For the next few days, Max and Kimmy spent as much time as they could with each other. The pair was more inseparable than ever. The first to finish their homework would spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at the other's apartment. They had a sleepover at Kimmy's for the first weekend. The next weekend, Max helped Kimmy pack her things.
"Kimmy, where do I put your pictures?" Max asked, indicating the stack of photos in his hand.
Today, the boy was wearing a long sleeve, yellow and blue horizontal-striped shirt with blue sweatpants and white LA Gears.
"Put them in that box over there," said Kimmy, pointing at a cardboard box with 'Misc.' written on the side in black marker.
Kimmy wore a light green, long sleeve shirt with black sweatpants.
Max walked to the box, which was sitting against a wall by the closet. As he put the photos into the box, he gazed at each of them. The first picture was of Max and Kimmy in his jeep during his birthday party. The next was the two of them on the swings, pushed by their mothers.
In that picture, Max wore a white coat with black jeans and black sneakers. Kimmy wore an blue coat with jeans and white sneakers with Simba's face on the sides. Karen wore a long, red sweater with jeans and black shoes. Patricia was wearing a light blue jacket with jeans and white tennis shoes. Max was already in the air, while Karen was just starting to push Kimmy.
The last photo was of the two of them, with their arms around each other's neck, smiling for the camera. Max had a box top hairstyle back then, as opposed to it currently cut to a near fade.
Max looked at the birthday picture again and realized something. "Remember on my seventh birthday when I made a wish?" he asked, not looking at Kimmy.
"Um... yeah," said Kimmy, turning her head to him. "Why?"
He spun around so he was facing her. "Do you still wanna know what I wished for?"
"I wished that me and you could get married when we grow up and live happily ever after, like on TV."
Kimmy smiled at him. "I hope we could, too."
The girl sat on a taped cardboard box.
Max walked over and sat down next to her. His left and her right leg touched from sitting so close.
They had finished packing everything they could. It was 12:21. Tomorrow was the day that Kimmy and Karen would move to Connecticut.
Kimmy looked all over the room.
Her bed was absent, revealing a surprising amount of space. Cardboard boxes were scattered along the floor. All of her clothes were packed, leaving the open closet empty. Even her TV was gone.
"I'm gonna miss this house," she admitted. "This was the first house I ever lived in."
"I got a idea. Let's make today a Fun Day."
Kimmy looked at him. "Fun day?"
"Yeah. For the rest of the day, we could do whatever you want to do together. Then you can spend the night at my house. We'll make today the bestest day in the whole world."
"That's a great idea!"
"So what you wanna do first?" Max asked.
Kimmy pondered for a moment. "Can we drive your jeep to the playground?"
"Would you bring your Frisbee?" ___________________________________________
"Shift into turbos!" Max commanded from the passenger's seat of his Power Wheels. He was now wearing a gray coat. Kimmy, clad in an orange coat, pushed an imaginary button. "On our marks, get set, go!"
Kimmy pressed the pedal down, zooming down the path and turning to the right. Because the sidewalk was straightforward from there, she sped to the crosswalk. When the light turned green, she proceeded to the next block.
The jeep glided past pedestrians and buildings. Effortlessly, Kimmy drove through the tall, green gates of the park. She had to slow down, due to the bikers, runners, and other people. Max pretentiously narrated the trip, imitating a NASCAR announcer.
At the playground, the jungle gym was occupied by two girls and one boy. A boy and girl who seemed to be related were using the seesaw. Three boys were using the swings, including one tire. Two more boys and three girls were going up and down the silver sliding board.
"First place!" Max said victoriously.
With a smirk, Kimmy parked the jeep near the jungle gym.
Max started to climb the caged box. As she followed, Kimmy thought back to the summertime of that year.
"Could you gimme a boost?" Max requested. He was wearing a white shirt with black vertical stripes and a black collar, a black pair of shorts, and white and black sneakers.
Kimmy was wearing a baby blue sundress with white saltwater sandals. Her dark hair was wrapped into a bun. She cupped her hands together and knelt over.
Max stepped into her hands and held a warm metal bar. The girl lifted him until his foot reached one of the lower bars. Next, he lifted his left leg and stepped onto an upper bar. He then turned around stood there.
"Come on, Kimmy," suggested Max, "The 'jumble' gym's fine."
Taller than Max at the time, Kimmy stretched her arms and held the bar beside her friend's feet. Her left knee stepped on the lower bar and her right foot landed on the same one. Soon, she was standing right next to Max.
