Moving at such a vital age in the middle of a school year isn't easy for anyone.
My mother dropped me off early, and I was the first one in the room, talking to my teacher, finding my seat.
The bell rang, and I frightfully anticipated the other students' arrivals. They all knew each other, and I didn't know a single one of them.
They all walked in, and took their seats. The boy with black hair sat down across from me, and gave me a cheeser smile.
"HEY! You're my neighbor!" I gave him a closer look, and realized that he was, indeed, my neighbor. I had seen him on his front lawn the day before.
I was unsure as to how I should react to his startling comment, so I gave him the face that meant, "Duh. You idiot." And then, I think I said, "Duh. You idiot."
I was a very rude and blunt child... You can expect nothing else from us Southern Bells.
As everyone was getting settled, my teacher pulled me to the front of the class, and had me introduce myself.
I stood at the front of the room, trying to maintain my composure as 40 little fourth-grade eyes blankly stared at me.
In the middle of my introduction speech, he yelled out, "Why does she talk so funny?!"
Aside from myself, everyone was laughing. Even the teacher.
My southern accent was shorly thereafter diminished.
And that's when it began.
It was war.
And, to tell you the truth, it still is.
And it always will be.
Because that's who we are.
He holds me when I'm sad.
He holds me when I'm happy.
He comes over at 4 in the morning to squish spiders on my wall.
We go for months without speaking, but we always seem to pick right back up where it is we left off.
He's my very best friend in the entire world, and I couldn't even tell you why.
Perhaps it's because we'll always be those 9 year old kids that we were when we met.
We hold hands for no reason, and talk for hours about pointless things.
I call him to hear his voice when it's been a while.
I'm not in love with him. But he's surely the first boy I ever loved.
I mean really loved. Like, I'd give my life for his happiness.
I loved him at 9 years old. That was half-my-life-ago. And he's still here.
Don't you think that's a sign?
He's always preoccupied with other girls, and I'm preoccupied with other boys.
And that's the way things are.
But my mother is convinced that I'll marry the man. And, between you and I, I'm convinced she's right.
He's two doors down, but sometimes it seems like a million miles away.
No matter the distance, I will love him forever.
We almost kissed once. A few years ago.
Our noses were touching, and the moment was perfect.
And then I chickened.
He was my first almost-kiss.
But, I like to think that he will be my last real one.
I drew you some pictures of us:
|^Us, age 9.|