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She walked with her pitch black hair, parted to the right, covering her right eye, just as it always did, as she walked home. I was forced to follow her for about 3 blocks until we went into our separate houses everyday, and that day was no different. She still had a way about her that both attracted guys to her, and scared them away. That’s not why I was afraid of her; it was that ice cold, bright blue, angry gaze she always gave me when I’d say a word to her. We were neighbors, and she always got off the bus first, which forced me to walk behind her every day. I didn’t dare come within a 3 foot radius of her though because, even if by accident, I knew I didn’t want that terrifying and terrified blue gaze upon me. The thought of it used to send chills up and down my spine.
Hi, I’m Olivia, I’m 23 now, but back then I was only 13 and went to middle school in Oklahoma. The girl with the icy blue gaze, her name is Silvia. I always knew she had a dark past, but I couldn’t imagine the horror it held. She scared every girl and boy in school, but oddly enough, boys were still attracted to her. Unfortunately for those boys, if they ever even tried to “make a move” on her, she’d stare at them despitefully with that scary, icy blue gaze that no human being would ever wish upon another. It scared me particularly though, because it seemed to cross paths with my own soft green eyes far too often. That day it had seemed like I would be spared of it for once, but unfortunately for me, I wasn’t spared and that time it had burned even worse than normal because of the fear that I saw behind it.
That day, as we were turning the last corner towards our houses, I paused, just as I always did, to put distance between Silvia and myself, but when I walked around the corner I saw something that I shouldn’t have seen. Silvia was messing with her hair and I caught a glimpse of her right eye. But this was no regular right eye, it was YELLOW. When she noticed me, she flung her hair back over it and stared in my eyes with an angry, yet terribly frightened, icy cold, blue gaze. The fear stung in my eyes like I had been looking directly at the sun, only this was colder, a lot colder. It caused me to take a step or two backward and look at the ground rather than directly at it. When I looked up she was still standing there, looking hurt. I was confused why she appeared hurt, but I had taken a vow of fear not to speak to her because I feared that her voice would sound just as spiteful as her gaze. So I just looked at her, as did she at me. I stood there for a while looking at the hair that now covered her right eye. She looked directly into my green eyes, which made them sting horribly, but I refused to say anything. Eventually she broke the awkward, almost painful, silence.
“What did you see?” Her voice was harsh, commanding, and afraid all at once. I didn’t flinch.
I broke my vow of silence towards her: “Nothing…I didn’t see anything.” I stammered.
“Yes you did,” She insisted, “what…did… you… see?”
“Your eye.” I admitted quietly.
“What about my eye is making you stand there like some kind of demented statue?” she spat.
The insult stung, but I kept my head level, “It was…yellow…”
“And?” it was clear she was awkward talking about it.
“And…I won’t say a word to anyone I swear!” I was tempted to run, because I was getting more and more uncomfortable by the second, but her gaze kept me glued to the spot.
“You’d better hope you don’t,” She hissed, “because I’ll find out if you do and you don’t want that upon you, do you?”
“No I don’t. I swear I won’t tell!” just let me go! I added silently.
She lifted her piercing blue gaze from me, turned, and walked away.
I stayed put for a moment, breathing deeply, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Once I heard the door to Silvia’s house close, I snapped out of my daze and dashed down the street to my house. I put my stuff in the front hall, dashed out the back door, and ran to the lake nearby. I jumped a small distance from the path, across a stretch of the lake, to an island on the other side, and ran deep into the center of the island. There I huddled under the canopy of trees with a note pad and began to write what I could remember of my conversation with Silvia—if you could call it a conversation that is. I sat there for about an hour working out just two minutes worth of conversation. When I got up I was covered in dust, dirt and dead leaves, but I didn’t bother brush them off. Instead I began my slow walk home.
When I got there, my mom was just hanging up the phone. “Olivia!” She sounded excited, “You didn’t tell me you made a new friend today!”
“What?” I said confusedly.
“A new friend! She just called! Her name’s…uh…Silvia! Yes, that’s it! Silvia! She’s on her way over right now.”
My heart leapt to my throat. What had my mother done?! “Oh yeah, Silvia, right,” I tried desperately to keep my voice steady, and luckily succeeded, “I don’t know if you could call us friends exactly…”
“Oh don’t be silly! She said she needed to talk to you. You! Olivia, not even Jessica tells you her secrets! This is great!”
