Opening my locker i grab my P.E. kit and brush my hair in long vigorous strokes with my wooden handled silver tipped brush as i face the mirror i hang on my locker door. As i do, my eyes spy the two pictures above it and grin. The first one is an old picture frayed on the sides but laminated to save it from falling into tatters.
* * * * *
The year is 1991 and the grass was freshly cut last saturday. I sit impatiently in my plastic cinderella chair as my friend is obviously late. Then i hear the inconspicuous know on the door and mrs. Takahashi's sorry tone for being late. "mushi mushi". I hear little footsteps run around the living room, through the kitchen and then out into the backyard. But something is wrong; little me knows that. Cole is here; but why is his face so sad? Why is he holding a plastic bag with Danny - the gold fish - in it? Slowly he walks towards me in his kingkow overalls with a Lakers hat on his head (even then!) and Michael Jordan Nikes on his feet.
Sitting down next to me he lifts his tear-stained face and tells me with extreme seriousness in his child like eyes,
"Danny died today - i don't want that to happen to you Julie - i don't want you to die."
Impulsively he kisses me and my mum creeps up behind us and takes the picture - capturing the moment.
* * * * *
The other picture is of him and me standing proudly in front of the football pitch grinning with our arms around the other, in that 'buddy-like' fashion.