Image by Diego Villacob from Pixabay 

When  I was ten years old,  I had a lot of friends,  but looking back now, my best friend was someone  I never really thought of as my friend. I only considered Rina my next-door neighbor. I didn't know too much about Rina. She was four years older than I was.  She went to an art school in the city. Every afternoon I played in the front yard with my brother Kevin, I would see Rina walking home from the train station. I remember admiring how mature she looked in her big black portfolio as her pretty brown hair blew in the wind I admire the freckles that graced her face. She was the only person I wished that I had freckles and that I was old enough to go to school with her. Sometimes on weekends, Rina would make up games for Kevin and me to play. We'd go on treasure hunts and put on plays about stories  Rina told us. Her stories kept us fascinated for hours I admired a lot of things about  Rina, but what I admired a  more was her Imagination.  When Kevin and I would get into trouble and be sent to our rooms, we would cross the driveway to Riya's house we'd look into the window to see if she was there. If she was,  we had a  Morse code system devised by Rina to send secret messages to each other.  Once  Rina showed us the mural she painted an assortment of cartoon characters.  During the summer,  there was always something to do, thanks to Rina.  She would teach us art techniques and how to make stone people. She'd make up intricate plots with interesting characters for us to portray.  By September, Kevin and I  had been spies, detectives, and a myriad of other characters. One day I was sitting outside pro, it was my birthday, but I was sad. I can't remember why.  Rina appeared out of nowhere and presented me with a birthday card and a drawing she had done for me. To this day,  I still don't know how Rina remembered my birthday.  But I am glad she did.  Now Iam seventeen Rina was twenty-one. I only see her warm, friendly smile once in a while,  but it's still the same smile she used to flash at me seven years ago. I'm in high school now,  and when I get home from the train station,  I  see Alex,  the little boy who lives down the street,  watching me; when I smile at him, he runs up and asks me if  I want to play.  Sometimes I make up games for  Alex and his sister Jenny.  Sometimes I think of going on.  I teach them the art techniques that Rina taught me.  I watch Alex and Jenny laugh as they play with their stone people. It reminds me of when I was then and when one of the most important people in my life, someone who I never even realized was my best friend.

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