When I was in the 7th grade, I made friends with a boy that I’ll refer to as K. K and I got along like peas and carrots. Sadly, our friendship was to be short lived.
K was one of those people that came into my life at the right moment. He had that thing that only I seemed to know and understand. That’s probably because we walked on the same cloud.
K had a sister I’ll refer to as M. Never heard of M’s name before then. And come to think of it, I don’t think I have heard of anyone having the same name since.
I didn’t know his sister other than the few times I saw her. As for their parents, I think K’s mom stayed at home. His father, on the other hand, worked for a snack cake company.
They traveled a lot, and before I knew it, they were moving again. It must have been easier for him than it was for me. They moved all the time, so having to leave friends behind had become the norm.
But what made K so special to me?
It was his goofiness, his dorkiness, and the fact we saw eye to eye. This was in the days of the original Nintendo and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; which we both loved.
We would be the nerds we were and sing the Turtle’s theme song over and over – getting strange looks from all the other school kids.
He had WAY more TMNT action figures than I did, although I did have a pretty good collection of them myself. But video games and cartoons weren’t all we talked about.
K was a fairly heavy reader. And, if I remember correctly, his mom and sister were also. I made a trip with him to the local library one day where he introduced me to a new kind of book.
They were called “Which Way” books. I’m sure you’re familiar with them, but if you aren’t they go something like this:
You start off with the book giving you a bit of a story. Then, at the end of a section (not so much a chapter) you are given options that take you to different spots throughout the book.
After reading the listed options, you chose the direction you want the character or story to go. Sometimes the choice you made will lead to a quick end. Either you “won” or you died; in which case you would go back and take the now obvious route.
I thought the idea was rather clever. Apparently, so did K. We started writing a “Which Way” book of our own based on Nintendo games and using school kids as the game/story characters.
It was great fun and I was really getting into it. However, the book was never finished. K’s dad was being relocated and that was that.
K definitely had his quirks! One day I was spending the night at his house. The next morning, we were planning a full day of Turtles and cartoons, but some breakfast cereal was in order first.
He disappeared and came back to ask if I wanted milk in my cereal. I told him I did – as if there was any other way to eat cold cereal. Soon after he came back again with two bowls. And just when I was going for my first bite I noticed something…
I told K I said I wanted milk in my cereal. Happily shoving in mouthfuls from his own bowl, he said there was milk in it. I started to look real hard. Finally, in the middle of the bowl, I found what appeared to be moist bits of cereal.
Okay. Maybe he did put milk in it?
After moving the stuff around I saw a spoonful or two of what I was guessing to be milk in the bottom of the bowl. He was right! He did put milk in it. I suppose I should have clarified the AMOUNT of milk to put in it?
Something else K did that I found interesting was how he ate his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Everyday, K would bring his lunch to school. He would often bring a single sandwich with whatever else his mom packed him.
The sammie was always in a Tupperware type bowl. He would open the container, take a bite of the sandwich, put the sandwich back into the container, and shut the lid. He did this with every single bite.
After asking, he told me why he did it for, but I can’t remember the reason behind it now. But it always tickled me to watch him eat.
I still have a family picture he once gave me. I tried to trace his name, but it turns out he has a pretty common name. I don’t know what kind of person he grew up to be, if he even remembers me, or would even want to hear from me.
I have often wondered what happened to K, what he’s up to now, and if he ever finished writing that book.
I know the odds of K ever reading this are slim to none, but I would just like to take a moment to tell him something:
K, you were a cool dude, man! I missed our friendship after you left, and I have never forgotten you. For what it’s worth, I’m writing you in as a character into one of my books. M will be in it also.
I hope you’re doing well and have found success and happiness in your life and continue to do so. And, K? Donatello is still my favorite Turtle!