You remember the first time you walked into the kindergarten classroom. A young child, you were toddling your way toward the brightly colored bricks as your mother spoke with the teacher. They talked all about how hard it was for her to leave you there, and the teacher understood completely because she had seen this year after year.
As your mom kneeled down and gave you a warm hug, you started to cry a little bit because you didn’t want her to leave, but she waved to you and walked out the door with a slight smile because she knew her staying would do more harm than good. You watched her hair disappear through the window of the door, and you felt yourself cry and cry and cry. You couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down your cheeks, and before the teacher could come over to console you, another young child came over to you and held out their hand.
There, nestled within their palm, was a bright, red brick that they were holding out to you. You stopped crying simply to look up and down this person, who smiled back with missing teeth in the front.
“Want to play with the blocks?” they asked. You nodded because you didn’t know what else to say, but before you could really process anything, they grabbed you by the hand and walked you over to a large, clear bin filled with tons of blocks. There were reds, yellows, blues, greens, pinks, whites, blacks, and oranges. You two sat on the soft carpet together that morning and made patterns together, alternating between the colors.
At the end of the day, the child looked at you and said, “you’re my best friend”, and that was that. From then on, you were glued at the side of this other child.
In first grade, you both got the same answers on a test and got the same score, and you thought for a little bit that you guys might be psychic. In second grade, you both ran across the woodchips toward the swings at recess, and you swayed lazily in the wind as you laughed at how high off the ground you could get. In third grade, you made fun of them for getting a boyfriend, but when you saw that it felt their feelings, you apologized. In fourth grade, you were sorted into different classes that would come together for a few periods, and you loved it. In fifth grade, they came over to your house to play video games, and you let them win because you knew they were always so mad when they lost. In sixth grade, you both graduated from grammar school, and you were excited for middle school.
In seventh grade, you were sorted into different teams, and you only ever saw each other in the hallways momentarily, but you had the same lunch period. In eighth grade, you both fought over the same boy that you liked before realizing that you’d rather go to Homecoming dance with each other than bring along somebody else.
Freshman year of high school, you both made sure that you had at least two classes together, but by sophomore year, you guys had lunch together and would drive to school together. In junior year, you got in trouble for helping your friend cheat on a math test because they were afraid they were going to fail, and you had an affinity for math. In senior year, you both cried and hugged each other on the stage as you got your diplomas, and you both feared that the summer after would end before you knew it because you were both going to colleges states apart.
During the college, you texted each other as much as possible, but you had found new friends, new states, new ways to be yourself, and new personalities to surround yourself with. You felt guilty, but you knew they were doing the same thing too, but then when they came to visit your school and stayed with you in the dorms, you saw that some things never change as you both laughed about the same people on campus, and they clicked with your friends instantly.
When you both graduated college, you both moved back to your hometown, and on your birthday, you were given the best gift of all. You unwrapped the gift to find series of images edited together from each grade with them, and you started to tear up. On the picture were words that described how good of a friend you are and how you’ll always be their best friend.
You asked them how they did this, and they told you all about photo-to-text, explaining that it was a lot easier than it looks. In fact, they had three different canvas sizes to choose from! The gift was also convenient as they just uploaded the image and added the words. Now, in your hands, you held a ready-to-hang, precious gift.
You both looked at the picture and reminisced about the times you both had spent growing up together, and you wanted to know if they were seeing anyone. They both talked about how they were so grateful that on that first day of kindergarten, you met each other because you could never imagine your life without them. You laughed. You cried. You hugged.
As you both smiled at each other and started telling each other about everything that had happened in between the last time you had seen each other, you couldn’t help but wonder: “What more could you ask for from a best friend?”