Thursday, January 16, 2014

Red Fireman Boots, Yellow Fireman Jacket

"I still have them, you know." 

It was nine years following the boots and the jacket, a choice six minutes still remembered from fast-fading kindergarten days. I hadn't really talked to Jean* that much in kindergarten except for the last day on the "little" swings before he transferred to a Montessori school. I saw him once in the fifth grade and we were just as good friends as we had been on that one morning. Middle school arrived shortly, and he and I remained very close friends, sharing lunch money and jokes.

As it happened, my best friend became his loving girlfriend.

"She's got her firefighting jacket on," my dad chuckled, watching me swing back and forth, hunched in retaliation to the spring nip in the air.
"Ha! He's got his fireman boots!" Jean's mother exclaimed, her voice thick with a French accent. I looked to Jean and giggled, as did he. We exchanged a few lines of conversation that I've long forgotten.
"Hey!" I called out in my cracking seventh-grade voice, "Jean!" Today, he admitted that he didn't know who I was for some time and I appeared as just some overly friendly person. It soon became obvious that we had been friends. Seventh grade English was spent through grammar wars. 
"I still have them." I sleepily glared up from my computer. "I found them while looking for my tie in the closet." Lily scoffs beside him, laughing and leaning in closer. My mouth drops, and she is confused.

"You...still have them," I repeat, then collecting myself. "Of course you do."

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