I remember when we were six years old. You and I sat on my bedroom floor in silence, dodging each others' shy glances as we listened to pots clanging and the faucet running in the kitchen. My mom was a class-mother and your mom was a class-mother, and the two of them were experimenting with dessert recipes for our class's Halloween party.
My eye finally caught the box of bright crayons on my desk and I asked if you wanted to color. You readily agreed. You told me that you liked coloring with me more than you liked coloring with your friends who were boys, because I used the reds and the pinks instead of fighting with you over the blues and the greens.
I remember when we were seven years old. We weren't in the same class anymore, but I still saw you every day. We would go to the park and play on the playground, until the older kids started teasing us about our jungle-gym "house" and how you were my pretend husband.
We moved over to the sandbox, where, for a little while, we remained unbothered. The bigger kids eventually sauntered over and continued their mockery, though, and I remember how furious I was when they pushed you into the sand. I got yelled at that evening when my house received a phone-call from one of older boy's mothers regarding a bruise on her son's face. My mother said that I was never, under any circumstances, allowed to hit someone ever again.
I remember when we were eight years old. You had a birthday party at your house, and, while I stood on line for "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," one of your cousins told me that my yellow party dress was ugly. You found me sitting in your downstairs closet. I tried to pretend that I wasn't crying, but you knew.
You stayed there with me for almost an hour, until your mother called you upstairs to blow out your candles. In five minutes, though, you were back, holding two pieces of freshly-sliced birthday cake.
I remember when we were nine years old. We were playing hide-and-seek in your backyard. I went to go hide behind the tool shed at the very edge of the yard, and I fell into the canal. I couldn't swim, and I thrashed around wildly, yelling for your help.
You couldn't swim either, but you eagerly jumped in anyway. You surprised both of us when you made your way over to me and held my head above the water long enough for me to reach the ladder.
I remember when we were ten years old. We sat in the principle's office as he paced back and forth, practically fuming about the current state of the cafeteria. We were barely listening, though. I grinned at the way you had spaghetti sauce all over your face and mashed potatoes on your shirt.
The two of us broke out into shaking fits of laughter when you reached up and pulled a sliced cucumber out of my hair. The principle, infuriated with our lack of seriousness, balanced the phone between his chin and his shoulder as he angrily dialed numbers. Our mothers had to pick us up from school early that day.
I remember when we were eleven years old. You wanted to watch a scary movie, so we took one from my older brother's movie collection. We sat on the couch with the lights off.
When I screamed bloody murder because I was in no way prepared for the gore and terrifying images, you grabbed onto my hand. You held my hand all through the movie. When the credits rolled and I finally pointed out that it was over, your face turned red. You let go.
I remember when we were twelve years old. You got your first girlfriend when we went on a school trip to the museum. You wouldn't stop talking about her. You kept mentioning her long blonde hair and how she held your hand on the bus ride home.
You and I got into our first fight over that, because you had promised to sit with me on the bus. We didn't talk for almost two weeks, but I eventually got a telephone call from you one day after school. You said you were sorry about how stupid you acted and that she wasn't your girlfriend anymore. I forgave you, and we never mentioned it again. I never found out what happened with you and her, or why she stopped being your girlfriend.
I remember when we were thirteen years old. You and I picked the worst possible day to walk home from school, because it was pouring rain by the time three o'clock rolled around. We jumped in every single puddle we passed, just like we used to when we were younger.
We wrapped ourselves in towels when we got back to your house. I sat on the staircase and so did you, and then you asked me if you could kiss me. It took me a moment respond, and in that moment you must have thought it over, because then you changed your mind. You told me to forget that you mentioned it, because I was your best friend and that was all.
I remember when we were fourteen years old. We had our first high-school dance, and since neither of us had dates, we decided to go together. We sat at a table alone, just talking because I couldn't dance and you didn't like the type of music.
We got tired of people asking us how long ago we started dating, so we left the dance half way through. We went to a diner instead and ordered a few milkshakes. The rumors at school the next day claimed that we'd left the dance to go make out somewhere.
I remember when we were fifteen years old. I answered the door in pajama pants and an old t-shirt. My boyfriend of four and a half months had just dumped me, and you were the first person I called.
You came prepared with a carton of rocky-road ice-cream and nearly a dozen of your sister's chick flicks that I knew you would hate sitting through. You let me pick which ones I wanted to watch. Then you sat there with me until I fell asleep, a half-finished movie on the television and a half-melted carton of ice cream on the table.
I remember when we were sixteen years old. You found me in the mall parking lot after school. For the past two days, I had cut all of my classes with a boy whose reputation was slightly less than admirable. I don't think I'd ever seen you that mad before.
We got into a huge fight in that parking lot. You yelled at me for being so reckless, and I yelled at you for trying to control me. By the end of the argument, you were absolutely fuming. For a moment, I thought you were going to punch me. You wound back and punched the guy I was with instead.
I remember when we were seventeen years old. We were lying on my bedroom floor, bored out of our minds. We passed the "what do you want to do" question back and forth for such a long time. My eye finally caught the box of bright crayons on my desk. I asked if you wanted to color like we used to, and you readily agreed.
You held up your paper to show me. In green and blue crayon, you had written the words "I love you" across the page. I half-smiled and shook my head and waited for you to laugh it off, but you didn't. You told me you were serious. You caught my lips and kissed me, and when the doubt wore away I kissed you back.
We slowly pulled away, but not too far, and you pressed your forehead against mine. You told me that you remembered when we first colored on my bedroom floor when we were six years old, and you told me that you had loved me ever since then.