by Elizabeth Lovatt
(for my best friend)
Do you remember when we first met? Don’t worry, I don’t either.
So here goes, it went like this:
You standing there small and delicate with your light brown hair falling loose down your back and your big Disney eyes which later would get you cast as the Little Matchstick Girl in our school play. You standing there with your mother’s stubborn chin, determination on your face, ignoring all the other kids and looking only at me.
‘Hello,’ you said, confident, as if it was the easiest thing in the world, as if the first day of nursery was no big deal and making friends wasn’t the making of us. Oh, but it was.
Or maybe it went like this:
Me, hiding behind my mum’s legs, pressing nose and cheek into the nylon rub of her knee, until glancing up – I see you. Me, letting go of my mum and walking across uneven parquet flooring to where you sit, playing with the hair on the Victorian rocking horse we would all come to covet, your long hair obscuring your face, not meeting anyone’s eye, but still I knew, it was you.
‘Hello,’ I said.
Or maybe none of this is true because we first met before either of us could talk, before either of us could walk, or run, or swim or sing. Because we first met when we were so small we were still carried everywhere by our mothers. Because we first met before we even knew ourselves. But you knew me as I knew you.
Do you remember when we first met?
Elizabeth Lovatt | @ElizabethLovatt
Elizabeth Lovatt is a writer of short stories and flash fiction living in London. She is part of the Write Like a Grrrl community run by For Books’ Sake, the website that champions women writers. Her fiction has featured in Popshot Magazine, Firewords and Flight Journal, among others. She currently works for Tate.