"Could you climb higher?"
"Uh, yeah." Max was a little unsure. He had never went that high up, but wanted to impress his friend.
Kimmy grabbed a higher bar with her right hand and climbed up a line backwards. Max turned around and went up. The jungle gym was a five by four square box. A cage at the top was three by three and was in the center. Kimmy made it to the top with relative ease and sat there.
Max made it to the fourth line of bars. Looking down, he decided not to try to crawl across the big, four-sided holes to get to the uppermost part where Kimmy was sitting.
In reality, Max was now sitting at the on the second row with his head poking out of the four-sided gap.
"Hmmm?" Kimmy was sitting next to him.
"The swings are empty, now. Could we ride them?"
The two climbed down the jungle gym and ran to the swings.
"I'll push you first," offered Max.
"Thanks." When Kimmy sat down on a red seat, Max put two hands on her back and pushed with all his strength, running as he did. Kimmy went upwards, stretching her legs out, then came back down. The boy shoved harder, sending her higher. This went on several times. "Wanna swing now?"
Kimmy left the swing and let Max on.
Kimmy pushed Max repeatedly, sending him higher and higher.
"Can we play Frisbee?" Kimmy requested, holding onto Max's shoulders and stopping him.
"Sure," replied Max.
Max got into the driver's seat of his jeep. Kimmy got in and Max drove them to a large, grassy area. There were more people in the area, but they were yards apart. He then pulled his light blue Frisbee from the floor of the jeep.
Kimmy walked several yards away and turned around.
"Ready?" Max called.
Max tossed his Frisbee upwards in his friend's direction.
It went significantly lower when it reached Kimmy, but she caught it with both hands before it could pass her right side. The girl threw it back to Max.
Max tried to catch it with his left hand, but it went about an inch too high for him. He turned to pick it up, then tossed it back.
The couple threw the disc back and forth for a while, catching or missing.
Carrying the disc, Kimmy walked up to her friend.
"Wanna look at the clouds?" she asked, giving Max his Frisbee.
The kids laid down. On their backs, they rested their heads in the palms of their hands.
"That one looks like a tug boat," Kimmy noted, pointing at a fairly small cloud that had an arched bottom and a somewhat thin top.
"That looks like a white ice cream," Max said, looking at a large cloud that was round on top and had an arched end.
The boy then looked at Kimmy, who was watching the white clouds drift to the sides.
Max was wearing an orange tanktop with khaki shorts and black sneakers. Kimmy was wearing a yellow tanktop with yellow shorts and white saltwater sandals. They dipped their green and yellow wands into their small bottles of soap and water.
First, Max blew into his wand. A fleet of little bubbles raced out of the ridged, green ring. He counted as many as he could before they could burst. In total, he spotted fourteen.
"My go," announced Kimmy. She blew thirteen bubbles, not including the ones that popped too soon.
The two continued to count how many bubbles they could blow until Max won the fifth and final game, 32-30.
"Ha-ha, I win!" Max said in his typical triumphant tone.
Kimmy shrugged, then dipped her wand back into her bubble mix. Then, she pulled it out and gently blew some at Max, hitting his torso and leaving small wet spots in his shirt.
Max giggled and blew a line of bubbles at Kimmy, which rapidly bumped into her chest and chin.
Kimmy then slowly blew into the wand, creating a lone, big one. This bubble wiggled from spherical, to cylindrical, to spherical before them.
Max, being Max, poked it too hard, making it burst and splash its drops on him and her.
"We've had some really good times together, Max," Kimmy said as if reading the boy's mind.
"Yeah," Max replied, still looking into the sky. "I wish today didn't have to end. It's been fun so far."
They laid there for several more minutes.
Max pulled up the sleeve of his jacket, revealing a black watch. The watch was mostly black, with a green, rectangular screen for its black digits.
"It's almost 4:00," he noted. "Let's go play some games at my house."
Both of them hopped into the jeep and Kimmy drove home.
When they were in Max's room, he stacked up all of his games and laid them on the floor, where they were sitting.
"Let's play Elefun first," said Kimmy.
Elefun was a toy blue elephant who shot butterflies from his upward-pointing trunk.
Max had a green net and Kimmy had the yellow. They ran all over the place, either catching their butterflies in the air or picking them up from the floor.
Next was Connect Four.
