Friendships Through a Lifetime

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I wrote this for a portrait essay for my Advanced Composition class about my friends.

Girl scouts have been saying it for years, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the others gold.” Some friends can be easily let go, while others will be kept and remembered for a lifetime. Throughout my 18 years of life I have come across many interesting people, but only a handful have journeyed this far in life with me. Since they have spent several years with me, I feel it only right that I take you on a journey to meet them. So take a step inside the time machine and let’s journey through time and space. The vision of stars and mist clear and a scene unfolds.

Kean University, Union, NJ

Joe stared across the room at the trash can that was over flowing with garbage. He was wondering why no one bothered to take it out and could only come up with one solution: laziness. They were all lazy at some times, but never lazy enough to ignore tons of trash cascading out of the trash can. He looked over at Kenny, wondering if he would realize the trash situation and go take care of it. But seeing as Kenny was deeply immersed in playing a video game Joe knew it wasn’t going to happen unless he actually said something to him.

“Hey K Hawk,” he began, leaning forward.

“What’s up JT?” he replied, his eyes not leaving the glowing television screen.

“I think someone should take out the trash.”

Pausing the game, Kenny looked over the back of the couch toward the corner where the trash can sat. “You know JT, I think you’re right. How ‘bout we make it a team effort?” This wasn’t exactly what Joe had in mind but to humor his friend he agreed. They both got up and, removing the trash bag from the can, took the trash and recycling down the hall to the trash room. As soon as they came back Kenny hopped over the back of the couch and resumed his game. Joe slid over to the keyboard that stood against the wall next to the kitchen table. Turning it on he began to hit out a few notes, looking for the right one.

“Jeremy Ray, it’s his birthday today! And we just want to say, ‘happy birthday Jeremy Ray.’”

“That’s a great song JT. I’m sure Jeremy would really appreciate it,” Kenny commented as the song ended and Joe turned off the keyboard.

Just then the door swung open and Larissa came wandering into the room. She flounced down on the couch next to Kenny and tried to rest her head on his shoulder.

“Larissa! Your head is weighing down my shoulder, which is throwing my whole balance in the game off!”

“Well sorry!” she replied, sounding highly annoyed. Sitting up straight she folded her arms across her chest and pouted. Kenny ignored her and continued with his game.

West Deptford High School, West Deptford, NJ

Natalie sat with her hand holding up her head, slumped over the desk. It was another excruciatingly long day in school. It was finally her last year in this hell hole and she couldn’t wait to be out of here for good. Unfortunately, it was only October. Staring blankly at the board, she sighed as the teacher began writing complicated math problems all over it. Natalie decided it would be smart if she took out her notebook and took down some of the problems in her notes. If she was going to get out of this hell hole passing would be a smart idea. Once she found a blank page she took out a pencil and began to write. The point broke. A low aggravated growl escaped her lips. This was not a good day for this. She rummaged through her bag but came up empty. Turning to Christine she whispered, “Hey, you got a pencil I can borrow?” Christine finished jotting down the problem she was working on and handed Natalie the pencil she was using. Reaching into her bag she pulled out another for herself. “Thanks,” Natalie whispered to her. As she turned back to the board her jaw dropped. He was erasing the board. He was erasing the board and she didn’t have anything written down! This was not good. It was only October and she felt like she was failing this class. They barely had any lessons and she felt doomed, like she would never be able to keep up. Christine tapped her arm. ‘You can borrow my notes,’ she mouthed to her. A small smile lifted the sides of her mouth.

The bell rang and Natalie almost ran out of the room in frustration. Christine caught up with her halfway down the hall. “Hey, what’s up?” she asked sounding concerned.

“Today is just not a good day,” she replied.

“Woke up on the wrong side of the bed?”

“Something like-,” Christine gasped cutting her off. She stopped dead in her tracks and Natalie had to backtrack.

“What is it?”

“It’s him!” she replied so low that Natalie almost missed it.

“Who?” Natalie asked craning her neck to see over the bustling crowd of students.

“Don’t look!” she grabbed her by the arm and pulled her around the corner and out of sight. Sighing, Christine leaned against the wall and sunk down to the floor. A smile spread across Natalie’s face as she watched her friend blush and catch her breath. “What was that about?” she asked, stifling a laugh.

