• The day was sunny, which made the crowd – also known as my class – even more eager to get out of the fusty classroom. It was really warm that day, and our little school couldn’t afford a proper air conditioner, so it was hot inside, too. Usually I didn’t mind the warmth, but today I could feel the tension between the class members. We had a history test coming, and everyone – except me – wanted to study for it. They already made study groups for a last minute quizzing.

    I absolutely loathed breaks. I was shy, even though I hated to admit it. In my first year of Junior High I didn’t talk with my classmates and passed them without greeting. Of course they thought I was arrogant and looked down on them. It wasn’t like that, but when I had gathered my strength to explain my behaviour, they didn’t listen to me. After a few months I had given up on trying to talk to them and my presence wasn’t noticed anymore, though I still felt some angry glances when I corrected someone’s wrong answer.

    So when the bell rang and everyone rushed out the door, I sighed and slowly collected my books. I thought of ditching next class, I clearly wasn’t in the mood for a test. And I’d liked to hear what people would have thought about that. I could already imagine it: “Did you hear? Miss Perfect just ditched history! I heard they even had a test!” I half smiled as I walked to sit on a vacant bench nicely in the shadows. I closed my eyes.

    I acknowledged the footsteps before the unfamiliar voice spoke to me for the first time: “Hello.”
    The girl’s voice was a high-pitched mixture of kindness and wariness. I responded with a plain “hi” as I opened my eyes to see who would actually come and talk to me. The girl in front of me was pretty. She had short, red curls and dark green eyes. Her figure was small and slim. She was wearing a brown blouse and skinny jeans with plimsolls. She smiled at me and continued: “My name is Carol. I just transferred here, and was wondering if you’d like to be my friend.”
    “I’m Destiny”, I answered, “but I’m not sure whether you should be my friend or not. I’m not exactly the most popular person here.”
    “Does it really matter?” she asked to my surprise.
    “People don’t really like me, so they probably won’t like my friends either”, I tried to explain.
    “You won’t know that if you don’t even try. I’d love to be your friend”, she told me. I didn’t know what to say. No one had ever tried to be my friend. I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion, that it wouldn’t hurt anyone if we tried.
    “I suppose we could try. But I have to say that nobody has ever been this persistent to be my friend.” I looked at her and noticed how her face lit up and her smile widened as my words sunk in.
    “Thank you! I was so afraid that no one would like me here. C’mon!”

    Se took my hand and led me to the sun. That was the first break I actually liked. I showed her around the campus. She asked many questions that I liked to answer. I had never talked so much. For the first time in many years I could smile from the bottom of my heart. After school we went to her house, where I helped her unpack and decorate her room. Carol didn’t show any signs of boredom with me. As we learnt to know each other, we became best friends. It was the happiest time of my life. We held slumber parties, movie nights, shopping trips and of course we talked. We were inseparable. Even our classmates noticed the difference Carol’s company made in my behaviour. Carol never stopped smiling, and I smiled as much as she did. So, neither of us saw that coming.

    As the time passed I started to feel a little guilty. Carol never spent time with anyone else but me. I was about to tell her to talk to our classmates when I received a call from her. I had never heard her cry, and now she was sobbing so much that she could hardly speak. Her words were hard to catch, but I heard what she had to say: her family was moving to another town in a month’s time. I listened to her sobs in shock. My best friend was moving away. I didn’t know when I would see her again. I didn’t even know if I would see her again. I tried my hardest to comfort her without crying. It didn’t do any good. I couldn’t help it but cry. So finally we just cried together. We tried to spend as much time together as we could. When the month was about to end we took the last photographs.
    The day came when Carol had to leave and I went to see her off. We didn’t cry, since we had promised to keep in touch. I looked at the disappearing car, and fought the coming tears on my way home. I locked myself in my room and sobbed for what seemed like hours.

    Months after Carol had left my classmates started to be friendlier with me. I wasn’t alone anymore. Still, it didn’t help. I missed my best friend, even though we e-mailed almost every day. I started to be more outgoing as the time passed. Suddenly Carol stopped answering my e-mails, but I barely noticed. I never saw her again.

    © theBalticMermaid ~ Laura ~ 2009