Another summer day, a rainy summer day. The air is fresh and the ground is damp. I’m standing outside the school, waiting for the fair to start. The fair I’ve been going to for the past twenty five years. Our summer fair. I’m standing at the top of your street and I see us as we once were. Young and care free. The best of friends. Running as fast as we could, spending all our time together, no care that you were a boy and I was a girl. Just friends. Where did you go, where are you now? Just a lonely street holding the ghost of our past.
I think back to the time we had together, the first sips of orange, lemon and pineapple squash. It seemed so exotic, so foreign, a new flavor that only lived at your house. That time we were allowed to leave the fair and we went to your house. Just the two of us. The trust we had been given. The first steps of freedom. Coming away from childhood, forging ourselves as independents, moving away from the simpleness of our youth. There were no boundaries at primary school, that last year though we were all changing. Secondary school came and it all changed.
Different classes, different people. Growing up and growing apart. The first year we stayed friends, you bought me a Christmas present, a small teddy bear broach, what else would an eleven year old buy, and after that we drifted. School passed and we simply existed, a sly smile, a gentle glance. Not in each others lives anymore.
Years later I heard your dad had died. I thought about you, hoped you were well. You have a family now, a wife and a son. I have a daughter and a husband too. We still live in the same city but I don’t see you, or if I do I’m not sure you recognise me. One day I will say hello, reach across the empty years back to our childhood. Those years we mattered to each other. Not anymore. It’s sad, that’s life though. People come and go, memories stay. Snippets of our lives that won’t ever be erased, the time you ate an ink cartridge and your mouth turned blue, or when you had a crush on that other girl and we hid in the bike sheds to talk about it. The slip in the ice, climbing walls, playing football, sneaking into the forbidden area behind the canteen, the all girl cinema outing I didn’t invite you on, things children get up to, an array of playground antics. Dear Jamie you will forever be in my memory.