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There For Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Try looking at someone withoutever getting to know them. The beautiful blonde with blue eyes couldn't be nice,she's just too pretty. The guy with brown hair and black-rimmed glasses carryingthe pre-calculus book is too smart to be interesting to you.

Now look atyour friends. If one of them shaved his head to look like Vin Diesel, would youlike him any less? If your best friend got braces, would you drop her? Theanswer, of course, is no. Your friends are people you like because of who theyare, and how they help you and each other, not the way they talk, look, dress orspeak.

My friends matter to me because they don't care that my mood jumpswhen I drink soda. They matter to me because it doesn't bother them that I slidemy feet into four-and-a-half inch boots because I like being taller. They matterto me because they don't tell me to shut up when I complain about homework orteachers. They matter to me because they're there, praying with me that mygrandmother's chemotherapy goes well. They matter to me because they got methrough my first month of high school - the hardest month of my life. They matterto me because they supported me when I thought there was no reason to likemyself, or anything I did.

For their love, support, prayers and gifts Icannot express how intensely thankful I am. For their advice, trust andencouragement, there is no equal.

When they tell me, "You can doit," I respond, "Because you believe in me." To every"Congratulations," I add "Because you supported me." Forevery "Thank you," I reply "You deserved it."

Withouttheir cheers at the fashion show, I wouldn't have had the courage to get upthere. Without their votes, I wouldn't be on the student council. Without theirsupport, I wouldn't be able to follow my musical dreams. Without their belief, Iwouldn't make it on the honor roll. Without their trust, I wouldn't know how toreact to a request for secrecy.

I need my friends for every hug and cheerthey've granted me. I thank them for all their encouragement. I adore my friendsfor every joke they have told me. I cherish my friends for every invitationthey've sent me. I treasure my friends for the forgiveness they've granted me. Irespect my friends for their putting up with my forgetfulness. I love my friendsfor everything they've ever given to me. Thank you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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