we are eleven and have met only once.
“who’s the new girl?”
i hear from across the room
i turn on my heels.

eleven and a quarter and we wear the same shirt to school.
“isn’t it soft?”
i say with as much confidence as i can muster
i take a step towards her.

we are twelve and mutual friendships stretched thin spark fragile conversation.
“are they still friends?”
she whispers, speaking of two girls who hardly speak
wait for me.

twelve and a half and there are a handful of memories between us to stretch thin.
“remember that time..?”
she reminisces and sighs
wait just a minute.

we are thirteen and grow closer overnight.
“we’re best friends, right?”
she verifies before confiding in me
i’ll be there soon.

thirteen and two thirds and our smiles together are brighter than they ever were alone.
“forever?”
she asks of us when we talk about the future
i’m finally catching up.

we are fourteen years old and too stressed to give a damn.
we live in our own little world and don’t pay any mind to anyone outside of it
our footsteps match stride for stride
never straying
out heartbeats thud out the same soft song
never wavering
our words paint the same pictures
never failing
our laughter peals in synchronized harmonies
again
again
again
our conversations vary with every passing second
i hardly have time to keep up
but neither does she, with something else on her mind
“do you think he likes me?”
she says as we walk down the crowded hall
my heartbeat falls out of the rhythm and my breath is caught in my throat
i fall behind

we are fifteen years old
occasionally
her step will match mine
across the world
and laughter that we both know is lesser than what we shared
rings loud and clear from both of us
but my stride always breaks before her voice has time to crack
and she is still ahead