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Scenes From A Friendship MAG
Scenes from a Friendship by S. F., New City, NY
As I curl up underneath my covers, trying to think about the day that just passed, I subconsciously pick up the phone and begin to dial Sara's phone number.
"What are you doing?" I ask, like I ask every other time I call Sara to complain.
"I'm on my way out, but go ahead. What's wrong now?" she answers, with a sigh, knowing this is not going to be a short conversation.
Sara and I have been friends since we were ten. It's a strange relationship. Last year, when we were I5, we didn't speak for eight months.
"Hi, is Sam there?" I heard a sheepish voice ask me one day.
"Yea, this is her." I answered with disgust. Come on, I thought, I have a chem. lab due tomorrow.
"It's Sara," she said uncertainly.
"No, it's not. Whoever it is though, I am really busy," I answered.
"Really, it's me and I know it's been a long time," she said.
It had been a long time and as I pushed my lab aside, I thought of all the times I had wanted to call her during those past months. I had too much pride, and up until then, so had she.
Before the argument, we'd been best friends. We used to speak every day. She knew every detail of my life, right down to my math teacher's unusual outfits. He wore bright green plaid golfing pants and his shirts (usually in a clashing shades of green) were covered with sweat stains and chalk dust. Although these details were irrelevant to my life and hers, I felt she should know.
"Promise you'll call the second you get home," I heard Sara whisper as we said good-bye.
"Promise," I said. "Promise you'll be there tonight when I call for a good night?" I asked her.
"Of course. That's what I'm here for, right?" she said.
That was our theory. We were friends, and sacrifice was no big deal. This was not an "only-on-birthdays-and-holidays-and-when-things-were-going-right-friendship." This was a 365-day-a-year friendship, one for when I came home from a bad day at school or when she had a fight with her mom.
There were what seemed like thousands of people walking around the mall that day. We had gotten separated and I all could do was stand at the top of the escalator and scream her name. After 45 minutes of chaos, I saw her, wedged between shoppers. I had never been so happy to see her as I was at that moment.
"Where were you? I was worried sick!" she screamed, with tears still running down her face.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get lost. I turned around and you were gone," I said.
"Well, as long as we're together, I guess we'll be fine," she remarked.
I have always been a little prone to getting lost or separated from the group. Seeing Sara, standing in the crowded mall crying made me feel special, to know how much she cared.
"You really are a terrific person, with a huge heart. But, be careful. One day, you are going to realize that the world isn't perfect, and not everyone is as innocent as you are. I just don't want to see you get hurt." she wrote on my birthday card the year I turned 14.
l used to like being innocent and thinking the world would be perfect one day. Realizing, lately, that nothing is ever perfect, it is comforting to know I can call Sara every time I encounter an imperfection.
"Get me a Chunky from that girl in the fifth row?" she asked me on the way to camp, the first time I ever met her.
"What?" I thought it was odd that a perfect stranger was making slave requests of me on the way to camp. Besides, didn't she know this was my fourth summer at Echo Lark? I had seniority and I was not a slave.
Since that summer, our friendship has been one of equality, however. She listens to my motherly advice about what to wear, who to date and what not to do. And I listen to her advice about everything else. Although neither of us has a clue, it is nice to know that someone, no matter what time of day, "winter, spring, summer, or fall," is there to listen.
"I'm sorry you were upset, but don't worry. Things will get better. I promise," she told me.
"I know, I just needed to hear it from someone. I'll talk to you later. I love you," I told her, as I got ready to hang up the phone.
"I love you too. Call me later," she added just before I sank back into my bed.