It was a cool summer night and throughout the park, all that could be heard was laughter as the two young’s girls sat in the sand pit building sandcastles. They had been there all day swinging on the monkey bars and playing tag eventually they knew they’d have to go home but they didn’t want their fun to end. As they were sitting currently building a very tall princess castle the little girl with long unruly brown hair and pink overalls tumbled over holding her stomach as if she were in deep pain only it was because she had accidentally blown sand in her friend's face. “It’s not funny A’rayla you could’ve gotten that in my eye,” she said with a smile she wasn’t really mad at her best friend, she could never be mad at her best friend. Standing up as she dusted off her hands and straightened her baby blue dress she looked every bit pristine with her neat curly black hair pulled into a ponytail. Reaching out her hand to her dear friend who just couldn’t stop laughing, she giggled and said “ Come on it’s time to go home the sun is starting to set and I bet we are already in trouble for staying out so late”, A’rayla eventually stopped laughing and sat upright “Aww Cassie you are no fun can’t we stay a little longer” she pleaded trying to use puppy eyes but those never worked. “If we don’t leave now then I’m not going to be your best friend anymore!” She stated firmly knowing that A’rayla would listen she always did whenever Cassie threatened their friendship. With wide eyes, she shot up shaking her head fast almost like a tiny bobblehead. “ Cas please stop using that to make me do stuff it makes me sad” she pouted as tears begin to collect in her beautiful hazel eyes. Cassie smiled and held out her pinky finger “Alright alright I swear on my right brown eye that I won’t do it anymore”, A’rayla puffed out her cheeks crossing her arms “ You liar! You only have one brown eye so that means you’re going to break the promise, I won’t pinky promise with a liar” she stomped her little foot as if to make a point. Rolling her eyes Cassie sighed loudly “ Okay then I swear on my brown and blue eyes and my left arm too that I’ll never say that we won’t be friends again!” Finally, as her arms fell and a huge smile blossomed on her face A’rayla reached out and locked pinkies with her “Pinky Promise Cas” She smiled and Cassie smiled back “Pinky Promise Ray”. They held hands and ran all the way home not realizing how childish their promise was because they couldn’t know what the future held.
“Wow look at this place!” The newly turned 21-year-old exclaimed, “I can’t believe we were able to score this apartment Cas!!!” A’rayla smiled turning in circles looking in awe at the spacious two-bedroom apartment. The walls were painted a nice cream color and the whole area was an open concept with no walls between the kitchen, living, and dining room. “ I know! We can probably thank our parent's amazing credit for this” she laughed as she walked in just in awe as her best friend. Both of them smiled already thinking of how they wanted to decorate everything. “It’s all us now Ray just me and you against everything else” she whispered grabbing at A’rayla’s arm, nodding her head as she continued to look around she replied, “Yup just us two!”
“Make sure you get everything on the list don’t add any additional groceries Ray I’m serious” Cassie stated to the phone as she was walking around the apartment doing her daily cleaning, although there wasn’t any dirt around to her it could never be too clean. The two girls had been living together for four years now and everything was going smoothly they hardly ever fought or anything. That could be because of their amazing bond or the fact that over the years Cassie had developed a bit of a perfectionist attitude and if something wasn’t done her way then it wouldn’t be done at all normally that didn’t bother A’rayla but lately she had begun to feel silenced in her own house and she wasn’t sure how to vocalize her feelings to Cassie. “I know Cassie! You told me yesterday you told me this morning you even texted me 30 minutes ago, I am well aware of what I need to get thank you” she huffed out it was beginning to get harder to hold her tongue on the subject. Lately, it felt like Cassie’s perfectionist attitude was not only toward inanimate objects but also A’rayla. Everything she did would get criticized like she was a child who couldn’t make the correct choice. “Geez no need to get so huffy it’s just you know how you tend to get when you enter a store, oh later on we are going out to eat with Jess, Lane, and Stella. They want to go to the new place on 7th street so make sure you are ready by at least 6” Cassie spoke and continued to keep on throwing more instructions at A’rayla and as she sat in her parked car all she could do was cry, it was like the more Cassie talked the more A’rayla couldn’t breathe as if with every word a piece of herself was being washed away. “Okay Cassie I gotta go I’ll be ready by 6 bye” She hung up the call and wailed like her screams would fix everything, but it didn’t.
