I first met Cassandra in first grade by the equipment. She was trying to climb on the bars and I was trying to get through the monkey bars without falling. We both ended up falling at the same time and landed on the woodchips by each other.
"Are you ok?" I asked her noticing how she was starting to cry even though it hadn't been that big of a fall. In elementary school though you cry at everything.
"Y-yeah," she sniffled wiping away her tears on the sleeve of her pink sweater. Her mousy brown hair was pulled into two messy pigtails and her bangs went into her hazel eyes.
"I'm Alyson, what's your name?"
"That's a long name," I had scrunched up my face like I always did when I heard a big word or was confused. "Can I call you…Cassie?"
"Sure! And can I call you Aly sometimes?"
"Yeah! Yay we have nicknames for each other!"
"Does this mean we're friends?"
"I don't know. Let's ask Ms. Moor!"
We ran over to our teacher who was yelling at the two trouble makers in the class, Mike and Dylan. Apparently they had to clap erasers but had been throwing them in the basketball hoop instead.
"How many times do I have to tell you not to do that? You are supposed to bang the erasers together not toss them around like a basketball! Honestly you two. Just go play." She sighed giving up on them trying to listen. They ran away and we went up to her.
"Ms. Moor! We have a question!" I said jumping a little in my excitement.
"What is it Alyson?"
"Well Cassie and I were wondering if we're friends cause we gave each other nicknames."
"You two can be friends even if you didn't give each other nicknames. Friends are people who are there for you through everything. They're those people who you can tell all your secrets to and know they won't tell anyone."
"So we are friends?" I asked scrunching up my face again. As a six year old my attention span was very short and she was talking about things that didn't click much especially because it was recess time.
"That's up for you two to decide. Do you want to spend time together and always be there for each other?"
I looked at Cassie who was nodding at me and I smiled.
"Then yes you are friends. Why don't you get to know more about each other while I stop the trouble twins." She walked away to where Mike and Dylan were climbing on top of the monkey bars. In the first week of school they had been given the nickname trouble twins because they always seemed like they were twins.
"You're my first friend," Cassie said quietly when we were under the tree away from everyone.
"And you're my first friend! This is so much fun! I can't wait to tell my mommy. Maybe we can play at each other's houses."
"That would be fun." She was so quiet and she played with her hair nervously.
"Cassie, why are you so quiet?"
"I've always been this way."
"Oh. So what's your favorite color?"
"Pink," she said with a smile.
"Mine's purple cause mommy brought me a purple dress that's really pretty!"
"You should wear it to school and I can wear a pink dress. Then we'll both be wearing our favorite colors."
"We can do that tomorrow! I'm so happy I found you Cassie." I gave her a hug and she flinched away. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing just my arm hurts from falling."
"Should we tell Ms. Moor?"
"No! I mean um I'm ok. I get hurt fast but I'll be fine tomorrow."
The bell rang to go back into class and we sat by each other in art. That was the beginning of our long friendship.
Cassie was always the wall flower while there was me, the loud, obnoxious one. I was always doing crazy things and dragging her along no matter how much she didn't want to come. We had changed over the years though. Gone were the days of dresses and soft fabric pants. Now we wore jeans, mine usually painted, drawn on with sharpies, or ripped in one way or another, and always hoodies. I had changed my hair so much that you couldn't tell it used to be dirty blonde. We started a band in seventh grade when Cassie started learning guitar from my older sister and I started vocal in school. We were inseparable and everyone who didn't know us thought we were sisters. Everything was perfect except for this nagging feeling in the back of my head that there was something Cassie wasn't telling me.