www.whyville.net Jun 6, 2010 Weekly Issue

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Do you remember when we were kids, and we could go up to a kid at the park and say, "Wanna be friends?" Then we would dare each other to eat worms, and laugh. Being a friend was easy back then. So, so easy. But friendship was simple back then, too. We only cared about each other's feelings to the point of sharing crayons. Being a friend is hard, which is why finding and keeping friends is even more difficult. And some of you say,"I have tons of friends." You might, but are they really, truly, friends?

"A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are." --Unknown

I only have one best friend. And, she's not perfect. She annoys me sometimes, but I still love her. Compared to my other "friends", she's the closest thing I have to a true friend. She doesn't know everything about my past, heck, no one does. But she knows that it wasn't easy. She always supports me, especially when I left her. She thought our friendship would end quickly once I left for high school. But I wasn't going to give up on a friendship that had started in the third grade. She knows that I'm going to make something out of my life. And whoever puts up with me on a daily basis deserves an award.

I think she is the only one who actually knows how weird I really am. We are both strange, we are misfits, we belong together. Yet, we are so different. She is exciting, daring, crazy, and unpredictable, while I'm safe, funny, sarcastic, weird, quirky, and outgoing. I don't know if all friends do this, but we talk for hours. Literally, hours. For example, we would just be lying in the grass, saying nothing, and one of us will shout, "Oh my god! Did I tell you . . . blah blah blah!" We also think the same way, and do the same things. Like one time, I told her something embarrassing that I do and she replied "Me too!" This is what our relationship is built upon, our weird habits.

"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." --Unknown

I asked my guy friends why they liked me. They told me I was really fun to just talk to, and that whenever they need someone to go to I'm always there to just listen. One of them also said I have a great sense of humor, because I laugh at the inappropriate things they say, and that I am funny. They said a lot of other things, but that isn't important. What is important is how good that made me feel. I love my guys friends with all my heart, even if they think I love Justin Bieber more.

They were always the people that I thought just put up with me, because I was more like a guy to them. I wasn't sure if they really thought of me as a friend. But then I realized to have a friend, they must be a friend back. Friends are hard to find. You have to search through all the fake people who will use you. But once in awhile you find someone that you will hope to keep forever. I left all of my friends when I skipped a grade. I cried all day because I didn't want to leave them. But even they understood that it was a great opportunity for me. And my real friends don't hate me for leaving them, even though many do.

I don't think I will ever forget the memories I have made with my friends -- like lying in a field of dandelions, singing random songs, or playing football until we collapsed. I'll always remember talking on the phone for hours, and even playing chess with just knights and always winning in shoots and ladders. We always had confetti wars at parties. Even being tickled until I can't breathe is a memory I cherish.

"Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer." --Unknown

Listen. That is all a person really needs. When you need a shoulder to cry on, your friend is always there waiting with a box of tissues and ice cream. Finding someone else to listen to you, and to keep it a secret is rare. My best friend, she keeps me sane. She helped me by telling me to get over my ex-boyfriend who had cheated and broke up with me on the same night. She's the only one who I can tell everything to.

But, I think feel like I am a bad friend in this department. I listen. I help. I console. I keep secrets. And the last one is what breaks me. Sometimes secrets and promises are meant to be broken. But I didn't want to be the one who ruined her life. So I didn't tell. And I'm happy I didn't because everything is fine, but I still feel a little guilty for not telling. Friends know when something is wrong even though you say you're fine when they ask how you are. And friends will listen to your problems and not judge you.

"Friends aren't jumper cables. You don't throw them into the trunk and pull them our for emergencies." --Unknown

I hate people like this. They just use you. I hate it even more when I let that certain person use me. I can draw. And one time I came to school with some new graffiti art to show my art teacher. And a popular girl, who only talks to me when she needs help with math, came up to me and asked me to do her name. And I did. And I regret it. Want to know why? Because then all of her popular friends wanted their names done. And I said no. And I wish I would have asked them why all of the sudden they are being nice to me, when they have known me all of their lives. I didn't have the bravery to do that, to make a scene. I will always be the girl that thinks up situations in her mind with good comebacks, but never says them. Never use people. In the end, everyone realizes that you were never a friend, just a person who uses others to get to the top. People like that don't care if they hurt their "friends" as long as they personally do well.

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." --Unknown

When you're in fourth grade you have a group of friends and you make a promise that you will be BFFs. Then, after a few years, everything changes. You all have different hobbies, boyfriends, views on life, and music tastes. You will grow apart, and soon forget that those girls over there were ever your best friends forever. Forever is not as long as we all hope. My best friend and I have changed greatly since we first became friends in third grade. I have no idea how we are still friends, but I guess that is what being a friend forever means. Never giving up on being a friend, even if it is tempting to leave.

Friendship isn't a one way street. Both people have to act like a friend for there to be a real friendship. Otherwise, one of you ends up getting treated badly. To have a friend, you have to be a friend. One boy in my class just doesn't understand that concept. He expects me to like him, yet everyday he calls me names and always insults the people I like. Then I told him I'm done with him. He said that he wasn't calling me names, he was calling another girl them. Does that make it any better? No. You shouldn't be friends with someone who treats his other "friends" badly.

Friends are my life. They make me smile when I'm crying. They understand me better than I even do. Friends are hard to find, and even harder to keep. But, if you are lucky enough to have a true friend in your life, never let them go.


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