“If by great you mean terrible.” I mumbled so it was barely audible.
“What was that?” My mom was busying herself with our stack of mail.
“Nothing, nothing, I’ll just go…”
That’s when the doorbell rang. I was sure that bell sounded my certain doom.
“That must be her!” My mom said in a singsong voice as she went to get the door.
Here it comes! I thought, Death by gaze! If that’s possible…
“Hello, you must be Silvia.” My mom opened the door and stepped aside to let Silvia in.
“Yes ma’am.” Silvia’s icy blue eye didn’t look so icy, and her voice wasn’t that commanding yet terrified voice I had heard before. It was respectful and somewhat sweet. “Hi, Olivia!” She called waving sweetly.
“Hi, Silvia!” I tried to copy her, most likely fake, enthusiasm.
“You two girls have fun.” My mom left us in the front hall and went to finish sorting through the mail.
I led Silvia awkwardly up the stairs to my room where we sat on green and blue beanbag chairs across from each other. The first few moments were awkward, we didn’t say anything, we didn’t make eye contact, we didn’t even glimpse at each other. Silvia was the first to speak.
“Your mom seems nice.” She said.
Finally I couldn’t take the act anymore, “Why did you tell my mom we were friends?” I demanded, “Today was the first time we’ve EVER spoken!”
She shrugged, “I didn’t. I just said I wanted to talk to you. She said you weren’t home so I asked to come over to speak to you and she said yes. I didn’t try to sound like we were friends, but that’s what she seemed to think anyway.”
I sighed angrily; mom always did this. Like with Jessica; we’ve known each other for a while, and mom seems to think we’re friends, but we can’t STAND each other.
“So….what did you want to tell me?” my voice quivered involuntarily.
Silvia noticed it and seemed hurt. “Why does everyone do that?” She whispered.
“Do what?” my voice quivered that time too.
“THAT! They’re all afraid of me, like I’m some kind of murderer or bully of something! Most of the girls hate me too! They think I TRY to steal their boyfriends away! It’s not my fault they’re disloyal drooling slobs who can’t control their gross boy impulses!”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Silvia eventually smiled and laughed a little too.
“I like your laugh,” I said, “It’s kinda mysterious, but still really sweet.”
She seemed surprised, “Oh, thanks.” There was a pause, then she continued, “But it’s true! If it were up to me I’d give them all to that Vendetta girl.”
I laughed, “You mean Vanessa?”
“Is there a difference?” She laughed too.
“You really should talk more, you’re actually pretty funny.” I said.
“Thanks, but no thanks.”
“It wouldn’t change anyone’s mind about me. Why should I bother?”
The idea that she that was always the way she always thought made me feel sad for her.
“It’s changing my mind.” I offered.
She smiled at me. “You’re different then them. You seem to feel bad for me because I’m different, the rest of them, all of them, they just hate me for it. Thanks though.” She glanced over at the clock. Her eyes widened and she stood. “I have to go, I’m sorry. Good bye.” She almost flew out of my room, down the steps, and out the door.
“Bye, Silvia!” I called after her.
“I heard you two laughing up there,” my mom was drying a champagne glass in the kitchen, “did you two have fun?”
I smiled. “Yah, I did,” I said honestly, “it was nice.” I looked at the clock. It read 4:45. We had been up there for almost an hour and a half. How long WAS that silence? I wondered.
The next day at the bus stop I was about the fourth person there. Thomas, Mitch, and Vanessa were all there too. Mitch seemed happy to see me, as always, but Thomas was too unwillingly sucked into Vanessa’s boring story to notice my approach.
When Vanessa saw me she snickered. “Look boys,” she said, “It’s the…”
“What’s the name today Vanessa?” I interrupted, annoyed, “disaster magnet? Snappy piranha…?”
“Or how about lonesome ‘livia?” Mitch joked.
“The ice friend.” she said.
“What’s that mean?” I asked.
“Oh sorry,” she said, “the Ice Eye friend.”
My eyes widened for a second. “The Ice Eye” was Silvia’s cruel nickname name. She couldn’t possibly know, could she? I wondered. Judging by the way Mitch looked at the ground and Thomas turned away I guessed they must know something.
“Since when are the Ice Eye and I considered friends?” I asked.
