I stared up at the full moon through the net of foliage above me. As Adrianne's breathing slowed peacefully beside me, I began to think back on our lives. 

We started out humbly, but always together. We shared the same tiny, rickety crib at a drafty orphanage, the same runny toddler noses and incurable curiosity, the same scrapes and bruises, and always with the same indelible mischievous glee no matter what the outcome of our current predicament.

But despite the uniform education given us at that old orphanage, our interests soon became very different, even though we were still inseparable. I wanted to come in first in every physical contest, every logic game, every strategy, every fight.

Dree, as we called her, read all the books in the pitiful orphanage library. She read through the institute's meagre fiction stash on a weekly basis, thumbing the worn-out pages with all the love of a newborn's mother. She treasured philosophy, botany, fiction, physics and all kinds of biographies. Dree's hoard of stolen books was a testament to her skills as a pursecutter, but she never took anything other than the sweet rustle of those parched leaves.

Of course, we had numerous friends - and enemies - but the nucleus of our small atom was always one another. Claud and Dree.

By the time we left that awful institution, our ears had been soundly boxed and our bellies soundly hollowed. Our differences had only made us a stronger team, and as we matured further we became even more different. I was a sturdy, boyish teen, fighting to feed both of us. She blossomed into a slender but supple girl, always in the shadows, simultaneously with her head in the clouds and her feet firmly on the ground. 

But strangely, I was the one who held her together when the dams of her overactive mind burst, as they often did. 

Although we still shared the same inalienable fire, we grew apart during those next years. When I was eighteen, I registered in the Armed Services. She, disgusted with my choice, went to the City University and got her degree. I served my four years as a City guard, staying true to my friend whenever I had some R&R. Our circles were always changing, but as they evolved, so did our friendship.

A breeze whispered past my face, calling me back to the present. As I stared up at the moon once again, I slowly drifted into darkness.

The End

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