"Hey...do you fancy getting hitched?"
"...erm...why not? I haven't got much else planned although I am going to the cinema next week."
"How about the week after that?"
"I'll be washing me hair"
"I don't want to make you feel rushed or anything."
"No, no, it's not that it's just..."
"I know I'm being a bit forward and this may not have been the proposal that you've always dreampt of but if you agree to be my wife then I promise you the most beautiful wedding and a more beautiful life."
Well, I said, "I guess I'll think about it" I owe him at least that. He was always a sweet boy, I've known him practically forever. He was my best friend growing up, you know, the kind words on the other side of the phone, the open arms whenever I needed to be held, the smile to waft away the grey of my day.
We became friends in reception. I was five, he was four...we were colouring dinosaurs. He told me that mine must have been ill because I'd gone and coloured him in green. I smirk now, writing this, but at the time?
"He's not ill."
"I'm just saying he looks a bit ill."
"Dinsaurs can be green."
" You mean, the they could be green. They're extic now."
"You're wrong. You mean extinct...idiot.
"At least mine's the right colour."
We both remained very loyal to our own ideas being correct but our debate was brought to an end by the mouse who thought that she had some kind of actual authority over us. She was the class teacher. She's probably no taller than I am now, but she was a goliath mouse if I ever I'd seen one in reception. She sat us down together and squeaked an offering of cheese. Well, she didn't really but that's what I remember thinking would have happened. I told him exactly that. He remained stoney-faced in meeting with my remark...ever so mature as he was but it was he who suggested to me that the two of us bought her a wheel of edam for Christmas.
We bought the cheese...I somehow don't think that she was impressed... he'd taken it from his fridge that morning but we didn't give it to her until the end of school. It had sat in his school bag all day. Next to the radiator. Yum. Both of our mums were sent letters about our inappropriate behaviour.
We were bad, but dang was it good.
I loved those days. The hardest thing that happened was working out the difference between 12 and 21...and I don't mean the mathematical difference, I mean that I struggled to remember which way around the 1 and the 2 belonged. To be honest, my maths isn't a lot better than it was then but that's neither here nor there. If I ever felt that the world was ending then a hot chocolate and one of Mum's cookies would make me feel better. I'd be enemies with the plait-headed blonde one day but back to galloping around the playground with skipping ropes acting like horses with her the next. I loved those days, they were simple.
Junior school was a little harder, not quite adolescent so you can't blame hormones and no longer too young to understand why it's not wise to break all of the tedious rules of school. Not to mention the fact that boys weren't supposed to be friends with girls. Oh no, that was absolutely forbidden. Anyone found to break such a law would be cast out from society...or at least from the cool group anyway. But that was alright. We didn't need anyone else. It was him and me, me and him fighting crime and evil spies and ridding the world of the nasty, invisible entity known as Mr. Nobody. We pushed aside any of the kids trying to be our friends; as far as we were aware, they may have been Mr. Nobody's sympathisers. We were perfectly happy and content to play our silly little games because they were simple and fun. We'd have been so smart to have kept things that way...simple and fun.
Our teen years eventually reared their acne-ridden heads and gawked at us until we accepted that they were now us and not mere reflections. An acceptance that raised so many more unwanted pressures to face. I had to wear a bra and come to terms with my monthly doom...uh huh, I began my periods. It was difficult, battling with the woman that I was turning into. I was growing breasts and my womb was now requesting its acknowledgement. All of my childhood, I'd been one of the guys, a real tomboy. Now? Boys were looking at me.
He never did though.
And I didn't look at him either. We dated. Other people obviously. Our friendship circles widened and we took time apart from each other. I gossiped about boys with my girlie mates and he talked about whatever it is that horny teenage boys discuss with each other...a lovely thought, I'm sure you'll agree. But when we were together none of those trivialities bothered us. No amount of flower petals falling, calling "he loves me, he loves me not" could get to me when I was with him. I was fiveyears old again. Things were good. Simple and fun.