“ Russell Hammond,” she breathed as if she were talking about a god.

“Who?”

Christine’s eyes shot open, “Russell Hammond! You know long hair, gorgeous smile, the wrestler?”

“Oh!” Natalie said a chuckle escaping her lips. “What about him?”

“What did I say that you don’t understand? He’s gorgeous!”

“Not entirely. I’ve seen better wrestlers.”

“At least this one I can actually try and date.”

“That’s what you say now, tomorrow you’ll be harping over some other guy.”

Christine jumped up, “That’s not true!”

Natalie laughed at how angry she was getting over something so small, because it was true. Practically every other week she had a crush on some guy. Sometimes it would be a jock but on rare occasions it would be a theater nerd. “You’re right, it’s not true,” Natalie decided to humor her, only because she didn’t want to be late for her next class.

Kean University, Union, NJ

Larissa sat on the living room chair while Ruth was laid out on the sofa. Both of them were concentrating on homework, or at least they were trying to. The television was blaring which made it kind of hard to concentrate, but without it on it was too quiet. The program that was playing went to a commercial break and a Purina dog food commercial came on.

“Awww! Look it’s a puppy!” Ruth squealed in delight. “It’s so cute! I want a puppy! Larissa will you buy me a puppy?”

Larissa looked at her, a smirk spreading on her face. “Sure, I’ll buy you a puppy. Once you graduate college.”

“But that’s so far away! Why can’t we have a puppy now?”

“Cause there would be no way possible to house a puppy here at school.”

“We’ll find a way,” Ruth tried to reason with her. “It’ll be easy.”

“Alright, then how will it go to the bathroom?”

“We’ll smuggle it out!”

“I’m sure that won’t be a hassle at all,” Larissa replied sarcastically.

“Oh fine, you’re no fun,” Ruth pouted, disappointed that she would have to wait several years before obtaining what she wants most in life.

West Deptford High School, West Deptford, NJ

Christine stood on the auditorium stage looking out into the audience. Janine sat on the ground next to her. They were waiting for class to begin, even though it was supposed to have started fifteen minutes ago. To pass the time Christine stared at Bobby Heart as he sat on the auditorium floor, joking with his buddies. “He is so cute!” she exclaimed as quietly as possible.

“Ew! You think Mr. Yerkes is cute!?” Janine yelled. Unbeknownst to Christine, their teacher, Mr. Yerkes, had just left their side. He had been working out some floor plans for the upcoming musical while she was busily staring at Bobby Heart and her comment didn’t come out until Mr. Yerkes walked away, making it seem like she was talking about him.

“I wasn’t talking about Mr. Yerkes!” she replied quickly in a hushed whisper. She was hoping that no one had heard the loud outburst so that she wouldn’t look completely weird. Suddenly, Mr. Yerkes was at her side again, his hand propped on his chest in a dramatic fashion.

“You think I’m cute?” he asked, being completely serious.

Janine and Christine looked at each other in disbelief and started laughing. “Ew, no! That’s gross!” they shrieked at the same time. Their teacher gave them a look and walked back to his paperwork.

Kean University, Union, NJ

Kenny let the wind whip his face and he ran through the parking lot. “Come on you guys!” he called back to Joe, Ruth and Larissa who were still several feet behind him. He could hear Joe running behind him, but his legs weren’t as long which was his disadvantage. Kenny didn’t think that Ruth and Larissa were trying to keep up, when suddenly he felt someone slam into his back. Larissa had sprinted full force to catch up with him and then jumped into him, hoping to knock him off balance. She would have succeeded if he hadn’t somehow managed to keep his balance. The two raced each other all the way to the front entrance of her dorm, where Kenny beat her by an inch.

“Ha! I beat you!” he yelled triumphantly.

“Yeah, by an inch,” Larissa replied scathingly. She didn’t mind losing the Kenny, the only thing she did mind was how he rubbed it in her face when he did win. Shortly after their race, Joe and Ruth caught up with them and they all went upstairs to Larissa’s room. Feeling exhausted, Larissa went straight over to her bed and collapsed. She couldn’t remember the last time she had run that fast. Closing her eyes, she took a few deep breathes to calm her racing heart down. Since her eyes were closed she didn’t see Kenny approach her bed. Jumping on top of her, he held her down with his knees as he tried to pull the second mattress at the side of her bed up.

