Have you ever laughed really hard?
When I ask myself that question, I can think of myself when I was around eight or nine years old, and I had a 'best friend'. E and I were inseperable. I had the best time when I'd hang around with her.
We were dreamers, both of us. Every other day, we would come up with a new plan to make history, to inspire. So, come lunch break, we'd grab our little pencils and write songs, that would later be turned into catchy tunes. Then there was our Childcraft phase. We'd ask the tall kids to get us the Childcraft books on the top shelf of the Reference cupboard at the library, then we'd lose ourselves in the glossy pages, thinking of substitute ingredients we could use and make our version of the crafts. Whenever there was an opportunity to sing on stage, we'd go together, and sway as we crooned into the mic. My sister still imitates that and tells me how funny we looked.
We'd talk about a lot of things, like how both of us wanted to get locked in, inside our school library, so we could read all we wanted, without our librarian telling it's time to close. In the classroom, we'd sometimes have our little 'boys vs girls' fights, the way only nine year olds can. We'd try to go explore the 'forbidden areas' of the school campus, where no primary school kid had ever been before.
After five years of knowing each other, we had to part ways. She had to move to another school, and needless to say, I was shattered, for I hadn't imagined a world without her. Five years is a long time, and longer in kid years! I felt a part of me die when she left, even though she was moving to a school in the same city.
What unravelled next was another dimension of our friendship, when we'd write each other letters, (yes,snailmail) and we'd try to cram up all our experiences into that inland letter, sometimes scribble little drawings. We did visit each other in person, but by then we'd grown older and had become more like penpals.
By the time we both turned thirteen, and later went to class ten, the frequency of letters dwindled down.We learned by then that we hadn't shared our crucial years together, and our lives were pretty much on different paths by that time.
Nevertheless, that ocassional phone call brought back some of our memories together. The last time I met her in person was about three years ago, a little before she joined medical college. I remember that day, we both talked and talked, realising just how different our personalities were.
I haven't spoken to E in a long time, but I do have with me all the letters she wrote, and with that, childhood memories that refuse to go away.