher that you “pushed me on purpose” and you started to get extremely exasperated and angry with me.
That was our first ever argument.
We avoided talking to each other for a few hours until you said: “I’m sorry Theresa.” Then you embraced me so tightly, it was like you were afraid to let me go and our unbreakable friendship is washed away like sand from the beach. Now, I am glad that we didn’t lose our friendship.
As we grew older, from Year one to Year six, our bond only became stronger. We went to each others’ houses almost every weekend and practiced for the “SATS” and “Eleven Plus” together. Do you remember the first time I went to your house? The moment you opened the front door, your dog dashed towards me, barking with joy at the sight of a new friend coming to play with him. Looking back at it now, I can’t believe why I was petrified of your dog; all he wanted was for me to play with him, but I ran upstairs trying to avoid him (yet, he kept following me). You started to laugh and mock me because you thought it was hilarious.
Finally, it was the last day of Year six – the most tearful day of all – because we would not be going to the same school anymore. It was torture for us, and we hated the fact that we would be separated from each other. We were too naive to know that it wasn’t going to be the last time for us to see each other.
We are sixteen years old now: mature, older and wiser. We still cherish our strong, powerful and everlasting friendship by texting each other every day. And, in just a few hours, I will meet you in person for the first time since that first memorable meeting when we were five.
Childhood friendships are simply too precious.