“Oh don’t play dumb,” Vanessa spat, “we ALL saw you talking to her.” Vanessa said “her” in such an icy way it was almost worse Silvia’s blue eye.
“I bumped into her!” I said hurriedly, “I was apologizing!”
“It was a little longer than an apology.” Thomas said quietly.
Vanessa crossed her arms, tipped her head to the right, raised her eye brows, and smiled evilly as if to say ‘ha! I win.’
“She glared at me!” I said, “You of all people should know about my temper! I got mad and she penalized me for it!”
“Ookay, if you say so Ice Eye friend.” Vanessa laughed and turned to the group of girls walking up.
“Sorry, Olivia,” Mitch said, “it just, well, we all saw you, and it looked like you weren’t angry or telling her off. In fact, it looked kinda like she was telling you off. I thought you looked kinda scared too. Is everything alright?” Mitch went from curious to worried in a second flat, he always did.
“I’ll tell you later, I promise.” I said.
“During Science?” He asked.
“How about during the after school bus ride?” I smiled sweetly.
He blushed, “Alright.” He said. That smile always did the trick, with him anyway, it was different for every other boy in school.
I heard laughter and looked over to where Vanessa was. She was making kissy faces with her hands, obviously making fun of Mitch and I.
“Oh knock it off,” I said aggressively, “we all know you’re jealous of me.”
She laughed, “Jealous? Of you?! You’re crazy!”
“We all know about you’re little crush on Mitch, Vanessa, don’t deny it.”
Vanessa blushed as the other girls started laughing and making fun of her. “Oh yah, THAT crush,” they said, laughing at her many, many crushes.
I saw the bus approaching slowly down the street and said, “You’re carriage awaits Princess Vendetta.” I silently thanked Silvia for the perfect nickname I had searched so long to find.
All the other girls started to laugh and Vanessa turned her back to us all.
By now Thomas had managed to slip away from Vanessa, so Mitch, Thomas, and I all entered the bus one behind the other, like nothing had happened at all the day before.
We went through the school day normally and then, on the bus ride home, I described to Mitch what had happened the day before. I told him everything about Silvia and my initial conversation; including her very yellow eye. I left out the part about her coming to my house later.
“Wait, wait, wait,” he said, “Her eye was WHAT color?”
“Yellow,” I said, “Like a dog’s eye might be, not like she has a disease or something.”
“Weird…” He paused for a second, “Then what happened?” he asked.
“She yelled at me and made me swear not to tell.”
Mitch raised his eye brows and looked at me skeptically.
“Okay, okay! I broke my promise, but you won’t tell, will you?”
Mitch sighed, “No, I won’t. And that’s a big secret to keep; I’m not surprised you told me.”
“OH A SECRET HUH?!” Vanessa popped her head out of the top of the seat behind us. “Come on, what is it? You know I love a good secret.”
“And I’d tell you why?” I asked scornfully.
“Because I can keep a secret.” She said hopefully.
Mitch and I both started laughing. “YOU?” We said in harmony.
“One thing’s for sure,” I teased, “You can be funny Vendetta.”
Vanessa glared at me, “And you can be easy target practice!” she said. Then she disappeared behind the seat and ran back to the back of the bus.
Finally, we came to my stop. Mitch veered off to the left, waving his good-bye, and headed toward his house. Vanessa chased after him to try to pry the secret I’d told him from his lips. Meanwhile I walked toward my house, following Silvia the whole way. It wasn’t until we had turned the corner and walked a few paces that she turned on me.
“YOU TOLD HIM!” she said suddenly.
She had turned so quickly I had only a second to react and I fell backwards just trying to keep myself from running into her. I jumped to my feet as quickly as I could.
“YOU SWORE YOU WOULDN’T TELL!” She bellowed. Her icy blue eye was filled with hatred, hurt, anger, and fear; mostly fear.
“I’m sorry,” I pleaded, “Mitch thought you had threatened me or something! I’m a terrible liar! And it’s MITCH, he won’t tell. Now come on, keep moving, you know the two streets merge here, they’ll see us!”
“That won’t hurt my reputation.” I was as though she had stuck me with needles.
This time it wasn’t her gaze gluing me to the spot but the hurt behind her voice. She thought she could trust me, I thought, and I betrayed her! “Silvia, please, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t keep that secret! And Mitch won’t tell anyone; I tell him everything!”
