I met her on the first day of fifth grade. Almost five years ago, we stood one person away from each other, never knowing how close we’d become. We sat in a field oblivious that she was soon to be number nine, and I would become number ten.
I don’t know when Nora and I became more than consecutive numbers. I couldn’t tell the day our friendship began if I was ever asked. We don’t have a “friendship anniversary.” The exact date is just a trivial detail. It doesn’t matter when she came into my life, it matters that she stayed.
Even when we were split apart at the end of our sixth-grade year at Goodwillie, we remained in touch. Sure, we didn’t talk as often as we should’ve, but we did speak occasionally. We hung out at least once a summer and talked around once every one or two months. She became the person I could tell everything to; I became the one she could tell anything to. Telling each other about things that seemed like colossal events at the time was our love language. We stuck together by ranting about the lives that we couldn’t be a part of for each other.
Now, she is a part of my life that I will always keep. We’ve grown back together. Now, our once-monthly chats have turned into one or two times a week conversations. Our present times have once more included each other. Our futures will remain entangled.
She is my lifeboat; she is the only thing keeping me afloat.
Nora is the sun, the moon, and the stars; she is always there for me at every time of day.
Personal goals have been shared. Not told, but shared. She will remain in my goals, and I hope I will remain in hers. A few weeks ago, we talked about what we might major in going into college. We both dream of the same thing. We spent a Sunday afternoon in hammocks in her neighborhood’s park talking about political science. We create probably unattainable goals of running for office in 2044. We reminisce about our past, and I think to myself of how odd it is that I am discovering a side of my friend that I never knew of. I always knew she would be in my past, but I can’t wait for her in my future.
No matter where our lives leave us, she will always be the number nine to my ten.