Ryan was Jason's twin brother. They were blond, athletic kids in the year behind me. I don't know if I ever actually spoke to them - I must have - but I know I was in class with them at some point. I was in a lot of combination classes: first/second, second/third (twice), and third/fourth. I've heard both that it was because we were bright and required less one-on-one attention from the teacher and also that it was because we were a little slow and hearing the same material from the previous year again (even if it wasn't directed at us) helped us to learn. I still don't know which it was. Either way, for most of elementary school, most of my friends were a year younger than me.
Devon and Chris were my best friends in second or third grade. I don't remember. Neither can I remember how or why we were friends; they were both a year younger, and I was a girl. It was weird, and we were accused constantly of "liking" each other.
Chris Keodi was the first person ever to call me on the phone just to chat. Before that, the telephone had been used exclusively for asking friends to come over. I can't imagine what we could have had to talk about.
One time, I discovered that Chris and Devon watched The Simpsons
. I watched it too, but the general feeling at our small private school was that The Simpsons
was a bad show and that we shouldn't watch it. We three had kept it secret because we were afraid of being reprimanded. I felt like we were comrades or conspirators. I hadn't realized until now what a rebel I was in elementary school.
The three of us liked to play Jurassic Park
. Devon's mom had said that he wasn't allowed to play house, so we found alternatives. Chris would be Dr. Grant, and Devon and I would be Tim and Lex. Mostly, we just reenacted the electric fence scene. We'd grab hold of the chain-link fence and shake as if we were being electrocuted. It was fun. Then, we'd go and sit in the corner of the playground, spending the night in the trees where we were protected from the velociraptor.
One time in third grade, at lunch, I kissed Devon on the cheek. I don't know why, and I didn't think about it really. I just kissed him goodbye, and he started screaming. I don't know why I did it. I know I didn't like him like that. I felt like I was kissing my little brother. We were both mortified.
We never spoke of it.
The year after that, Amy came to our school. I could write a whole novel about her and me, and I probably will someday. We used to walk around the playground sharing my red, zip-up sweatshirt, singing the Siamese cat song from Lady and the Tramp
. That sweatshirt got really stretched out. I wore it all the way into high school.
Amy was in Ryan and Jason's fourth grade class, and she told me that Jason was nice but that Ryan was the evil twin. I don't know if he really was meaner, but it supported the theory that we developed later, after meaning another twin set which included a twin named Ryan. He also happened to be the meaner twin. According to our theory, twins named Ryan were inherently evil.