Childhood Friendship, Teenage Romance

"Barry and Mandy sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes loves, than comes marriage, than comes Barry in a baby carriage!"

Kids would form circles, chanting this song, circling clockwise and than counterclockwise. Everyone knew Barry and Mandy were a couple. Despite only being in 4th grade, Barry believed he was in love. His fellow classmates teased him everyday for small gestures he would do his for short but cute, curly red-haired girlfriend. He would use his allowance to buy her a chocolate bar, which they would share underneath the dogwood tree outside the school grounds. Although he hated to admit it, he always thought of proposing to her, which would be ridiculous, as previously stated, they were only 4th graders! Barry believed he was the happiest kid in the school.

Over time, they grew closer and closer together, experiencing the thrills and stress of middle school. They attended their first dance and kissed passionately while the DJ played "You Look Wonderful Tonight". After graduating from middle school, Barry and Mandy would take a trip with their families to Disney World, to celebrate their accomplishments thus far.

Eventually, reaching the status of "juniors" in high school, Barry and Mandy were inseparable. Barry changed his class schedule so he would be in the same classes with Mandy. They would sit by themselves, tucked away in the corner of the cafeteria during lunch time. They would meet after school to do homework together and study for major tests. Every Friday night they would hang out at the local pizza joint and catch a quick flick at the movie theater down the street.

Barry and Mandy carved their names into the sycamore tree near the tennis courts on the school grounds. It is here that he confessed his love and proposed they went steady. Mandy accepted the offer.

It was the end of the third marking period, Barry had just finished up his Driver's Ed course, the only class which Mandy was not in. His father loaned him his car to drive back and forth, strictly to and from school, although his father rarely got home on time to see if the rule has been followed through. Barry's closest friend, Harris Bentley would sometimes accompany Barry if Mandy was unavailable. They would hang out by the skate park or go to the arcade.

Harris turned to Barry and said, "Check this out bro: Let's take a spin down to 'Blazer's Peak', we could grab a few drinks and I could try to pick up a decent chick." Barry initially declined his offer, but his manhood was called into question when Harris teased. Barry, swallowing his pride, accepted. Mandy texted him shortly after him, and he responded saying he would have to break off their weekly Friday dinner and movie because he was feeling under the weather. Disappointed but understanding, Mandy put her phone on vibrate, set it on her nightstand, and took a nap.

Around 8:30 at night, Mandy received a phone call from Barry's father. He had never contacted her before. Frantic, Barry's father starting shooting off questions in a panicked voice, she calmly explained that he said he was sick, and would not be able to make our date. His father laughed nervously and told her that he was no where to be seen, and the car, which he strictly forbid him to drive except to school and back, was gone. Mandy clutched her phone and whispered "Oh my God!" Several hours, which seemed like days, passed with no word from Barry.

Finally, around 2:30 in the morning, Mandy's phone rang. She was relieved. She was so ecstatic to hear the voice of Barry. Although it wasn't Barry's voice on the other end. It was Lt. Fred Hill from the local police department. Mandy become solemn, her skin became as white as a ghost. Tears started flooding her eyes like an overflowing faucet. It happened. Barry and Harris were killed in a car accident after they ran off the road and hit into a tree. It hit her like a truck. Memories swarmed in her mind like the inside of a beehive. The teasing from the other kids, their first dance, their trip to Disney, Friday night pizza/movies...everything. It was over. Just like that.

Eventually, days and months passed. Mandy was officially graduating from high school, but without her precious Barry. She looked into the clouds and saw his face and she could of sworn he looking back at her...smiling. A ray of sun hitting the sycamore tree illuminated the words "Barry & Mandy, forever".