"I used to like your crayons."
Peter looked back to you, confusion growing in his eyes, one very pronounced eyebrow raised. He always had a thing about his eyebrows; from the moments in childhood when he hid them under the shadow of his sailor caps to the complex rituals he'd developed in adolescence to pluck, wax and shave them. Many would say he was being overdramatic, irrational, unreasonable. But you understood; you understood perfectly.
You didn't know how much of his identity he based on that of Arthur. Not in an act of emulation, but one of denial, of a deep, painful desire to be recognised, to want to appear different from the man whose shadow he walked in. The eyebrows were just a little part of that.
The grass tickled your bare legs, little flowers causing patches of red here and there. Even as you got older you'd never lost your love of cargo shorts; there was just so much meaning behind them, so many memories.
"What do you mean?"
You shrugged, your fingers digging deeper into the grass, specks of dirt sliding under your fingernails. Your sister would hate it; when you got home she'd probably complain and insist you scrub your hands immediately. She'd never liked dirt; whenever there was a blocked sink, a dirty sponge or weeds to uproot at home, you knew that the whole house would shake with her deafening shout. Even the angels must have known your name by now; her voice could pierce the heavens.
"I mean what I just said; I used to like your crayons."
Indeed, why? You had no idea; they were exactly the same type you had at home; old, dried up, the colours just starting to meld into one another, so that when you tried to use a yellow, the lion would inevitable end up green. But neither of you seemed to ever mind; you just accepted it, or gave up colouring and went onto play out one of your childish adventures. You still remembered some of them; Peter would be the prince and you his loyal knight, fighting side by side against whatever the decided enemy was, be it a carnivorous squirrel, a tree dragon or a green lion. And then, once the beast was vanquished, one of you would proudly rescue the damsel and be given a hero's welcome.
Peter was the hero most of the time. And you were ok with that, most of the time. You'd just let him carry on with his speeches about how he would save the kingdom and then save it from the rule of the evil king, often going into great detail about the glittering green eyes of his. But eventually you grew tired and impatient, desperate not to be the sidekick any longer.
The two of you didn't speak for a few days afterwards. Your parents were concerned, of course they were concerned! You and Peter had been such great friends for so long and without him you were left alone in the classroom, alone, with only building blocks for company. You stayed far away from the colouring table there, sometimes venturing over to the toy cars. Sometimes.
You think he got the message, because next time you played, he let you be the hero. And when you went back inside, he cut into some paper, coloured it in blue and made you a crown. You still remembered that, even if he didn't.
He placed a hand over yours, a smile making its way to his face. You blushed, pulling your baseball cap down with the other hand. The wind continued to blow, a fresh breeze keeping the air light and cool. It wasn't your choice of weather; you preferred snowy days, when the entire world was turned in a gleaming, shining white one, everywhere so pristine, so clean, so unsoiled. Until somebody walked through it, that was. That was when you stopped liking snowy weather.
"Hmm?" you nodded encouraging him to continue.
"I liked yours too."
He shrugged, moving his hand from yours, crossing his arms to shelter them from the cold. You knew Peter didn't like cold weather; hot summer days were more his sort of thing. And fair enough, each to his own.
"The yellow was better than mine."
You pulled your knees into your chest, sitting in silence for a few minutes. It was peaceful out here, the tractors and farmers you had some faint memory of long gone. They had been terrifying to you as a child, had the farmers. The only time you'd entered this field was for a dare, only venturing far enough to feel exposed, to start to think of any rustling branch as a threat. But those fears were as dead as the agriculture here.
"Wanna go throw stones in jerk Arthur's garden?"
You sighed, a deep, frustrated sigh that seemed to age you by the second.