Growing Up

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Photograph, oh give me something to remember

I was sitting on the bedroom floor, a colourful shoebox sitting in my lap. I finally had a moment to myself, and this is how I was going to spend it: delving into old memories, old times. I had always been so obsessed with photography, ever since I knew what a camera was, and I was incredibly grateful for that. Memories were something I held so dear to me, and if I wasn't so passionate about documenting every moment, I might not even have had this very box in my hands.

I opened the lid of the box, a grin on my face when I saw the first photo. It was one of Calum and I - who else would it be? It had always been the two of us. We were in it together, for better or for worse, for longer than we could remember. It was always Calum and Luke. We were a package deal, and that's just how it worked.

The majority of the photos in the box were Polaroids, taken with my incredibly old camera that I had found in a garage sale when I was 13, but there were also some really nice, professional photos, and some grainy phone photos. There was a whole range of photos in this one small box I was holding in my hands.

I tried to go in chronological order, seeking out the oldest, most faded photo in the box, which happened to be a photo of the two of us standing next to one another, arms looped around each other's shoulders and wide smiles on our face. We had backpacks on our back, and we were standing on the sidewalk by the bus stop, anxiously waiting for the "big kid bus". It was our first day of first grade and we could not have been more excited. I remember only bits and pieces of that day, but I do remember Calum always sticking by me. He was always there for me, that's just who he is.

Smiling fondly, I put the photo down on the floor in front of me, burying my nose in the box again to find another photo.

The next photo I found was taken on my 8th birthday. The photo was slightly discoloured with time, but the memories were as vivid as ever in my mind.

"Go on, Luke, make a wish!" Calum cried excitedly, having just finished singing his own version of the Happy Birthday song at the top of his lungs.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I wished for a new remote controlled car, since Calum had gotten one on his birthday and I was desperate to race him along the sidewalk in front of his house.

I closed my eyes as I blew out the candles, grinning toothily when I heard cheering. I opened my eyes to see Calum smiling mischievously. But before I could register what was going on, he had taken a bit of the icing off the cake and smeared it all over my face. I laughed as I heard the click of a camera, turning to face my mum and scrunching my nose up while Calum was busy laughing his head off, clutching at his stomach. I got him back later on, right when he was least expecting it.

So now, an 8 year old Calum smearing cake all over my laughing face was immortalised, set in stone for ever and ever. I shook my head, putting the photo down next to the other one. Calum hadn't changed all that much, really.

The next photo I found was a bit of a jump into the future. We were 11 and awkward, not yet teenagers but not quite kids. We weren't trying to figure ourselves out just yet, but we were getting there.

This photo was taken on the beach, and Calum was sitting down next to me, a football placed at his feet while I had a camera in my hands. It was setting the tone of the years to come: Calum, the tall, muscular athlete, and Luke, the lanky, weird kid with the camera. Back then, it was all just a game to us. I played as much football as he did, and even though I wasn't quite as good, it hadn't become a barrier between the two of us. Honestly, it never really did, but back then, it was so much more simple, even though we felt so awkward and unsure of what to do with ourselves.

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