I believe there is a point in time when friends become family. People start to notice that friends and family show the same traits after awhile. My parents have always told me that God and family are most important. There were very few friends that I came across in my life that I considered to be my best friends, and then even considered them to be part of my family. It was hard for me to really get close to people because my parents were in the military and we moved every two or three years. People came and gone in my life; I was used to it.
In school I never seemed to establish a close relationship with any of the kids. I felt I was really different from them and would never fit in, so I never attempted to speak. But when I was in fourth grade, I built a great relationship with a special friend of mine. Her name was Soon Lee Young. I called her Soon. Soon was the only Asian girl in the class. She was a skinny, petite girl with long black hair. She had a bright smile. She had a laugh that no one could forget. It was a high pitch chuckle that continuously rung in your ear. We never got bored. There was never a dull moment between us. We did everything together—church, trips, sleepovers, and shopping. She was the kind of friend that I could always trust. I could tell her everything. We came to be so close. We became sisters.
Almost every day we would hang out, but there was one day that I remember most. One Sunday afternoon my mom had dropped me off at Soon’s house. As soon as I walked through the door I looked at Soon and said, “Oh my goodness, what is that terrible smell?” Soon looked at me and said, “Dinner. I’m telling you my mom cooks horribly. That’s why I never bring her food to school for lunch.”
Her mom had finished cooking and we all sat down at the table ready to eat. When her mom brought the food to the table I stared. I thought to myself, “What is this stuff?” It looked like chopped up hay straw covered in green jello.
When Soon saw the food she told her mom, “Mom we are not eating this. I don’t even know what it is.”
Her mom said to hush up. About thirty seconds later her dad walked through the door with hamburgers. “Dad!” she said, “You are a life saver!” He put the burgers on the table and we all dug in.
When I look back on stories like this one, I realize Soon will always have a special place in my heart, because soon after that, it was time for me to move away. Even though I haven’t seen her in six years, I still consider her to be the best friend that I have ever had.
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