The very first day of freshman year, in BESS 1 class, I was forced to sit next to you. I didn’t really want to at first, mostly because I had no idea who you were (I’d been sitting with someone I knew until her friend convinced me to trade places). And then you started talking to me. I had no idea what to do or say, because 1) again, I didn’t know you at all, and 2) frankly, your stories were downright weird. First day of freshman year, third period, and I’m sitting next to this kid who tells me the same two stories over and over again (something about Mary Poppins and something about a skateboard and a truck, if I recall correctly). Honestly, I was a little weirded out. I couldn’t wait for the BESS 1 block to end so I could make my escape.
But then, to my dismay, who should show up at our lunch table but the same kid. I didn’t know what to do, so I think I smiled and nodded a lot (a gesture I’ve done around you for many years since). And then Spanish class. And English 1. Apparently I couldn’t get away. Ever.
Who would have thought, on that first day of freshman year, that we’d be such great friends ten years later. Neither of us killed each other in high school (although, admittedly, we came close). We survived the BESS 1 trip to the zoo together, band trips and bus break-downs, birthday parties, class projects, many more first days of school. Graduation. You gave me a stupid nickname and convinced our Spanish teacher to call me that one day (Papita Frita…really?!). We went to prom in the same group. Our birthdays are only five days apart.
I guess we were destined to be friends. You certainly make life a little more interesting. I just wonder what all would be different had I managed to escape you that first day, if I’d kept that first impression as my truth. I’ll tell you what–I would have missed out on a great friend.