The Gift of Friendship
As I’m approaching the choir room, I hear that familiar comforting sound of the beautiful piano, which welcomes me into the only environment I feel relaxed in. When I am in this room, I can be myself and I feel happy and at ease.
My name is Abbie, and I am sixteen years old. My high school years have started out a lot like any other Sophomore girl’s years in high school would, but of course they are a little different, since every teenage girl has her own unique strengths and weaknesses. My main worries are fitting in with the other kids, making good choices, picking the right friends, and being aware of mistakes made so I can fix them for the future. Just like any other girl, I have my own group of friends. They are nice and we do fun things together, but I always felt like there was something missing. We have our similarities and differences like any other friends do, but I always worried that they do not fully accept me for who I am. I simply just try to be myself despite the insecurities and doubts I have deep inside of me.
As I’m coming into choir class today, I take in my surroundings. Just like in every other class, I see all the girls in their little groups hanging out until class starts. As I’m looking around for my own group, another posse catches my attention. Normally I don’t really notice who the other students are friends with. I’m usually too busy with my own friends and engaging in our conversations. But today, I can’t help but notice one girl in particular. She has really long blonde hair that is almost to her butt. I watch her laughing with her friends and having a good time. They all seem to listen very intently as she’s telling stories. They act like they absolutely adore her, and she loves them too. I hate to say it, but I’ve never been that happy with my own friends. We have good times and make memories, but I always felt like it wasn’t enough. Perhaps, I just worry over nothing.
As we begin rehearsing, I can’t help but look around for that same girl. It is very hard when I’m trying to pay attention to the teacher and act like I’m focused on singing, while I’m secretly watching all the students. Eventually I finally seek her out, over there in a different singing section, one row in front of me, but way on the end of the row. Even though she is so far away, I can’t help but look at her every few seconds. Again, I notice the long golden hair flowing down her back, shining as if it is sitting under the beating sun. I watch her the whole time until class ends. I can hardly even recall what we have worked on today in rehearsal. I was too busy watching this mystery girl.
Ironically as we’re leaving class, I end up walking out right behind her. It’s my lucky day because she turns around to see who is behind her, probably thought I was one of her friends. “Hi! What’s your name? I don’t think I’ve seen you before,” she says.
“I’m Abbie. What’s yours?” I ask her.
“Chiara” is her answer.
What a unique name, I think.
Before I head to my next class, I make sure to get all the information I need. We discuss the normal things teenage girls do when they first meet. As I head to my next class, I can’t stop thinking about her. These thoughts stay with me until lunch. Of course, when I go in the cafeteria, I try to seek her out again. As soon as I walk in, I spot her group at a table really close by. I recognize some of her friends. They are all in my grade, so I assume she is my age too. They are those outgoing, pretty girls I always seek out in my classes who are really good students and act like they have everything. Strangely I don’t feel that way about myself or my own group. Our families aren’t poor, and we are decent students, but we are not the popular girls nor the ones that all the teachers love. My parents and teachers are always lecturing about choosing the right friends. I always thought my life was good if I had any friends, but what exactly is a friendship if we don’t tell each other everything and we have a big chunk of disagreements about our likes and dislikes? I will have to think that over some more and decide what kind of friends I really want to have.
Today, I go back to my normal group, but tomorrow, it’s a question. When I reach my familiar posse, they stare at me like I have three heads. “Where were you Abbie? Did you get lost or something?” They ask me.
“I, um, couldn’t find you guys,” I lie.
“We sit at the same table every day. You know that.” I receive a couple eye rolls.
Like usual, when they scold me for making a mistake, I shake it off and just join in the conversation, but deep down, I am beginning to have more and more doubt that I will ever fit in with this group.
The next day, I prepare myself before heading to choir. I must get to know Chiara more. Maybe I will make new friends and ditch the old ones, if they are even considered friends at all. As I’m heading into the room, I see her standing close by with her friends. I see a few of the same ones she was with in the cafeteria, but her group has gotten bigger. I can’t help but notice the physical appearances of some of the other girls. Apparently, some people tend to make friends with others who have similar characteristics. For Chiara, they are girls with pretty blonde hair like hers. I see four or five other girls with the same color hair as hers. I slowly walk past and get a good look at the whole group.
Chiara recognizes me and greets me like she would her own friends. I can’t just walk away now. They let me into their circle. I introduce myself and they all tell me their names. Luckily, I have a good memory and I remember most of them. I especially make note of the other blonde girls. Our engaging conversation comes to an end as passing time is about to end. I head into choir class with Chiara, Ariana, Alisha, Marie, and Lexi.
At the end of class, I decide to go and talk to Chiara again. At the moment, she is alone and not surrounded by her friends like usual. We manage to have a long enough conversation without being interrupted.
I learn some more about this special girl. We talk about favorite hobbies and she tells me about her family and friends that she loves so dearly. Just seeing her smile and hearing her stories makes me realize how lucky I am to have met her. It’s amazing how a single beautiful girl could impact so many lives and could bring so much to this world.
The next several choir classes are pretty similar. I enjoy the long talks Chiara and I share. I also have similar conversations with some of her best friends. Sometimes they even tell me things about her that they feel I should know. They tell me how her motto is to always do something and never nothing. Her selfless acts include the tiniest kind deeds like picking flowers when her family goes to visit someone or bringing little gifts to school for her friends at random times. She is the most caring person I have ever met, and she has made me feel special in the same way she does with everyone else.
I am beginning to spend more and more time with this new group instead of my normal posse. Strangely I have been feeling a lot happier and relaxed at school. Even when I am forced to be with the old group, I’m always daydreaming about my new friends. To other people, the “popular girls” probably seem like they would be the mean girls, but this group is different. They are confident, pretty, and straight-A students, but they are not stuck up. I sure was associated with some sweet girls, probably the nicest I’ve ever met. I feel safe with them and I am lost in the moment when I’m enjoying their presence. When I see Chiara’s angelic smile and look into her eyes which are always filled with love, it makes me feel like I really do have a real angel on Earth and I can see, hear, and touch her whenever I want. I realized my other “friends” were not really real “friends.” I might have picked the most beautiful girls in our school to hang around with, but they are all kind, selfless, and humble and it is obvious that they care about the people around them. What more could I ask for in a friend?