She's Been in my Classes Since 8th Grade...

March 18, 2008
By Kat Marrinan, Hyde Park, NY

She’s been in my classes since 8th grade, and although we’ve never had a sleepover or talked on the phone for two hours, she’s always been a good friend to me. This year has been no exception.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I get really anxious and stressed out over silly little things that most people let roll over their shoulders, like my homework. There are nights when I get so overwhelmed over my homework that I actually cry. Molly, who’s had the pleasure of tolerating me through my freak out sessions, thoroughly enjoys jokingly picking on me about it, but I don’t mind. In fact, I find it sweet that she knows me well enough that she can turn to me in Math class and tell me to chill out about something that I had no idea she knew I was freaking out about.

One night I had a lot of things on my mind and wanted to talk to somebody. I decided to text Molly, and immediately she was there to listen. I could tell by the way she acted around me the next day that she cared, and soon she was confiding in me, too.

It was when my grandfather died that her friendship was truly put to the test, and she passed with flying colors.
I was sitting at my desk in Global while the teacher droned on and on about the French Revolution. I tried so hard to listen, but memories kept popping up and most of my attention was focused on not crying. I didn’t want anyone to notice what was going on, but at the same time I desperately wanted someone to hold me as I cried.

The class finally ended and I hid my red eyes by pretending to dig through my backpack for something when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and looked up to see Molly looking at me with concerned eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

I tried to laugh it off. “Nothing. Why?”

“What’s wrong?”

She was being persistent. I rolled my eyes but deep down appreciated how much she cared.

“Do you want to come home with me today?”

No. I wanted to go home, curl up in bed, and cry.

“Um, I don’t know. I’m kind of tired.”

‘I’ll get you a bus pass.” And she walked away.

When the final bell rang that day, I ran to my locker and outside to the busses. There she stood at her bus, grinning wildly when she saw me and waving the bus pass in the air. I couldn’t help but smile.

She gave the pass to the bus driver and led me to a seat in the back.

“I’ll let you have the window seat.” I wanted so badly to throw my arms around her at that moment for being so kind, but I knew that’d make my pain obvious.

We sat in silence on the way to her house, and I could see her occasionally glance at me with worry out of the corner of my eye.

When we got off the bus, we walked into her house and put our stuff down in her room.

“Stay here,” she said with a mischievous grin. “I’ll be right back.”

I was finally alone. My face crumpled and a tear or two ran down my face, but I quickly wiped them away and regained my composure just as Molly walked in with two spoons and a carton of my favorite flavor of ice cream, mint chocolate chip. She sat down on the bed next to me and expectantly handed me the spoon.

“I’m not very hungry. I had kind of a big lunch.”

“Eat,” she demanded. I let out a small laugh and dug in. After a few moments she began talking.

“So, darling, what’s up?” And she wasn’t just implying small talk. She knew something was wrong.

“Nothing much,” I said. “You?”

“Well,” she began, “I have this friend, and I’m really worried about her. She looked totally fine in Global today, but I sense her pain.”

I could feel my eyes watering. I took a deep breath. “I found out that my grandfather died last night.” I turned to look at her. “I miss him already.”

She comfortingly rubbed my arm. “I’m sorry, Amy. You know I’m here for you always.”

“Well,” I began. “You know how sometimes you’re upset and you tell everyone you’re fine but really hope that someone will come up to you and know there’s something wrong and hold you while you cry?”

She nodded her head yes, and her eyes glossed over because she was sad seeing me sad, I knew.

“Can you be that someone for me, Molly?”

She wrapped her loving arms around me and held me as I sobbed onto her shoulder. And she cried with me simply because she felt my pain.

At that moment I knew that I’d be ok. I had someone that truly cared about me and knew me in some ways that other people didn’t. I’d found a true friend.

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