I used to stay with my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Joe every couple of weeks or so, as I was very close to my cousin Jennifer. They had a big pool in their backyard and a really nice deck, and we would swim and "lay out" all day, playing house, pretending to be women and not two girls of six and eight years. It was a good time.
One day, a girl and a boy came over, both of whom must have been associated with my cousins in some way. I don't remember their names, so for the sake of this story, they are John and Sally. John and Sally Doe. (John and Jane isn't as catchy.)
Jennifer didn't seem to care for them much, but Aunt Debbie didn't want either of us to be rude to our guests, so we played together nonetheless. She made us lemonade, and the four of us sat out on the deck talking. John showed off with some cool diving techniques in the pool (perhaps they wouldn't be so cool to a nineteen-year-old Brittany, but the six-year-old Brittany was quite pleased), and Sally honestly didn't do much of anything that stood out, but I supposed it wouldn't be far fetched to say that I probably had a small crush on John.
Both children had yet to lose their baby fat, I suppose. Sally had really long mousy-brown hair which she tied back. She was wearing a one-piece bathing suit- I think that it was black with a couple of really big pink flowers. I don't really remember that much about their appearance. However, when the evening was nearing, both John and Sally said that they had to return home or they could risk a good grounding, and so Jennifer and I walked them out to the sidewalk where we said our goodbyes. I was always shy as a child, and I remember standing in front of Sally, Jennifer in front of John, the sunlight nearly blinding me, feeling somewhat anti-social. I never liked the end of the day because it meant the end of fun, and I suppose I felt a little sad, too. I looked down at the sidewalk and noticed that Sally's toe nail was black, but not from nail polish. I asked her what she did to it.
Sally explained that her father was mowing the lawn and he told her to move out of the way, but she wouldn't listen, and he accidentally hit her toe. John was silent. I asked her if it hurt and she said she cried when it happened. I recalled an instance that happened not too long ago to my best friend Timothy, who injured his finger while helping his dad saw wood because he heard me throwing a tantrum next door (we lived in the same apartment building). He wasn't seriously hurt, but his finger nail surely was.
I told Sally about this but she didn't say much, or at least enough that I could remember now (twelve or thirteen years later), but they both turned and walked away and Jennifer and I followed suit.
Two weeks passed and I found myself spending the night with my aunt and uncle once again. One morning I went into my Aunt Debbie's room while she was applying her make-up and asked her if she remembered John and Sally Doe (I was hoping that if I mentioned them in a nonchalant way, she would invite them over again and I could avoid awkward questions- remember when I said I was shy?), but her answer wasn't what I expected at all.
"Who are John and Sally Doe?"
Confused, I tried to explain who they were- the two kids that came over and played with Jennifer and myself. She made us lemonade! She told us not to be rude!
However, my Aunt Debbie became slightly angry at Jennifer for having friends over without her permission, and Jennifer, equally confused, argued that she didn't know a John and Sally Doe, and I argued on her behalf that Aunt Debbie was there and met them, and I just wanted them to come play with us again. No go. Neither of them remembered John and Sally's visit. Jennifer swore she never met them. Aunt Debbie thought I was telling stories.
I was just confused.
To this day, John and Sally "don't exist".