“Help me JT! Let’s make a Larissa Oreo!” Kenny called across the room.

“No! No!” Larissa shouted, giggling at the same time. She wasn’t sure if she liked this game or not. She knew that Kenny’s playful side was one reason why she loved him so much, but sometimes his playful side could be a little painful.

“You know K-Hawk I would but I’m pretty tired from that run.”

“Ruth!” he called.

“I’m a little tired too,” she replied.

“You didn’t even run!” Kenny complained. Larissa caught a glimpse over at the two sitting on the couch and smiled as she saw their wide smiles. They were just doing it to spite Kenny. They knew he couldn’t succeed in holding her down and getting the mattress on top of her and they didn’t necessarily feel like helping him with this process. Finally giving up as Larissa kept up a good fight, he went and sat on the couch next to Joe. Larissa sat up in her bed and looked over at them. Kenny had the ‘you’re no fun’ look spread across his face but Larissa didn’t feel like sympathizing with him. Turning from them, she grabbed the remote off her nightstand and turned on the television. To be fair she threw Kenny the remote and let him choose what to watch, even though she somehow knew it was going to be something stupid.

West Deptford, NJ

Andrew sat on the floor in his basement. He looked around at his friends that were gathered there for the traditional Friday movie night. Liz was conversing animatedly with Natalie and Emily about the latest video game she was playing, while Christine and Janine discussed the upcoming musical and how their hopes on receiving a part were not high. He wasn’t paying much attention to the conversation that was going on between Fred and Jim though. He was too busy listening for his dad’s voice, calling him when the pizza had arrived.

“What do you think, Andrew?” Fred asked him, bringing him out of his own thoughts. Since he hadn’t been paying much attention, he wasn’t sure where the conversation had turned. In response, he smiled, nodded his head, and replied, “Yeah, I know what you mean.” Andrew figured he gave the right answer when Fred smiled smugly, turned to Jim and said, “See, he agrees with me.” Their conversation continued but instead of actually trying to follow along, Andrew got up and decided to pull out a few movies to get the process started.

The picking of the movie process had always been a complicated one. Since there were so many people who usually came there were many different opinions. Either that or they sat there for a good thirty minutes with no one picking a movie because no one cared. Hoping that tonight would be a rare quick pick night Andrew pulled out his box of movies and began to lay a few on the floor. He also placed the few that others brought in the mix.

“Okay guys,” he said once he was done laying out the choices. “Let’s pick a movie now so we can start watching when the food gets here.” Everyone crowded around the pile on the floor and began to look at the choices. Andrew had laid out a good amount of movies. Some were there because they had never watched them as a group before, such as Alien and The Terminator. Others, such as Labyrinth and Rocky Horror, were only in the pile because they had watched them so many times that it was funny to see them as choices. Luckily tonight was a quick pick night and within ten minutes everyone had decided on Mulholland Drive, a Stephen Lynch film that Andrew bought because he heard it was a must see. Once the food arrived they all found a comfortable spot in the room and the movie started.

After the movie was over everyone sat in wide eyed disbelief. No one moved or said a word for several minutes. Finally, Janine said, “What the hell was that?” and everyone started to laugh.

“That was probably the weirdest movie I saw in my whole life,” Emily commented.

“That was the weirdest movie I ever saw,” Liz threw in and pretty much everyone agreed.

Andrew got up, turned off the television, and turned on the light. He was very satisfied with the night’s events. Although the movie was very confusing, everyone seemed to have had a good time. He was also glad when the night went off without a hitch and couldn’t wait for next week to see what the night would hold.

The stories above are based off true events that have happened in my life. I have taken myself out of the stories so that I could emphasize the way my friends act and the reasons why we’re friends. Those mentioned in the stories above are the people I hang out with more than anyone else. While I do have many other friends, these are the people I know that will always be there for me no matter what I go through, and that’s why I picked them out of everyone.

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