Dear Diary,

Sota-kun is back! Back from his long vacation… oh, how I've missed him.

I tackled Sota as soon as I saw him. He's grown very handsome during the past years!

Oh, his hugs… I've missed his comforting hugs each day. He's so old now! Now that he's back, we can go back to doing everything we used to do! We've loved each other for years, too.

I wonder if we still see each other the same way. Hopefully, he hasn't forgotten his lifelong promise. We pinky swore on the day we were born.

Sota can now be seen as the most popular kid from school now. I can't wait to see those jocks eat their words! Soon, all the girls will be crawling on him. I can' t help but be a bit protective. I worry about him, because he might still be the same immature boy I met when we were eight.

When we were younger, I was always the brave one, the one who would jump fences to bring back the ball, the one who kicked the furthest in kickball, and the one who would eat the bigger burger at WacDonalds.

Sota was always the inexperienced one, the one always seeking for help, the one who sought my reassurance, and the one who asked for advice. Sota would follow me on my wacky ambitions, and never complained whenever I got the both of us in trouble, even if it wasn't his fault to begin with.

And here he is now, all grown up, taller then me, and completely independent. Of course, I've grown up, too. I become more mature and wiser in my actions, yet I still eat the bigger burger and kick the further kickball.

But things had not only changed about us, but between us. Our relationship had been brought to a different level.

Sota said hi to me two weeks ago when he came back. We haven't gone once to WacDonalds to tease each other about our burgers, or went out to the black court to challenge some older kids to kickball.

We haven't laughed for the first time in three months.

We haven't hung out at our private fence to jump nasty dogs and steal back precious balls.

We haven't talked to each other since yesterday, when Sota said he wanted to pair up with Saburo-kun for a class project, saying it was okay to not be partners for awhile, and to meet different people. I was assigned with chatty Mizuki-chan. Apparently, I didn't agree with the arrangements.

I hear Sota got a girlfriend in Hawaii, and that she's Japanese and very cute. Although I haven't seen her picture yet, I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't get along very well.

As Sota's supporting best friend, I decided to let down my protective streak.

I think Sota-kun has forgotten his lifelong promise.

Akari Ishiyo