His name is Jack. I know that usually, I don't disclose much to you. But Jack is someone I need to tell you about. I have known Jack my whole life. He's been a best friend to me when the concept of best friends was nothing but some candy, and who led the gang in the playground. Commitment was a pair of bicycles thrown on the lawn and a race to the spiced lemonade his mother made so well. When we were young, we knew we were going to conquer the world. The battle was always, who would conquer it first?
Jack's father was an alcoholic. I will never forget that rainy afternoon when I opened the door to find him standing there, rain soaked tears streaming down his face and a red, harsh welt across his cheek. We stood there for what seemed like hours. We didn't speak at all that day. And after that, he was a different person. You see, Jack never had any siblings. I was his last remnant of childhood, his rival playground leader and yes, maybe even his best friend.
It was just his mother and him. Somewhere between the restraining order against his father, his mother's tears and their moving to London, he lost his childhood. A little part of me grew up with him too.
We're both older now. Jack speaks with an accent that I find both sweet and sad at the same time. It's reminiscent of his past mixed with his need to remain king of the playground. Except...there is no playground. He's been in a lot of trouble since his move. The police have come and gone often. What had been a childhood rivalry on taking over the world had even become a struggle for survival. And taking over the world was no longer an option.
But last winter, when I visited him, he seemed
changed. He had found this girl, you see. And since meeting her, he had also found himself in much less trouble than before. His mouth smiled smiles that I only saw when he won the toss on the playground.
His eyes had sparkled when he told me, "Nikita. Find someone who you look at every single day and think that for him, I want to be a better person than I have ever been before. I want to be the person I was before any of this mess ever happened. And this is the person who I will take over the world with."
The funny thing is, I had almost forgotten this conversation until yesterday a thought struck me so hard that I stopped speaking in the middle of a conversation.
That person is you.
You remind me of afternoons spent bike riding through cement and trees.
You remind me of spiced lemonade and scraped knees.
You remind me of my broken hearted childhood rivalry.
You remind me of the best days of my life.
You make me want to be that girl again.
And yes, one day we will take over the world together.