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Old Friends

Zander Shallow'23

My house while growing up in Pennsylvania was not in a neighborhood. In fact, my only neighbors were older adults; on one side, they were in their early 70's and on the other, their late 50's. However, if you walked through my backyard, you would be able to enter a neighborhood. This neighborhood was full of kids who went to the elementary school I, and my siblings, went to. We went trick-or-treating in this neighborhood, went on runs, and long family walks.

When I went into 5th grade, I met this girl named Jackie. She had moved from Singapore to America and was on my bus to school each morning. We instantly clicked, along with my old friend Chelsea, who I had known since kindergarten. The three of us would sit together on the bus, play together on the playground, and hang out with one another on the weekends.

Jackie and Chelsea both lived in the neighborhood behind me. Specifically, Jackie lived two houses behind me. If I were to walk past our garden and into a small woods, I would be able to come out on the other side and be in her backyard. I can remember when we jumped on her trampoline and competed with one another to see who could go higher. Or the day we did a very bizarre science experiment that involved burying a plastic bag that had water and food dye; I am not sure what we expected the outcome of this to be, but kids will be kids I guess.

Now, as a Freshman, I have not spoken to her since I left that school district for Germantown Academy after elementary school. No bad blood or poor memories, we simply grew apart. Though we no longer speak, I am glad to have the memories I do from being close with her and, before recently moving houses, I was happy to be able to look across my backyard and remember the days where life was not so complicated and when we could be kids that had no cares in the world.

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