I was looking through some of my blog sites for prompts and came across one written about bullies and kids named Billy. The writer had very poor experiences in his childhood with boys of that name and couldn’t think of anyone named Billy that included a positive experience. I immediately thought of a little girl I knew whose name was Billie.
I was 5 and she was about the same age. She and her family lived next door. She was one of my first friends, simply because of proximity. None of the families in that area had much in they way of money, ours included. I don’t know how it came about that we knew it was Billie’s birthday, but we had a little celebration at our house, just us and Billie. My mom got a coloring book and crayons and we wrapped them up. I was so jealous, because I never got a new coloring book. All I had to color on was paper. I didn’t understand why Billie was so special.
We had a little cake and sang Happy Birthday, and then Billie burst into tears. That totally floored me. Why!? She was getting a new coloring book and crayons! Looking back, and sort of remembering some of the adult conversation going on, I think perhaps that Billie had never celebrated her birthday before, and was just overwhelmed by it all.
Some time later, Billie was playing outside and ran into the street and was hit by a car. She only ended up with severe road rash on one arm. My mother took her aside a couple of days later and very carefully explained why you NEVER run out in the road, and you NEVER go NEAR the road without looking both ways. I already knew that information—why didn’t Billie? Why did she have to have this explained by another person? Again, vaguely remember conversation going on around me, it was apparent that no one had ever told Billie this stuff.
And that’s about all I remember about Billie. She was my first friend. I don’t know when they moved away, but I was aware that suddenly she didn’t live next door anymore. I hope she’s doing well.