Nina and Andy have been friends forever. They've never left eachothers sides. As kids they would spent days talking and playing. Their life, love and friendship, the story before they're torn apart...
Nina sat with her legs crossed and back against the thick tree trunk that took up most of the cramped tree house in his backyard. She moved her pawn to G5, boy she loved chess; not just because she always bet him but because she liked the strategy of thinking behind the game. "Checkmate." she called and smirked at him as he started to clean up the chess set.
"Why is it that you always win?" he said as he put the board and pieces into the small cardboard box at the other end of the tree house.
“Cause you suck at chess." she threw a twig playfully at his head and it got stuck in his backcombed forest of freshly dyed black hair. She giggled as he frantically ran his fingers through his hair searching for the twig.
It had been 11 years since they first met on their first day of elementary school. They clicked immediately and became close and fast friends.
Nina looked casually looked at her phone. On the screen flashed 7:55.“Sh@t! Dude I have to go, dad said I have back by 8 or mum’s gonna hauntme.” Her face fell when she said the last words. He could see her crush her tears.
She got up to leave.
“Hang on Nina, wait here,” he stands in front of her.
“I have to go…”
“I know, but please just wait. For one minute.”
“Fine. But what the….” But he was running across the garden into his house before she could finish.
She looked around the tiny tree house and caught something out the corner of her eye. She placed her hand on the trunk of the old tree and traced with her finger what was craved into the trunk.
It made her smile, they were only 7 when they built the tree house together and that’s when Andy carved it.
“NINA!” Andy shouted up to the tree house. “NINA!” She looked out the window. “My mum said you can stay the night!”
“Really?!” a broad grin crept across her lips.
He nodded rapidly in response. She jumped out the window of the tree house and landed in a front tumble causing her long black and purple curls to become covered with grass and leaves. She scrabbled to her feet and tackled Andy into a bone crushing hug.
She gave a small wave from her mattress on the floor next to his bed. When he had switched off the light she lay down and closed her eyes. Instinctively tears began to prick her eyes and she started the cry silently into her pillow. She froze when long soft arms wrapped themselves around her and hugged her tight. She turned over and buried her face in Andy’s chest. She silently cried for an hour with him stroking her hair and whispering reassuring words till she fell asleep in his arms.