“Come on, come on.” Al was practically bouncing out of her skin. “On three. One. . .” I grasped the metal latch. “Two. . .” Flipped the latch up. “Three.”
I pushed back the lid and picked up a picture of our 12-year old selves. Albie’s black hair was in pigtails and she had on her signature green jeans. My braces reflected blue and green rainbows from the sun. My fringe bangs made me look about 7 years old.
“How did you go from that little nerdy girl with glasses to now? You look like a 70’s kid here.” I shoved her shoulder.
“Look who’s talking Pippy Longstocking.”
“It’s Mister Snuffles! I forgot about him.” Al grabbed a tan stuffed dog from the box. We fought over him all of the time. That’s why we stuck him in the time capsule.
“Al, remember this?” I held up a note folded in the shape of a heart. “It’s the note we wrote to that kid in 5th grade. The new guy we both had a crush on. Listen to this ‘I, Al, am the most amazing and awesome girl you will ever meet in this class unlike my friend, Jacks. She’s just weird.’ Oh thanks.”
“Let me see that.” She yanked it from my grip. “And what did you say about me? ‘Al’s a bore. She snorts when she laughs and looks like a fish.’ It’s a good thing I actually like you.” She crumbled the paper and tossed it at me. “That’s just cruel. A fish?”
She smacked my arm and set Mister Snuffles down. We sifted through the rest of the box. I pulled out the green and blue snap bracelets and the fingerless gloves we shared. Al found the paper weight we stole from her mom’s desk after she took it away from us. At the bottom of the box two tangled silver chains sat in the corner. Al untangled them and handed the “Best” to me. We bought these best friend lockets the day we buried the box. We swore that on graduation we’d never take them off. That no matter what happened next we would still be best friends.
“We were saving this for graduation, but…” I clasped mine onto my neck and watched Albie do the same.
“Jacks, just because you’re leaving a year and a half early doesn’t change anything.” We clasped hands; mine pale compared to her tan. “You still my best friend, babe.”
“And you still my boo.”