“I’ve noticed.” She said coldly. Then she spun around and ran down the street towards her house.
I sighed and walked slowly home.
When I got there, however, Silvia was leaning up against the door.
“I heard what Vendetta called you this morning,” she said, “the Icy Eye friend. That must’ve stung.”
I stood there silent. It hadn’t stung per se, but it had caught me off guard and made me worried.
“Aren’t you going to say anything? I thought you were snappy comeback girl.”
I still said nothing. The truth was, what I had wanted to say, the snappy comeback pleading to burst out of my head, was suppressed by the guilt I felt at betraying her trust and telling her most precious secret.
“Fine.” She walked away. And then over her shoulder she said, “You know, Olivia, I was hoping to tell you something yesterday, I just ran out of time.” She sighed. “I guess mom and I will be the only ones to know then, because I’m certainly not going to tell someone like them.” Then she walked away.
I walked to the door and put the key in the lock. Then I paused. Once I had sorted out my thoughts, I turned the key, opened the door, and went up to my room to figure out what to do.
The next day, luckily, was Saturday. I woke up early and went to stand outside Silvia’s house until she came out. My guilt and curiosity wasn’t the only thing making me force myself to talk to her, it was my odd longing for her friendship.
Silvia exited her house backwards, silently, and locked the door behind her. She turned around and nearly had a heart attack when she saw me.
“What do you want?” she said scornfully, walking away from me.
“To talk to you!” I said. I grabbed her shoulder and caught a glimpse of her yellow eye as her hair swung around to cover it.
She grabbed her hair and covered her eye with it as fast as possible. “We don’t have anything to talk about!” she said in a hushed, angry tone, “You betrayed my secret to some boy!”
“Mitch isn’t just some random boy!” I said.
“Oh I know,” she said, “he’s your secret keeper, your crush, your…”
I laughed, “Mitch? I’m his crush! I don’t have a crush on him! He’s just my best friend, nothing else!”
“Okay,” she said, calming down, “I’m not princess vendetta, you don’t have to explain it to me. Nice nickname by the way.”
I laughed, “I owe it to you, I never thought about the fact that Vanessa sounds like vendetta!”
“Not to mention it describes her perfectly!” Silvia laughed too.
“Olivia?” Mitch was walking down the street towards us, “Who are you…SILVIA?!” He stopped about three feet away, shocked. “I thought you said she…and you…and then…and…WHAT?”
Silvia looked at me. “Apparently you don’t tell him everything.” She said. She seemed somewhat hurt that I had kept Silvia and my growing friendship from him.
I walked over to Mitch, “Sorry Mitch,” I said, “I should have told you, but on Thursday…” I glanced over at Silvia to see if it was okay that I told him.
She smiled and nodded.
“What!? What happened? What’s going on!?” Mitch’s voice cracked in his confusion.
I explained to him all that had happened that Thursday afternoon as well as the argument Silvia and I had had the day before.
Mitch looked from me to Silvia’s slightly smiling face and back. Then he did a double take of Silvia to make sure that was a smile he had seen, not an evil grin or something.
Silvia blushed and turned her head away.
Mitch looked back to me. “So Vanessa calling you the ‘ice eye friend’ was…”
“True.” I said, “Silvia and I are friends.”
He stood there for a second trying to comprehend all of what he just learned.
“Silvia came up with the vendetta part of Princess Vendetta.” I said.
“Really?” Mitch looked at Silvia, who nodded, “That’s really funny you know,” he said.
Silvia smiled, “Thanks, Olivia seemed to think so.” She smiled at me.
Mitch smiled at Silvia, “You know I’ve never heard you speak before.” He said.
“I hadn’t either until Thursday.” I said.
She blushed, “I guess I was just afraid.”
“Of what?” I said, “You’re really funny and nice.”
Mitch nodded his agreement.
“Thanks,” She said, “You guys are really awesome. Even you, Mr. Crush.”
Mitch blushed; he had given up on ever denying this stuff, it was so obvious anyway.
“I wanna show you something, Silvia.” I said, “It’s a place where we can talk and have no one interrupt.”
Mitch’s eyes widened; he knew exactly where I was talking about; my island. I had never shown anyone my island, not even Mitch, not even my mom.
