This book may include cussing**
This chapter is more like a piece of backstory information so you can skip this chapter if you want.
This is a short story based on my best friend, Echo, and I.
I moved to a new town right after second grade ended for me. I met Echo in summer school at my new school. All the teachers were lined up with students sitting on the ground in a line in front of them. Each teacher had a clipboard and a paper with a list of the names of all the students in their class. We got told to go to each teacher and tell them our names. They would scan the list and tell us if we were in their class or not. If we weren't, then we'd go to the next teacher and repeat the process. How Echo and I met because we'd both gone to every teacher, and none of them had either of our names on them.
The principal told us to "Wait here." while she talked to the office. Echo looked at me and said, "Hello."
I whispered back, "Hi." Echo then started talking about a lot of random things until she came back to get us. We both followed her to the office and they put us in a random class. Since we both got the same class, we walked together down to the room.
After summer school ended, however, Echo got a different class than me. They got put in a 3rd grade and 4th grade split class. The smart class. Echo was smart, they got to learn 4th-grade things while I was in an average 3rd-grade class. I was downstairs, they were upstairs. But our friendship didn't change. There was something called The Boys and Girls Club that we went to after school. The Boys and Girls Club was a place to go after school if your parents had to work later than school got out. You get to choose different "areas" to go to depending on your age. Since we were the same age, we got to go to the same areas. So we stayed friends even though we had different classes.
In 4th grade and 5th grade, we got the same class, thankfully. I didn't go to the Boys and Girls Club every day like I used to, but since we had the same classes it was okay. Echo stopped going to the Club kind of often until around late 5th grade, they stopped going altogether. So the only time we hung out was during school. We were in a group of friends, but you could easily tell who was more friends with who in the group. Echo was my best friend in the group. We had a smaller group though out of our friend group, we called "The Munchkins." It was made out of me, Echo, and two of my other friends. Me and the two friends were "the short friends" out of the friend group because everyone else in the friend group was extra tall while us three were extra short. Echo was kind of tall, but not as tall as the others so they were in the Munchkin group too.
In 6th grade, the first year of middle school for us, we split up. That's kind of when everything fell apart. 3 of my friends went to my school, but they weren't close friends of mine, 2 of the Munchkins and another one of my tall friends went to a "smart" school where they learn high school things (I got invited but everyone got invited so it wasn't that big of a deal but my dad wouldn't let me go), one of my friends went to a different school altogether, and the last one of the Munchkins moved to Mississippi. But the Munchkins got split up. It was hard on me, dealing with all that. I was new to Middle school, and I needed someone. I had never (and still have never) made a friend on my own. Echo talked to me first, I met the other Munchkins through Echo, I met the whole friend group through Echo, the other friend that went to a different school I had just met in 5th grade and he talked to me first, and everyone else I've ever become friends with I either met through someone or they talked to me first. I didn't know how I'd survive middle school. Thankfully, one of my friends there got some of the classes I did and he made all the friends for me. So now I'm in another friend group we made in middle school.
In 7th grade, I found out almost all my friends were moving. One might be moving to Iowa, one is moving to Arizona, one might be moving to Colorado, One is moving to Nixa, Missouri (he's the one that introduced me to my whole friend group now.), one of the Munchkins that goes to the other school might be moving to Kansas City, Missouri, and Echo. Echo, my closest friend, is moving to Columbia, Missouri. I barely get to see them as is, but I don't think either of our parents wanted to drive hours for us to hang out, and hours back. It was awful.
Echo and I started talking about getting these "Long Distance Friendship Bracelets - Bond touch" and/or "Long Distance Friendship Lamps". You program each bracelet/lamp to each other and each one has a color. Mine would've probably been blue, while theirs would probably be purple. Anytime I'm thinking about Echo, or just want to let them know I miss them, I could tap the bracelet or lamp and it would light up blue. Then, it would make Echo's light up blue too. The same goes for Echo, though purple instead of blue. I was offering to pay for both mine and theirs since they came in a set, but the bracelet set and lamp set together cost $268 and we wanted both of them. I only had $100. So we decided to save up and just send a Tap tap message with a circle of our color to replace it for now.