This I Believe

Holly - Kaneohe, Hawaii
Entered on May 29, 2007

?The Art of Friendship

Friendship is a hard thing to paint. Everyone has to share the same brush and palette. Like all

paintings, it takes a long time to develop, But even the most well developed paintings can be destroyed

with a single brush stroke.

When I was in elementary school in Maryland, I always had my own little circle of friends.

Although we were a small group and not very popular, we didn’t care. We were happy with each

other. We always sat together in class, walked together in the halls, and played together at recess. It

seemed like the perfect painting was being created by all of us.

We all moved on together from elementary school to middle school. We went through the

whole school year together as inseparable friends, until the end of our last year in middle school. My

family was moving to Hawaii at the end of the year and I only had a week left with my friends. It was

lunch time and we were sitting at our usual table eating lunch when the worst thing imaginable

happened. This girl who always insulted me moved to our table. At first, she started with the usual

“skinny bones” routine. So I was skinny, I didn’t care. But then my friends joined in. Or should I say

my ex-friends. It wasn’t the names that crushed my heart and flooded my eyes, it was the fact that they

actually joined in that hurt the most. So I fled from the lunch room with a trail of tears following behind


I went to the only place I could think of, the counselor. He was no help. All he did was call all

of my friends into the room and have them apologize to me. But I refused their apologies. I thought

they were my friends, but the red streak that now bled across our canvas said otherwise. I spent the

rest of the year by my lonesome. After school had ended, my family moved and I clung to what was

left of the old friendship I had. Just the memories of what it used to look like.

When my family had arrived in Hawaii, I had hoped to remain alone so I wouldn’t have to go

through that again. However, people couldn’t help but greet me when they saw me all alone. After a

while, I longed for the friendship I had lost. Then I met true friends, people who saw that I was alone

and brought me into their circle where I actually fit in. Friends who I felt I could give everything away

to. Like my best friend Jess who always greets me with a smile and open arms. Or my friend Darcie

who can’t get enough of my hugs. I said I hated hugs, but truthfully I couldn’t get enough of hers either.

The good thing about painting is that once all the paint dries, you can cover it with a new coat

and make it as good as new. That’s what my new friends have done for me. So no matter what

happens to my painting, I know that my friends will always be there to help me fix it back up and make

it even better than it was before.