We said goodbye to Mitch and then I led her to the lake. Once we got to the right place in path I showed Silvia how to jump correctly onto the island without getting wet. She almost missed and showered mud on us as she landed. She apologized profusely as I led her to the center. She only stopped apologizing when her breath was taken by the beautiful clearing showered with leaves and flower petals.
“This is…it’s just…it’s…wow…” she was speechless.
“I worked tirelessly to make it perfect. Now let’s see…where did I put that thing? It should be right around….here!” I brushed off some flower petals to reveal a picnic blanket wrapped in plastic. I took off the plastic and laid out the blanket. We sat down and she leaned back and let her yellow eye see the sun. I wondered how often she let that happen.
Seeing how happy I was at seeing her happy, she decided it was the right time to tell me what she had originally wanted to.
“I can trust you, can’t I?” She sounded like she believed it.
“Of course. I swear I won’t tell. Not even Mitch. Not after the lecture you gave me.” I smiled playfully.
She seemed too serious to notice my playful tone. “Good.” she said, “because I’m about to explain to you my biggest hatred of myself, and my most intense and deepest secret.”
Her eye. I knew right away. I nodded and sat up, facing her, all traces of my playful smile wiped away.
“Okay.” She took a deep breath and then began her tale of hurt. “My parents got married the day after I was born. My mom felt kind of obliged to marry him, but she didn’t really love him. The day I was born I was declared a freak of science because of this,” she pointed to her yellow eye, “it was a reminder of the hardest time in my mother’s life. And it was a curse. Obviously, it wasn’t normal; it’s not every day you see a girl with two different colored eyes, especially not one blue and one yellow. My blue eye came from my mom; her eyes are that color. The yellow one came from my dad.”
“Wait,” I said, “your dad had yellow eyes?”
“Kind of,” she said, “My dad’s natural eye color was black, but he got a disease that caused his eye to turn yellow and it didn’t go away. The color that is, the disease did, and somehow it got into his genes or something and passed it on to me. That’s part of why it was so weird.” She paused there.
“Is that the end?” I asked warily.
“No.” She said, “It’s the beginning. It’s like a preface to the story, a painful, painful story.” She took a deep, shaky breath. I could see the tears brimming in her eyes clearly in the sunshine.
I slid up next to her and gave her a one-armed hug.
She smiled at me, breathed one more time and then continued. “I grew up three years with that man. My biological father, yes, but not my dad, never my dad. He abused my mother. And he abused me.”
I couldn’t help but stare in shock; I had never known someone who had been abused. I couldn’t imagine how someone could do something like that; abusing someone who didn’t deserve it. I though it was like a terrible fate; to have to face that fear, pain, and torture every day.
“He would hit my mother and terrorize me. He seemed to know every niche of the house we lived in. He knew all my hiding places. All the ones in the house anyway. He didn’t know about the little cave out back under the deck, but it was rare I could get out of the house. Just imagine, a little one, two, three year old girl trying to get out of the house to get away from daddy. Believe me; it’s much worse than it sounds.”
“Much worse?” I couldn’t imagine it could get any worse, this story of hers. I but had no idea.
“Yes.” She said. “Finally my mom was fed up. The night before the day of my third birthday we stole away as soon as he had passed out on the couch from too much beer. We took very little, my doll, a couple pairs of clothes and my travel bed. My mom took even less for herself; three pairs of clothes and two books—I found out later one was my baby book; the other was her drawing journal. She was an artist.” Silvia took another breath. “We bought new clothes and moved far away. We spent two years with my mother’s sister to let my mom’s bruises heal.
“When I was about to start school, the week before actually, my mom got a call on her new cell phone. I was playing in the room next to the kitchen. I didn’t hear the voice on the other line. I just saw my mom get a terrified look on her face and run to the kitchen window. My Aunt went over to her and I heard my mom whisper something. All I caught of it was “911…the black one…get her out.” My aunt looked scared but calmed her self and walked over to me. “We’re going to go on a little trip, Silvie” Silvie’s my nickname. I asked her “what about mommy?” but she just swept me up, ran and got my dolly and my school backpack and we left through the back door and got into my aunt’s red van. We started to drive off, and through the back window I saw my mom exit the house and meet him in front of the car. I saw him grab her by the back of her neck and force her towards the passenger door of the car. I called out for her but we were too far away. My aunt was on the phone with 911, describing the car that my father was kidnapping my mom in. She said his license plate number and then she hung up. We stopped in the next town at a gas station and she took me out and brushed my hair away from my right eye. She kissed me on the forehead and explained that I’d be living with her for a while. She was a hair stylist so she styled my hair to look totally different.” Silvia sighed, “She straightened it and dyed it black, not the beautiful golden brown I shared with my mother. When she was done I looked really different. She took a picture out of my backpack and handed it to me.” Silvia sat on her knees and reached into her back pocket. She produced an old photo. She reluctantly handed it to me. “That’s her,” she said, a slight pain ridden smile on her face, “that’s my mother, that’s the photo my aunt gave me.”