The dinner was going great everyone was laughing and enjoying their food. Having amazing conversations with one another and yet A’rayla couldn’t fully join in, her mind was elsewhere the whole dinner the more they laughed the more her mind regressed. It was like she was having an out-of-body experience she could see herself sitting there looking dead and seeing the others around her enjoying themselves but she couldn’t snap out of it and join in. Eventually, Cassie noticed that her friend wasn’t alright, leaning in she whispered in her ear “Hey Ray are you alright?” Jumping she sat upright “Yeah I’m good” she mumbled with her head down but as soon as the words left her mouth she realized she wasn’t and that was never going to change if she didn’t stand up for her herself. “Actually I’m not okay but it’s a conversation for later I’m going to leave, it was nice to see everyone have a good night” she spoke fast and got up grabbing her purse ready to make her departure when she felt a hand on her wrist. “Wait a minute Ray you’re moving too fast what’s wrong? It doesn’t seem like a conversation that can wait I’ll leave with you” she spoke softly as she began to gather her things, A’rayla ripped her arm away from her feeling her heart beat fast against her chest “NO!…no I’m sorry I didn’t mean to yell but no just stay here I need a moment to collect my thoughts I need to be by myself right now so stay” she rushed out chest heaving she turned again to leave when she heard Cassie stand up. “Ray stop talking nonsense I’ll leave now, we will see you guys later A’rayla isn’t feeling good!” A’rayla stood frozen she couldn’t breathe again her chest felt too tight and the air was suddenly gone, she felt Cassie's arms around her as she was trying to usher her out the door and as she looked at her face she couldn’t help but just snap! Pushing her away roughly she yelled, “ I said no!” Running her fingers through her hair as the tears began to collect in her eyes, her chest was moving up and down at such a fast pace. “ I said no God Cassie are you deaf or just dumb why can’t you understand that right now in this moment I want to be left alone! We are together 24 hours out of the day. We live together, we work together, we have the same friends, we visit home together, and celebrate holidays together. Everything is together I can’t breathe!” She huffed out her eyes moving around wildly, Cassie reached out with a shaky hand and softly muttered “Ray wha—“, A’rayla began to pace back and forth as she cut off whatever sentence Cassie was going to utter “Another thing Cassie I am a 25-year-old adult the same age as you, with the same mind. I can make my own decisions. I can remember what groceries to get, I can remember to set alarms, I know what I can eat and what I can’t eat and I can make my own plans! I don’t need you telling me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it and I definitely don’t need you stating things as if your yes is the only yes! I am my own person!” She yelled alerting everyone in the restaurant of the argument that was happening, Cassie stood completely still shocked at everything that had left her best friend's mouth she didn’t even feel the tears but A’rayla wasn’t done getting everything off her chest as the tears flowed out of her eyes as well. “So I am going home by myself, okay just stay here please God I wish you’d just leave my life!” She spoke the last sentence so quickly before it could run through her brain to filter and as soon as the words left her mouth she regretted it she stopped pacing and looked at Cassie who was absolutely distraught “Wait wait I’m sorry” she stuttered trying to reverse everything she said but it was too late she laid it all out on the table, she reached out towards her but Cassie backed away slowly shaking her head back and forth.
“I wish Ray that you would’ve just told me how you were feeling from the beginning, I would’ve changed for you, I’d change a million times.” As she turned to walk out the door she muttered one last sentence “I never thought you’d be the one to break our promise”. At that moment it felt like a million lightning bolts ran through A’rayla’s body she couldn’t move, and the only thing running through her mind was Cassie's last sentence ‘I never thought you’d be the one to break our promise I never thought you’d be the one to break our promise I never thought you’d be the one to break our promise I never thought you’d be the one to break our promise’. At that moment it was as if a photo album burst in her head and she began to think back on every moment they shared over the last 25 years, that was her best friend, Cassie was the one thing constant in her life she is her person, there wasn’t anything they couldn’t work through. Finally gaining strength back in her legs she ran outside after Cassie with one memory in her mind Pinky Promise Cas” She smiled and Cassie smiled back “Pinky Promise Ray.
As she emerged outside the restaurant she saw Cassie standing at the crosswalk and as the light turned green she began to walk across, running A’rayla screamed “Cas!!!” Cassie stopped walking wiping her eyes to clear away the tears to see who was calling her and on the sidewalk stood her favorite person in the whole world, “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have blown up like that can we talk please I still need you in my life” A’rayla yelled hoping she didn’t completely destroy their friendship. Cassie’s smiled and nodded her head “I still need you too” she yelled back and began to make her way back to A’rayla. As she walked both girls smiled brightly at the other but neither paid attention to the car speeding down the road without a care in the world that his light was red. As if time slowed down A’rayla finally noticed the bright lights approaching them and her heart dropped as she looked back at her friend, “Cassie Run!” She screamed Cassie noticing her friend's face finally looked to the left and saw the car vastly approaching her but it was too late for her to successfully avoid the impact. Once she mentally came to terms with her fate, she looked back at her best friend and smiled before yelling “I love you Ray you’re my best friend forever, I pinky promise”. A’rayla heard so many things at once people yelling and the screeching tires of the other car as he sped through the light and ran her friend over and proceeded to drive like nothing happened. The sound of the most heart-wrenching scream erupted from her body and immediately after, there was a dreadful silence as she looked in the street and saw her friend laying still in a pool of her blood. Eventually, her legs gave out and she fell to the floor, she knew she should’ve moved to Cassie but she couldn’t look at her like that. She couldn’t bare to see her best friend's lifeless body that was covered in blood in the middle of an open road. Eventually, people started coming out to see what had occurred and she could hear people yelling amongst each other to try to piece the story together. Many were pulling out their phones to call the emergency dispatcher to see if Cassie could be saved but all she could do was sit and cry. After a few minutes of silence, she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders and a soft voice asking her what happened but she was still mute. She couldn’t dare to utter a word because deep inside, she knew it was too late. All she could think about was the last words she’d ever hear from Cassie’s mouth again. ‘You’re my best friend forever I pinky promise’.