I'll have to start from the beginning, back when Harper and I were just children.
Her family lived next-door to my grandparents, which is very fortunate in hindsight. Had she not lived exactly where she lived, I likely never would have met her, which is a scary thought considering how important a part she's played in my life just recently. Back then, though, she was only a minor character in the narrative of my existence. My grandmother, a socialite despite her old age, would often have Harper's mother over for coffee in the mornings while they were both out working in their respective gardens, or over for lunch on some of the more quiet holidays. If that happened while my grandmother was babysitting me, I'd get to play with little Harper. Sometimes, my grandma would even get to babysit both of us at the same time, which always resulted in hours of uninterrupted play.
We'd often sneak off into the "woods" behind Harper's house—hardly more