We had been friends for about a year and a half — since we were toddlers. Our parents took us out ”Coal-piecein” last Halloween and since then, we saw each other every day. On Sunday it was Bible Stories.
Now we were on the spot under the Willow tree where we sat together and talked about stuff.
“I don’t know why you’re leavin’.” She was almost crying.
“I don’t know why we hafta leave…I could keep goin’ to school here.”
I felt like I should be cryin’. I know my face was sad. I felt really, really sad.
“I don’t know why you’re leavin’,” she repeated. It looked like she would just keep sayin’ it. She might not be able to think of anything else.
“Mommy said we’re movin’ into a bigger house. Bigger than here. Has more bedrooms.”
I was tryin’ to make it sound bad.
“Well, how many?”
Good, she’ll be able to talk them out of it. The bedrooms won’t matter. She is more forceful than me. Though, some of the time, I just let her.
“Three, I think.” Still bad. “Camden, is where the new house is.”
She was really soundin’ grown-up, now.
“Where’s Camden? Do we know where it is? Is it far?”
All things we didn’t know. I did know my new school is there.
“My new school is there. The school is St. Joe’s. It’s Catholic. Mommy says we’re Catholic.”
I could tell by the way she was sayin’ Catholic, it was not familiar to her. She was not gonna be any help with this.
“Mommy says we leave tomorrow on a bus. Me and her.”
“When Paulie left, the bible story class had a little party for him. They had ice cream in those little cups.”
She had some interesting information.
Mommy says we’ll go to the bible story room tomorrow before we get the bus.”
“Those little ice cream cups have pictures of movie stars and cowboys, on the lids. You have to lick the ice cream off to see their faces.”
This was good. I had a few of those lids in my room. My collection now was about two or three.
“Johnny, did you think we would get married?”
She had changed the subject.
“I wanted to. We…we still can. I…I hope we can. Mommy’s 25. I think Daddy and her were about 20 when they got married.”
“My mommy’s 22, I think. Daddy too.”
It was just too out of reach for our pea brains. The concept of the ages was beyond our understanding, but the feeling of wanting to be together — now and in the future — was real as could be.
We were struggling, exasperated with solving this in the next few minutes…before we’re called for nappy-time.