Max was red, Kimmy was black. Sometimes, they would be interrupted by the bottom being set in the wrong spot, therefore collapsing the checkers in mid-game.
The duo had a great time playing even more games, such as Clue Jr. and Mouse Trap. Hours had passed due to the longevity of some games, and the fact that Max had seven of them.
After playing through all the games, Kimmy decided that she wanted to play with the Legos. Max fetched his bucket from the closet and dumped all of his Legos onto the floor. They hit the wooden floor with a loud sound similar to glass breaking. The kids dug in and began to work on a house.
Eventually, they created a 'brick' house. The house was made of eight horizontal rows of multicolored Lego bricks. Some uneven, square holes were left for windows. The roof and floor was actually several flat black, gray, and red pieces.
"Someday, we'll have our own house like this," Kimmy stated.
"Yeah. One day." He pulled a portion of the roof off.
"Wait! Why don't you leave it like that? You could put it somewhere. So you can remember me with it."
"That's a great idea."
The boy pressed the rectangular piece back into the colorful bricks. Then he stood to look around the room. He walked over to the dresser and raised himself on tip-toes, trying to put it on top.
"Somewhere where it won't break, Max," Kimmy insisted, rolling her eyes.
Max chuckled a little and searched for another space with his eyes. Kneeling down, he put it into the brown TV stand, just below his TV.
"I'll never tear it down," Max said, arising. "I'll keep our house forever."
"Mommy, could you make us some popcorn?" Max asked.
Patricia was lounging on the couch, watching TV. Today, she was wearing a knee-length, white shirt. She waved a hand, motioning Max and Kimmy to leave.
They did, and after about ten minutes, Patricia joined them in the kitchen. Max had already retrieved the popcorn pan and put it on the counter.
Patricia turned the oven knob and put the pan on top of the purple fire.
"Don't touch this popcorn, Max," she warned sternly, pointing at it. "When it's ready, let me know and I'll get it."
Patricia left just in time to see the end of the final commercial.
Max looked at his guest just as she finished wiping a tear from her eye. As hard as he tried to block out his friend's inevitable leave the next day, he found it near impossible. It didn't help to see Kimmy -- the girl who rarely cried in front of him -- cry so many times since they heard the news. He wished he knew how to get her to smile again.
Suddenly, he no longer had to worry about cheering her up.
Kimmy immediately glanced at the oven.
*Pop* *Pop* *Pop*
A half smile came to the girl's face. She looked at Max.
The boy was looking at the popcorn pan with glee. This always was his "favoritest" part of popcorn. More so than eating it.
"It's happening, it's happening!" Max giggled, literally bouncing in his seat.
Max grabbed Kimmy's hand off the table and left his chair. He then ran to the doorway of the kitchen, bringing Kimmy along. The girl laughed out loud when he turned around and practically dragged her back to the table. Again and again, the kids ran to the end of the room and back, howling in amusement while the kernel made noise.
The thought of the tomorrow was completely lost.
At 5:30, Max and Kimmy sat on the edge of his mattress with their clear bowl of popcorn and cups of cherry Hi-C. From there, they watched Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Doug, and Rugrats. When the commercials were on, they would play with toys. They never left each other's side, other than to go to the bathroom. After that, the Snick opening aired.
"I wanna watch TV from on that couch," said Max, referring to Snick's orange mascot.
Kenan & Kel aired at 8:00. Both kids agreed that it was the best Snick show. At 8:30, All That was on. Max and Kimmy sang the theme song together.
"Mr. Bailey from 'Good Burger' is Angus from the Kenan & Kel show we just saw," Kimmy noted when the aforementioned sketch was over.
Next, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo replaced All That. Max thought it was boring, but watched it so he wouldn't miss the next show. Finally, Kablam! showed. The "He's super strong... and super naked" narrative for The Flesh in Action League Now! cracked Max up.
When Snick was over, the boy and girl decided to sleep in Max's tent. After changing into his Power Rangers PJs and her yellow Disney Princess PJs, Max opened the tent and let Kimmy crawl in first. Inside, two green-sheeted pillows laid side to side. She rested her head on the left pillow. He flipped the light switch, leaving a nightlight to keep the room lit. Then he made his way into the tent and laid down.
Kimmy could hear several sniffles next to her. Occasionally, a soft gasp or whimper would sound.
"This really was a fun day, Max," she declared, now facing her friend. "I had a really good time today. I always have so much fun with you."
