|Halloween: I'm on the far left, Kyla is next & down, the devil with the lollipop :)|
Next to her is my little brother as Santa? Above him is Kyla's older sister
and the neighbour from in between our houses is on the far right.
My best friend growing up was Kyla. The first house I lived in was on a quiet street in Burnaby and she lived one house over. My parents owned the house in between and rented it out. Our house didn’t have a backyard we would play in the yard next door, climbing the cherry or apple tree, or I could run through it to Kyla’s gate. She was a year or two older than me and was the risk taker and rule breaker to my goodie-two-shoes.
My parents divorced when I was three but I lived with my mom and brother in the house in Burnaby for a few years, and when we moved just before I started grade one my dad moved back into the house in Burnaby. I used to see him a lot back then and would stay with him for a few weeks during the summer. During that time I was almost always with Kyla, in her house or mine.
One hot summer night Kyla was sleeping over at my house and we were up late, as usual. We had tons of games there, like Candy Land, Guess Who and Hungry Hungry Hippos. We played Hungry Hungry Hippos with a huge pickle jar full of marbles my dad picked up from a garage sale. I am quite sure this is not how it was meant to be played, but we played with vigor. We used both hands so that we commanded two hippos each and smashed at them as quickly as possible, marbles sometimes flying across the living room to disappear behind the couch. Which is exactly how we played it that night, at about 3:00am. Not the quietest activity for those trying to sleep upstairs. After we wore ourselves out satisfying the hippos we needed refueling. Kyla suggested we go to the Max Milk corner store, which was about six blocks away – which we often did, but during the afternoon, not the middle of the night/early morning. I was scandalized by the idea “we couldn’t!” but we did. She could always twist my arm. So we snuck out the back door and headed down the street, Kyla daring me to pull my pants down, me replying “no, you!” and her complying. We stocked up on 5 cent candies and slurpies and ran back to my place on a sugar high. The next morning my dad gave us a quizzical look when we got up and came downstairs. “Did you girls open a window or something last night? I thought I heard something.” “Ummm….yeah, it was hot.” “Oh. And can you please not play that game so late? You woke me up.” “Ok.” Apparently it was as easy as that and I was astounded. I never broke the rules so it was a crazy feeling to get away with it.