To: You, From: Me

October 25, 2009
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You were the last piece of the puzzle for my tiny five-year-old-heart.
Even from that very first day your
moving van turned down my road,
and before you had become my all
time favorite neighbor, you had me

Mommy told me to go and play with
my brand new neighbor. The thing is,
I didn’t want to share my precious,
precious toys, or let such an icky, icky
boy play with me. So I pressed my
diminutive spine against the door. My
bones and skin and blood all worked
together as one force to keep the
cooties out of my room. But then. You
took my tiny hand, and led me away,
to go play with your legos, you said.
Sharing is just the first thing you
taught me. You taught me how
to recreate war scenes with action
figures. You taught me how to fold
a napkin into a star. You taught me
to respect elders, to be a good friend,
to not blow your nose at the dinner
table. You were there for my first day
of grade one, my first time testing out
traditional German food, deliciously
supplied by your mom. You were my
timid first kiss, my first best friend.
Then, your parents got divorced
and I haven’t seen you since.
And although now I wouldn’t know who you are
if I smacked into you on the street, although I have forgotten your
last name and I don’t know if you still have your Harry Potter eyes and dark chocolate hair, although my remaining memories of you are slipping through my fingers like a million tiny grains of sand, I still have all that you have taught me. Especially one that I have only recently figured out and has gone unmentioned so far. The reason is that unlike all your other lessons, this final lesson is
melancholic with a touch of bitterness:
Childhood happiness never lasts.

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