"M-me, too," Max sniffled. His head was propped onto his hand. Tears fell onto his pillow, though it was too dark for Kimmy to see them. "It-won't-be-the... same when y-you leave to-tom-tomorrow."
"Yeah. You're the bestest friend I ever had."
"You're the coolest girl in the whole wide world. *hic*"
"I'm really scared of moving. You won't fall in love with somebody else, will you?"
Kimmy scooted closer, prompting Max to sit up. Their arms wrapped around each other in a tight embrace.
"I hope Max gets here soon, Mickey," Kimmy told her toy. "We'll be leaving any minute."
It was 3:32 in the afternoon on the big day.
Kimmy was standing in the center of her empty room, dangling Mickey by his left wrist with her right hand, and looking at the big difference. Underneath her unzipped, orange coat, she was wearing a yellow shirt. Also, she had blue jeans and white sneakers.
There was nothing left in the room; the bare floor was light brown and the room looked much larger without the furniture or cardboard boxes.
Max rushed in through the open door, wearing a gray coat with jeans and black Skechers.
The boy had his hand behind his back.
Kimmy had already been looking at the door when he arrived.
"I got you something to remember me by. Mommy brought it."
His right hand appeared from behind his back, holding a foot-tall teddy bear. Its black eyes and nose were shiny, and its fur was light brown. It also had a pair of white paws and ears, and a white snout and stomach. A green ribbon was tied around its neck.
Kimmy's eyes lit up and her jaw dropped when she saw it. Setting her Mickey Mouse on the floor, she took the teddy.
"Ooh, thank you, Max! It's so cute." She kissed Max on the cheek, then hugged the bear tightly. Kneeling down, she said to Mickey: "Take a look, Mickey, you got a new friend." She looked at Max and asked, "Does the bear have a name?"
"No. I don't think so."
Kimmy stood with both toys in her hands.
"Hmm... well, I'll name it... Little Max."
"Little Max?" the boy snickered.
"Yeah," Kimmy smirked.
Their laughter slowed to a stop and they gazed into each other's eyes.
"I really, really wish you weren't moving away," he said, smile fading. "I'm gonna miss you so much."
"I'll miss you, too," she said, forcing a smile.
Max's eyes were getting watery and a tear slowly fell out, leaving a wet trail along his right cheek before dotting the wooden floor.
Kimmy knew she had to be strong for her younger friend. She decided to humor him.
"I'll miss you... this much!" she exclaimed, holding her arms out as wide as she could.
"And I'll miss you... this much!"
Due to Max's growth to Kimmy's current height, their arms were stretched to the same length. They both leaned forward slowly and hugged.
Karen knocked on the door, making the children turn their attention to her. She was wearing her leather jacket with a blue pair of jeans and some black boots.
"Oh, hi, Max," she said. Max returned the greeting. "Kimmy, our cab's here," she said.
"Okay, mom," said Kimmy, letting Max go.
Karen walked out of the room and the kids walked out afterward, hand in hand. They followed her outside, to the windy December air. She kept walking toward the green and white cab, but Max and Kimmy stopped at the front door and watched her.
The two of them stood there, neither wanting to let the other one go.
"I'll call you when I get to my new house," Kimmy said, turning to face Max and hold both of his hands.
"Promise?" asked Max. All of their fingers were laced together in front of them.
"Promise." Their faces leaned forward until her chin was on his left shoulder. Her arms wrapped around him and he hugged her back. "I love you," she sniffled with tears starting to roll down her cheeks.
"Love you, too, Kimmy," he said, in a mixture of sadness and surprise. He gave her a short kiss on the lips. "Bye."
Kimmy walked down the path, to the cab and got into the back seat. Looking out the closed window, she stared at Max and her former apartment building.
Max stood there until the taxi was out of his sight. Sulking, he walked upstairs to his apartment and went to his room. Gently weeping, he thought about all the time they spent together and how much fun they had. From the simple things such as the way Kimmy's eyes enlarged just before she laughed, to events such as their first kiss. He thought about how shy he was when they attempted it and how natural it became to call her his girlfriend. How eager he was for every night to end so he could play with her the next day.
Now miles away from the building, Kimmy was thinking the same things. She stayed quiet through the whole trip to the airport. All she could think about was Max. His silly demeanor. His tendency to 'ha-ha' when he got the upper hand at something. The way he seemed to know exactly how to make a bad day fun. Already, she felt lonely. She reminded herself to call him as soon as the phone lines get connected.