I don’t remember a lot about high school. I didn’t like school and I liked being in public school even less. However there are moments and days that I do recall with fondness. One such day, which began like any other, my life would be changed forever.
I had switched over to public school from parochial school in 8th grade, taking Algebra a second time because it was the highest math offered in junior high. It was fine with me, because it was an easy A. Geometry my Freshman year was a breeze. Now a sophomore, Algebra II was difficult for me. One of the youngest in the class, I was also pretty shy, so I sat in the back and mostly paid attention.
One day, a girl I had never seen walked into the classroom. She had stringy red hair and jelly shoes on her feet. I giggled. What kind of person wears jelly shoes? (I mean, besides the toddler kind.) Who was this weirdo?
Turns out she was a transfer student. Her name was Suzannah Dove. She was from San Diego, California, and I just knew her parents had to be hippies. She had freckles on her porcelain skin, an easy demeanor and kind smile. She was assigned to sit in the empty desk to my left, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Throughout that school year, we chatted, we studied together, we figured out how to pass notes to each other in our graphing calculators. (So I guess you could say weI invented texting. You’re welcome.)
Suzannah was like the butter to my toast – we were so different, and she was everything I wasn’t, but together we were better. I had never known a friendship that was so effortless, honest and fun. The things I loved about her then are still qualities I admire in her now. Twenty years later, we are still best friends. Both moms and now living on opposite sides of the country, our lives have changed drastically, but our bond remains intact. We have weathered our share of storms and been up on peaks and down in valleys together, and I am so proud to call her my best friend.
Most of our conversations happen on Skype now, but they are still as effortless as the day we met. Suzannah (whose mom is totally a hippie) is sweet and honest, and she still laughs at my jokes. I still ask her advice about fashion (are jelly shoes in again?) and dealing with my dad, and I have no doubt that we will be friends for the rest of our lives and after.