The Gift of Friendship

Amelia - Denver, Colorado
Entered on March 4, 2009

Last summer, Mikayla, my best friend for over ten years, and I set out on a 1,400 mile road trip across the country. We headed from our home in Denver, Colorado to a lake house that my family owns in Glen Arbor, Michigan. While I worried that the drive would be long, I was eager to spend so much time with my favorite person. My experiences with Mikayla have taught me so much and because of her, I believe that everyone deserves great friendships.

Mikayla and I go to different schools and we are busy teenagers. With our hectic schedules, it can be hard to find the time to hang out, or even talk on the phone. We fit in tidbits of time here and there, but we can never spend three whole days together. So, when summer came and Mikayla and I set out on the road, I could barely contain my excitement.

We began our journey early in the morning. Forty five minutes into the trip I missed our first turn. “Great,” I thought, “we have over 1,000 miles to go and I am already going in the wrong direction.” I looked at Mikayla and began to apologize when a smile slid onto her face and raucous laughter erupted. Mikayla’s cheeks turning red, her mouth wide open, and the shrieking noises she made allowed me to forgive my foolishness and join her in the laughter. When Mikayla and I begin to laugh, it can be difficult for us to stop. We feed off of each other’s energy and we always have an amazing, but somewhat painful, time.

Five minutes later, our laughter calmed down and we were back on track towards our destination. She and I passed the time sharing stories, music, laughter and silences together. Even though we were stuck in a car passing corn fields for eight hours a day, there was never a dull moment. When we reached our hotel that evening, my abs hurt from laughing and I still carried the same enthusiasm that I had when the drive began. Mikayla helps me put life in perspective everyday by laughing at the little things. She has taught me that we do not need anything but each other to achieve complete satisfaction.

I am lucky to have a friend like Mikayla. I have cried in her arms when my grandfather passed away, when my first boyfriend broke up with me, and sometimes I cry in her arms when I have a bad day. She has shed her fair share of tears with me as well. I have laughed so hard with her that my whole body was sore, but most importantly, I have loved her with all of my heart. Mikayla has given me an amazing gift, the gift of friendship. Mikayla keeps me honest and shows me every time I see her how satisfyingly wonderful it is to care about others who care about you. My experiences with Mikayla have taught me that the best moments in life are with the people who matter most, and that no one matters more than a best friend who understands you.