I met Sally in the fourth grade. Who knows why, but we instantly hit it off. We played at recess, walked with each other down the halls, shared our lunches in the cafeteria, talked over everything, laughed until our sides ached, had sleepovers on the weekends and became the very best of friends.
We wrote notes to each other, carefully passing them through a series of co-conspirators during class. Our special messages were filled with many things; drawings, secrets, jokes, dreams and sometimes hopes about the boys we longed to roller skate with on Friday night. We always closed with our secret code, the letters BFLYS ("BIFF-LESS" when spoken). It appeared on all our correspondence; we said it when we hung up the phone or ran to class after recess. Only we knew what it meant (it is still our secret).
Inseparable throughout grade school, Sally and I remained close through junior high school, when she and her family moved two hours away and we "ran up the phone bill," as my Mom would say. We helped each other through our first dates, first dances and first kisses. There were few weekends when we didn't see each other. We stayed in touch during our college years and saw each other at every holiday. Unless we were on the phone joyfully wishing each other a "Merry Everything," Christmas morning wasn't Christmas. We hung up only after we both had said, "BFLYS."