One of my classmates once told me that when I joined her class in second grade she was scared of me. I have one of those faces that holds a “don’t mess with me look” with little to no effort. It’s one of those faces that makes people ask “Are you okay?” and usually keeps me from being bothered by strangers. There was one girl in my second grade class who was not intimidated by my look and despite my shy, quiet behaviors she made herself my friend.
Our friendship carried through our elementary years, into middle school, all the way to our senior year without fail. She was the truest friend of my childhood and I know it because we are still friends today.
Though this may be a baffling revelation to a senior in high school today, anyone over the age of twenty-one knows that high school friends do not ordinarily stay your friends forever. Sure, at graduation everyone cries. They sign yearbooks and hug as they make claims of getting together over the summer. They sing Graduation by Vitamin C* and really mean it when they say, “We will still be, friends forever…” But then life happens. And day by day, month by month, and year by year those once crucial relationships slip away to nothing.
*Or today’s equivalent. I don’t know if high school seniors today even know of Vitamin C as anything other than a dietary supplement.
In many ways, I was far too matured when I reached my senior year of high school. My boyfriend had graduated the previous year, I was taking college classes for half my school day, and I wanted nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with my class. Instead of spending time with them, I chose spending time with my boyfriend. Not the most horrible choice one could make, but not exactly the kindest either.
Though I wasn’t the truest of friends to her in those years, Amy stayed true to me as a friend. In fact, of my graduating class of a whopping 40 students, Amy is the only person I still speak to today.
Until this weekend.
Having realized we both had never been to the American Museum of Natural History, Amy and I decided a trip was a must. Because we couldn’t make it just a simple trip to a museum, we added Absolute Bagels and a jazz club to our itinerary*.
*More on all of this coming soon.
A few days before our planned day of NYC thrills, Amy messaged me about meeting up with our old classmate, JP, for lunch. Of all the boys* in my class, JP was the one I could always be myself with. He treated every person with the same level of respect, was someone I could count on to offer me sound advice**, and was an extremely intelligent friend***.
*And yes, I’m purposefully calling them boys here.
**Not that I always listened.
***In other words, he made me think. Ouch!
Having ended high school on a note of not caring if I saw anyone from my class ever again*, it was a refreshing surprise to find myself excited to see this friend of my teenage years.
*With the exception of Amy, of course.
It was even more refreshing to find that we could easily pick right up where we left off. That the years hadn’t changed us so much, but they had made us better versions of ourselves. As we sat reminiscing and sharing what has happened in the thirteen year gap since high school, I realized that though I don’t miss much about high school, one thing I do miss is the genuine camaraderie formed in those tender years. I realized that though seventeen-year-old me thought she had it all together on her own, there is something of great importance in clinging to friends who have proven themselves to be true.