We were neighbors. We were friends. Our homes were not in close proximity, still are not; it’s the same neighborhood anyway. I was lucky I guess, I was the only girl of the four of us, and the youngest too. This means I was treated with utmost care, and some respect too. They treated me like their baby sister, I still am. Any boy from the village who dared say something mean to me would face the wrath of my three friends, M, OJ and D.

Every time I wanted to disappear from home, M’s home was the closest I would run to. As much as M was the last born in his family, I was the last last. I spent some of my nights there, meals were had there too. If I refused to take my medicine, my parents they knew from where I would take it. Evenings were the hard. Going home was a problem. I would either be tricked to go home or they would have to wait for me to fall asleep then carry me home…and if I found myself in my bed the following morning, I would sneak out and go back to where I feel asleep the previous night.

For fun and games I went to OJ’s. We used to meet up there sometimes, OJ, D and I. One day as OJ was teaching me how to ride the bicycle, some boy taunted me. I guess I was hurt, just a little. OJ stood up for me, but that was the end of my learning lesson and interest to learn. However, the interest came back a little later but the lesson did not last more than 5 minutes. Several years later, the interest aint back yet. But i think when it does, I will have to start with a tricycle.

Then they all went to school. I remember OJ and D trying to convince my mom to take me to school with them, but I was still young, she said. Play time reduced, I missed my three friends. Then a year later I joined school. Did not like as much but I had to stay in. And now I did not miss my friends as much.

Years on, all grown, different paths in life. I miss my friends, I miss my brothers. They are good souls, wonderful young men, only two left standing. Conversations are never the same, never will be. Oh how my mind wanders sometimes, these days, more often than before. If only we could go back in time…

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