I'll never forget those happy, childhood days I had with my best friend Careen Klansman. Summer then was exciting, adventurous. There was always something to do with our carefree imagination. Careen, just a year and a few months older than me had seemed stronger, smarter and loved to be in charge. I thought of her as my big sister, warm, kind but at times, a tough, persistent teacher. It was Careen who had taught me to tie my shoelaces, a very difficult task for me. I would easily give up and place the shoelaces inside my shoes. Naturally, I would get so tired of the repeating remarks to closely pay attention When she showed me, tying laces looked so easy but I miserably failed at it. After a long week of continuous practise each day, I finally learned how to tie my shoes. I remember how proudly Careen hugged me, we had a beautiful friendship. Oh, there were silly fights but we always remained close, affectionate to one another. I'll treasure that very special time, Careen was my dearest companion. She showed me the meaning of kids friendship.
What stands out in my mind was the never ending fun, games that filled our summer months. My friend and I started playing at eight in the morning all the way till sunset. We loved picnics, picking berries, hide go seek and finding treasures as we happily explore in vast fields. We together made each day sparkle with joy.
Whenever it rained, we played dress up with our dolls in Careen's room, we would also dress up ourselves. Careen's mom gave us a box of old dresses, skirts and frilly sweaters. Once we were dressed up, it's time to play grown ups shopping. On a rainy afternoon, we played in Careen's basement, my first time down there. In my eyes, it certainly was a typical basement, cold, smelly and a dusty storage place. It didn't matter where we played, as long as we were together. Those special games should be made into a book. The word, pretend can wonderfully take you on a fun filled journey. We surely enjoyed the cute phrases said in our little plays.
"Mrs. Apple Tree, do you have a shopping list?" I grinned.
"I'm Mrs. Cherry Tree and all I'm looking for, is a new purse, this one has a hole in it!" Careen looks shocked.
"Mrs. Cherry Tree, you can't buy a purse in the grocery store!"
"You didn't say what store we are in. I'm thirsty now." Both of us laughing wasa wonderful sound. Now, the upstairs phone rings and Careen throws off her mother's sandals and runs to get it. She mentions our favourite drink, cool-aid. I then focus on a nearby bucket of wires, rope and metal pieces. I saw a gum wrapper and a catalogue page of a girl in a swimsuit. So, I was about to grab the paper but suddenly I heard a sound from the other side of the basement. It's similar to something falling off a shelf. Slowly, I walked towards that area. I was thinking it could be their cat, Toby. I didn't want to go closer, it looked too dark, scary. All of a sudden, I heard a yell that shook me all over. The sound was like a giant, an angry one! I ran up those stairs so quickly, almost like flying. What a frightening voice, I just wanted to leave the house. In the kitchen, Careen is on the phone. She says it's Aunt Jean. I boldly shouted.
"You got to get out of here!!!" Careen looked confused. Still wearing the silly outfit, I ran outside in the pouring rain. I soon notice our little clubhouse close by. I hurried inside, breathing fast and overly shaking with fear. Now, I can see Careen waving. My heart pounded so hard, I thought it might rip out of me.
"Come back in, you'll get soaked!" Careen said but I just couldn't. Then, there was relief, I saw Careen's mom in a taxi coming along the driveway. I didn't want her seeing me in the clubhouse so I ran in the back then to my house. All I kept thinking was that horrible yell but so glad to know Careen wouldn't be alone. Once I got to my house, my bedroom, I felt warm and safe. I did laugh at the wet, oversize clothes. Changing made me feel better. As soon as I laid on my bed, I instantly fell asleep.
The next morning, Careen called me on the phone. I honestly told about the terrifying sound from her basement. She laughed.
"Oh that's so funny!! How come I didn't hear it? I think it was your mind. Anyways, my dad doesn't want us to play down there. He is going to fix it into an apartment." That statement was fine with me. Definitely, I will never go down her basement again.
When Careen reached ten years old, she and her mom, sister were leaving to the big city. Careen's father stayed behind, he was very sick. I admit I felt terribly sad when we said goodbye. I was losing my big sister. We had promised to always write, send some pictures too. I will not forget my adorable friend Careen and the fun seasons we had shared together. Those days were special, precious and now an endless memory. Close to my heart, I cherish the vivid thoughts and I'll always remember that rainy summer afternoon of a certain mysterious chill.