We were both still so young. I can't even remember how old. Six, seven? But that was the first time I remember us being parted at church, just because of our age.
The kids' groups are all done by your school year. Not like Crew, where we all go where we want. I guess it has to be like that for children; no one would ever make up their mind. You're the year older than me. You always will be.
We had to split. You went up to the other group. Years one and two, wasn't it? And I was left behind, in the Playgroup/Reception class. I didn't like that. I didn't like that at all.
And do you know what? Even after all these years I still remember exactly how I felt.
I was confused. You went over to sit with the others at the beginning of the new year and I didn't know why. So I walked over too. "I'm moving up," you told me, seeming proud.
Only one thing made sense to me. "Then I suppose I must be too," I said. Of course I had to be moving up. We were the same age, weren't we? But then the leader came over and took me by the hand and explained that I would have to stay with the younger ones for another year.
I didn't get what she was saying. "But what about Bekah? Rebekah's moving up."
"Rebekah's older than you," they told me. I'd never realised that before. It didn't matter when we were little and now for the first time I was experiencing that separation. "You have to stay with the others."
And slowly, sadly, I went to the other group, confused and even lonely. We couldn't stay together? Why not?
From that day on, Bekah, it was always the same. Every two years you would move up and I would stay behind. When you went to secondary school it was worse because our groups weren't even in the same room; you were at the other end of the church. I felt abandoned.
I realised then that I was just a child to you. Just a kid. We'd never be the same age in your eyes again.
And yet for five or six more years we were still friends. Were. Maybe we're not any more. No enmity, no hatred--but not what we used to have. There wasn't that connection.
But I'm still your old friend,