If you’ve been around this corner for a while, you would see dozens and dozens of photos of Brandon and me doing the most when we’re together. We’ve been friends since we were freshmen in high school, but we quickly became what I like to call Abbi + Ilana/Chidi + Eleanor soulmates after spending more time together outside of school and band (here’s our best shenanigans moments in concert and class). I like to rehash one of our first conversations in middle school when I decided Brandon was a weirdo who I would not be friends with after he told me about his Disney recruitment as an almost child actor. Two years of sitting next to each other every day in band still didn’t convince me that we were compatible in any way until ninth grade when we started conversing about our favorite tv shows and music. 11 years of best friendship; two trips to America for Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Parade and the 2014 Rose Bowl; two vacations in NYC; and endless laughs, moral support tears, shared sweet & savory breakfasts, sleepovers, outfit pictures, carpool karaoke, and existential rooftop/crying hill conversations; and now Brandon is the third Kakimoto sibling! One of the best parts of our friendships is that we can talk about literally anything and everything without judgment. We have similar thought processes but are also able to bring up new ideas that the other person hasn’t thought of and we’ve worked through some of the most difficult times together, knowing we’re always here for one another. Just like with Kaiʻolu, Mikayla, and Parker, I would have thought that we’d drift apart after splitting up at different colleges for four years, but the separation only made us closer because we value the time we do have together. Because today is his birthday, I wanted to celebrate our past 11 years of friendship and the essential part he plays in my life. Happy birth, Bran!