Millennium Memoir
Moon and Stars . .


Best Friends

Winnie arrived last night from Blacksburg with Raoul and we settled in to watch movies, despite my fevered condition.

I'm very excited, because Winnie is here to look at apartments, and is somewhat inclined to live nearby, which means I will have a best friend back in my life on a regular basis again soon.

It's been a long time since I've had a best friend who lived near me, someone that I could share everything with and be a support to and be supported by.

Throughout my life, I have always had one special friend like that, someone with whom I had a close bond, as was nearly inseparable from.


I first got to know Andrea during second grade. That's when our bond started to form. Over the next two years, we would spend more nights at each others houses and crazy adventures than I did with any other friend from my elementary school years combined. Except Russell, but that's another story entirely.

Andrea was the child of an American father and a Russian (Georgian) mother, in an era when the Cold War was still in full swing and every day we watched the news with a nagging fear of escalating tensions between the two world powers. But for the most part, I was completely unaware of the meaning of Andrea's heritage. Her parents were divorced, her mother had custody, and Andrea only rarely saw her father who was in the United States.

She didn't speak much English, having spent most of her life in Belgium, but she, like I, knew how to print, and had been to America on occasion and at the time, that was part of what made up our bond. However, she was enthusiastic about all things American, food, culture, clothing, while I was more interested in fitting into my surroundings as much as possible.

She always wanted to hear more English being spoken, while I was perfectly happy to stick to French. When we were in fourth grade, we each had a crush on a different boy in our class. She was head over heels for Max, and I was always sighing after the aforementioned Russell.

We built a tree-house made of cardboard and woven branches that fall up in the pine tree at the back of my house and we would sit up there, writing letters and spinning fantasies about the days to come, when the boys would finally notice us.

I made her a rag doll, she bought me cute little pens and notebook paper, we often rode our bikes back and forth all over the place and snuck around investigating all the hidden pathways and byways between the hedges that separated her apartment building from my house on a dead-end street.

Andrea remained my best-friend until our last year in Belgium.

Like many of the relationships in my life, our friendship ended with a scarring betrayal, that left me desolate and alone during one of the hardest times of my young life.

I took me a long time to forgive Andrea. And I have forgiven her. But I've never forgotten.

Moonlit Trees . .

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