Chapter 19: Memories Don't Live Like People Do
“Saphyre?” Gia calls to me, I turn around to face her still bunched up in Kevin’s grip, “Are you okay?”
I nod with a fake smile, “Yeah, I just need a second.”
The boys pay me no mind, not even Trey. Fortunate enough for me, I just seem like my normal secluded self.
Always disappearing from a crowded area. Their obnoxious voices fade out as I travel further and further up the stairs to my room. There’s this picture book I used to look at a lot whenever I was feeling down and out of sorts.
My friends, Kaisha, Gia and I made it when we were in 3rd grade. Despite our age we created a pretty large book. They ordered me to take care of it because I was the most organized out of the three of us.
We used to be so close, then when Kaisha left it was just Gia and I. Of course, that changed nothing, except for the fact that I tried to start distancing myself from her. I pull the book from under my bed. It’s pretty dusty, I haven’t looked at it since my freshman year. It’s purple cover is almost torn but with some clear tape it should be good as new. We didn’t want it to be like any other picture book but more like a keepsake. With that particular thought it mind, we placed small artifacts that we found together inside of the pages, sometimes we even played with mãe’s make up and kissed the corners of them. It took us ages to come up with the title. The three of us were too witty to call it a photo book or a scrapbook. We wanted it to be special, a one of a kind treasure, and something that would speak to the heart. So one afternoon, in Kaisha’s creepy attic we decided what it would be.
I took a seat in my regular chair, the small red one with a once white, now brown dusty cushion. Kaisha went digging through the drawer of her art supplies, almost knocking over her mini easel. Her art was pretty good for her age, once she even was awarded a prize for one of her portraits from this competition that the Chicago Art Institute held for the elementary. Hence her nickname, Vinci.
“Careful, Vinci you’re gonna ruin your pretty picture!” I said reaching out subconsciously towards her.
Kaisha ducked her head and hunched her back under the ceiling. The attic was pretty crowded; full of boxes, dust coating the air, and old furniture pieces like lamps, small toys, a box TV and even a couch to name a few. We always sat on the couch when it was time for best friend meetings and sometimes we’d even catch ourselves sleeping on it.
Gia positioned herself on her her yellow chair, “Ya know, this attic is cool and all, but I still think we should build a tree house.”
“Nonsense, girl!” Kaisha moved away from the drawers with a black marker and yellow glitter glue in one hand and the picture book in the other. “Only boys make tree houses.”
Gia scoffed, “Not True!!”
I nodded my head, “And so what, we can have Aster and Xander do it.”
“Those lunkheads will kill each other with the tools to make it, they can’t be trusted by themselves.” Gia’s arms were still tightly crossed with her best pouty face.
Kaisha took a seat in a very squeaky tan metal chair, also covered by a dusty cushion. “Besides where would we place the house anyway, the trees out here are all dead.”
Gia made a smirk to agree with Kaisha’s valid point. All of the trees here are planted on the sidewalks and there isn’t a branch in sight in either of our backyards. Kaisha smiled then passed me the black marker and Gia the glitter.
“Until we can come up with another clubhouse, the attic is where we’ll stay,” She faced me, “But maybe try convincing Aster to help us clean it up again?”
Gia snickered, “Yeah because he listens to everything you say, Saph.”
My face ran hot, they always teased me about Aster. They noticed strange things I didn’t and would always point it out to me when the three of us were alone. “Stop it.”
Kaisha laughed and wiped the book off, “It’s not our fault that your soul mate does anything you ask.”
I tossed the marker at Kaisha’s forehead. She ducked a second too late only to be clunked at the top of her head, “You two are impossible, can we get on with it?”
They still haven’t stopped laughing, “Yeah, yeah fine you’re no fun, okay so about this title-”
“Let’s make it the Dream Girls!” Gia announced lifting her marker in the air.
Kaisha and I made a disapproving sound, “Nah, something that includes the boys too, we can’t leave Xander and Aster out,” Kaisha thumbed her fingers through the laminated pages.
Gia’s wheels in her head started twirling once more. This whole title thing has been dragging on for weeks. I say we should’ve just called it a picture book and squashed the matter. Yet, Kaisha was adamant to give it a meaningful title.
“Nothing will be on this cover but our names and the title so it has to be good!” Kaisha handed the book to Gia, “Oh yeah, if you guys brought any pictures with you today put them in the slots in date order.”
“And by that you mean chronological,” I corrected pulling my printed pictures out of my bag, a solid object knocked into the side of my cheek, “Ow!”
Kaisha chuckled, “Payback, and yes I meant chronological, I’m working on my vocabulary,” She peaked her head in Gia’s direction, “Watchu got?”
Gia held up 2 pictures, “This one is of Xander and I playing at the beach,” She then held up the second one, “And this, of course is my favorite, of us when we all went to Pandora to get our very own best friend charms!” The photo showed 3 wrists; one dark brown, one a flushed olive tone, and mine a light cream shade wearing a pink and silver plated charm bracelets.
Last Sunday, our moms surprised the three of us with a trip to the mall for a girls day out. We bought clothes, got our ears pierced which hurt like hell and then took an unexpected stop at Pandora. I think that was the clerks very first time hearing three 11 year old girls scream that loud. And even now, we haven’t taken the bracelets off yet.
Kaisha threw her wrist out in front of her and shook it obnoxiously, “Best. Day. Ever!”
Gia did the same and then their eyes were on me.
“Well, what about you, Saphy?” That was Kaisha’s nickname for me.
I took the book from Gia once she finished with her pictures and then held mine up, “This one is from last Saturday where Aster and my family and I went to the park.” I flipped to the next picture, “This is all of our families at the dinner table playing board games.”
“I look like I’m about to fall out of my chair in that picture let me see!” Kaisha snatched the picture with eager hands. Gia also moved her chair closer to Kaisha. They studied it for a while and made a noise you would to a newborn.
I cleared my throat for their attention, it’s often that I had to do that for those two, “Aster and I were sleeping on the couch in this picture, it was a boring musical on TV and it made both of us tired.”
Kaisha and Gia took the picture trading me with the one Kaisha grabbed earlier, “Now I like this one,” Kaisha said to Gia.
“I think you two are gonna get married when you grow up.” Gia handed the picture back to me with flushed cheeks.
My face went warm and an inevitable smile spread across my face, “Stop teasing me, every picture is worth a thousand words but ‘married’ is not one of them!” Kaisha and Gia laughed and gave the picture back to me.
Then the room went awkwardly quiet.
“Hey guys, I think I have the title,” Kaisha put her fist under her chin, “Saph, how do you say a thousand in Portuguese.” Kaisha is from Great Britain so whenever she said ‘Portuguese’ I laughed a little on the inside.
I searched for the word in my head, “I am pretty sure it’s mil.”
She nodded and took the permanent marker from my grip. I wondered why she had asked that particular question but she loved to surprise. Even if it was the smallest thing, she aimed to please based on the presentation rather than the object.
It’s what made Kaisha-well Kaisha. Gia was the more ‘I’m for everything’ kind of girl. Anything that didn’t involve reading, or being productive she was there. Me on the other hand was her polar opposite, but it’s that very thing that kept us together.
“Viola!” Kaisha spun the book towards Gia and I, “How’s that?”
I was speechless.