It starts with a 3 ring binder. It is cheap, pink and pearlescent with a plastic cover that bubbles at the edges. Pencil scribblings on lined paper. She has her own pad of paper, and a cartoon etching of a girl with a microphone.
It is late, a Friday maybe, a Saturday? One blurred moment from a thousand such sleep-overs.
That odd empty moment between gossip (hers) and the Barbies (mine) we are both too old for.
“I’m going to be a singer,” she tells me, and she doesn’t have to say famous, doesn’t have to say rich. She is shading her future in a blue gown.
In the game of what if, I tell her I want to work in insurance.
But I am not prescient and we are too young for dry humor.
Instead, I stare at the binder in my hands, the half-hearted story inside it, print letters dulled in lead.
“I want to be a writer,” I say. There is no epiphany. This is no covenant. “I’ll write books.”
She doesn’t look at me, and doesn’t scoff.
It is enough.
My fingers stick to the plastic of the binder.
I wonder if I would have said something else if I’d been holding a Barbie Doll or brushing my hair.