We were friends once, young, maybe 10 or 11 years old, when times seemed easier. Days started early, meeting by the old tree at the school; a natural meeting spot half way between your house and mine. Our biggest decision of the day may have been, do we go to the taco place or the burger shop for lunch? Laughing and sharing an afternoon, a booth at the burger place, the red plastic basket lined with red and white checked paper, filled with hot fresh french fries.
Riding bicycles around the neighborhood, down by the creek, behind the pizza place. Visiting the library to check out new books. Home again, only when the sun started to set. Youngsters, without a care. We were friends back then, in those idyllic youthful times. And then you moved away.
I was saddened when you left, a part of life, at that time, new to me. You wrote once, I think I did as well, but our lives moved on, we grew up, lost touch. I heard, a few years later, you returned. We reconnected, but only briefly as we lived in different parts of town. We were friends once, but life changed, we changed, we had moved on.
We caught glimpse of each other again one night, in passing. You inside, behind the big window, me passing by on the street. Each with our own set of friends, going about our evening. It had been years, so the glimpse of recognition was coupled with wonder. Is that who I think it is? Your smile and slight wave affirmed what we both knew. The moment was quick, and I remember thinking you looked well, happy.
Although we were friends once, I wonder if you would recognize me on the street now. Would I, you? I would hope so. We shared a portion of childhood, but that was our youth, and we certainly are not those young kids anymore. Were it not for that earlier connection, would we be friends now?
Maybe it’s different for shy young girls of 10 or 11. Maybe that earlier time mattered more to me than to you. I know I still recall those days with fondness and a smile.
We were friends once, and I still wish you well.