The Everlasting Friendship This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   There we were, at Village Pizza, the day beforeour lives would change. My best friend of 17 years was going to collegetomorrow, leaving me behind.

Lauren and I grew up together, andliving three houses away had made us like family. We were alwaysstarting new businesses, like selling lemonade. As a sister figure,Lauren liked to get me into trouble. At one of our families' summergatherings, Lauren decided it would be fun to run through the backyardsof the neighborhood. We continued running until we reached Lauren's. Ourparents ran after us, but by then we were already running through thefront yards. We thought it was a big game until we got caught. Onanother occasion, Lauren decided to play hairdresser. Her idea ofcutting my hair was to take big chunks and chop it off at the scalp.That was the last time we ever played hairdresser.

As we grew,our time playing restaurant and beauty parlor decreased. Instead, wewould combine our wardrobes, gossip about guys and pick out the rightmakeup. Calling each other late at night frantically searching forsomething to wear became a tradition. We never ate at our own house ifwe didn't like the food.

"What are you having?" I'dask.

"Meat loaf," she'd reply.

"Allright, we're eating at my house. We're having pizza!" We sharedeverything.

When we entered high school things started to change.As I was getting used to freshman year at one school, Lauren was alreadyan established sophomore at another. Our social life developed a twist.While she attended occasional parties, I was still trying to rememberthe names of my new friends. I began to worry about Lauren, because shewas experiencing a freedom I could not. We were in different situations.She seemed different with her friends than with me. I wanted to be withher but I had to find my niche at my own school.

The hardest andbest times of our friendship were during her senior year. I set her upwith a good friend. Because I was their connection, we started going outtogether, but as they became closer, I was not needed. Her life began torevolve around him and everywhere she went, he followed. We never didanything just the two of us; he was always included. When she wanted toborrow an outfit, it was because he was taking her out. When we hadneighborhood functions, he was invited. Although I still loved Laurendearly, I didn't feel it was returned. This feeling continued until Irealized our time together was running out. We were still best friends,and whether her boyfriend was included or not, I wanted to spend as muchtime as possible with her. The last few weeks were some of our besttimes, simply because we were together.

The day before Laurenleft, we went out for lunch, just the two of us. We reminisced about ourfriendship and all our adventures. It felt good to be with her and talk.I realized it really was the tough times in our relationship that moldedus into the friends we are today. Our friendship will go through morechanges. I will no longer have someone to call at 11 p.m. because I needto borrow an outfit. I will no longer have the option of eating with herfamily because I don't like the meal at my house. She will no longer behere to give me a hug when I need one. I do know that because ourfriendship is so strong, these rough times will pass and more good oneswill come. Our last lunch together had an important impact on me. Irealized that whether she lives three seconds or three hours away, shewill always be my best friend - and my best hair stylist.




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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