“Hi, my name is Victoria,” says the perky fifth grader, “what’s yours?”
It was the startling first hello. I did not know what to say. What does she want? What do I do?
I was a bashful and naive girl. I did not make friends easily. She was amiable enough to say hi even though she was new and did not know anyone.
Since we were in the same homeroom and sat adjacent to one another, we were able to talk easily. We became fairly compatible, but we still had our differences. Every day we talked more and more. We had a connection, and it was not until that year when I began to believe in lasting relationships.
In Friends, a popular television show, Chandler was looking for a new roommate because he recently bought a new apartment. Joey came searching for a guy willing to share an apartment. At first glance, they were accepting of one another, but a strong connection was not created until Joey glanced at the television. Baywatch was airing. Baywatch girls brought them together like drawing brought Victoria and me together.
As time passed, we discovered ideas and objects that we shared in liking, but the main link that kept us together was drawing. We drew pictures almost every day and exchanged them as friendly gifts. Whenever she did not approve of one of the aspects of my picture, she was not afraid to tell me what was wrong or what could be changed. It was one facet of her personality that I cherished. She was honest even if it hurt me to know.
Joey did not feel terrible about being blunt with Chandler. Since he felt that they had a strong friendship, he was completely honest. By honesty, they were able to set a boundary of trust between them, and trust was beginning to grow between Victoria and me as well.
Within two months, we became best friends. We clung to one another like two magnets, not willing to let go of one another, especially when a boy with cooties taunted us. Life seemed easy until the school year came to a halt.
Soon enough, we were going to step into a new school with new perspectives, but only one thing held us back; Victoria was flunking the fifth grade. It was not completely her fault. She was accidentally placed into a higher class. She was supposed to be in the fourth grade. She was struggling throughout the year, and now she was doomed to repeat the fifth grade while I trudged into middle school.
It has been five and a half years. Although we did lose contact for almost a year, we are still the best of friends. We keep a constant flow of communication by means of instant messaging, e-mail, and cell phones. Our friendship has grown stronger even though I live in Georgia and she lives in Florida. I believe that our friendship will last for years to come.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.