Eva and I are six years old. I am sleeping over at her house for the night, not for the first time, and certainly not the last. It is summer and a warm breeze blows through the open window, making the purple curtains ripple like something liquid.
11:00 PM- late for us then, seemingly the middle of the night. Having exhausted Eva and my supply of Disney videos, we share the remaining cold popcorn by the light of a single small flashlight. We don't feel the need for chatter in this quiet companionship.
"Mariah, am I your best friend?"
Eva's question catches me slightly off guard. Shoving more popcorn into my mouth, I reply as my six-year-old self would. "Of course."
"Are you sure?" Eva's hazel eyes seem to glow in the dim light.
"Yeah. I mean, we've been best friends for, like, FOREVER."
"Well, I thought maybe you weren't anymore 'cause Nicole said-"
I interrupt. "She's mean and snooty. I don't like her."
We continue our snacking in silence, until Eva breaks it again. "Mariah, will you promise to be my best friend forever and always?"
I avoid her gaze. "I thought we already were."
"Promise. To make it for real."
I do and mean it with utter sincerity. She does, too.
"Does this mean you will never break it?"
"No matter what?"
"Cross my heart and hope to die and stew and fry."