I unfolded it carefully and looked at it. It had yellowed a bit, but I could still make out two beautiful, soft ice-blue eyes and gorgeous curly golden-brown hair belonging to a tall, beautiful woman. She was holding a small baby with the same beautiful hair, but only one eye showed of the baby, and it was the same ice-blue, but the eye seemed colder some how. A man’s hand was on the baby’s shoulder, but that half of the picture was ripped off.
“My aunt gave it to me ripped.” She pointed to the baby, “that was me,” she said, then pointed to the hand, “that, that was his. I don’t remember what he looked like now, thank god, but I can tell he was strong.” She took the picture back and put it back in her back pocket. Her smile was long gone.
“Did you ever see your mother again?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, “briefly. I was about seven when my aunt took me on another “trip”. She took me to a diner and I met a woman there. Her hair was brown with golden streaks and she had blue eyes. It was my mother. After my mother told my aunt something, my aunt seemed relieved. My mother nodded to me and my aunt smiled her approval. My mom walked over to me and sat down on the opposite side of the diner table. She looked at my hair and sighed, “You always had beautiful hair, just like mine.” She had said. When I looked up at her hair, it was darker than I had remembered, but I still knew this woman was my mother. I asked her why she left me and tears rolled down her cheeks. She said that my aunt would explain it later. When my aunt did explain she said that the man on the phone had been him and that he threatened to harm me if my mother didn’t come out within that minute. The thought of me being harmed was a fate, she had said, that my mother saw as worse than death. My mom made me promise to change my hair color back when I turned 13. My mother told me what she told my aunt; that the police had caught my father and he had died of alcohol poisoning the next day. I never saw her again after that; I think she thought I’d be safer that way, you know, just in case.” I saw her begin to cry, but she wiped the tears away. “I live with my aunt now. My 13th birthday was last week, but my aunt didn’t have time to style it, and it’s not like I can just get a hair cut at a salon. Sorry mom.” That was the end of her story. The tears still shone in her eyes.
Tears were hot on my cheeks. That was the saddest story I had ever heard up to that point and it remains to be the saddest one I’ve heard thus far in my life.
“I’m sorry.” I said.
She just nodded. “Yeah.”
We sat in silence for a while and then an idea occurred to me. “You know Mitch’s mom is a stylist…”
“No way!” she said, “There’s not another person who’s going to see my eye!”
“Don’t you wanna keep your promise to your mom?” I asked.
She looked at me and contemplated it for a bit. Then she smiled and nodded.
I took out a piece of paper and sketched out a design for her hair. “What if you dyed you hair but kept it straight, and had long slanted bangs over your right eye like this,” I sketched out what I meant, “And then you could clip them to the rest of your hair and cover your eye.”
She smiled at me, “You should be a hair dresser!” she laughed.
I smiled at her. “Come on,” I said, “it’ll take a while for her to do it and it’s probably almost mid-day.”
I rolled up the picnic blanket and wrapped it back up in the plastic. Then we set out to find Mitch. It wasn’t hard to find him because he was waiting for us to return on my doorstep. We told him my idea and he looked excited about it. He suggested we give Silvia some padding or something to cover her eye so his mom wouldn’t have to see it. Silvia was thrilled at the idea, so we covered it with eye gauze and surgical tape. Then we set out to Mitch’s house.
It didn’t take long for Mitch’s mom to do Silvia’s hair. When Mitch’s mom was all done, Silvia look beautiful. With her hair golden-brown, and styled just the way I suggested, Silvia’s new look matched her personality perfectly.
“Sorry to say,” I said, “The boys will want you even more now!”
She nudged me playfully. “I think I can deal with it,” She paused, “...as long as you’re there to help me.” She smiled shyly.
I smiled back with a mixture of happiness and embarrassment “I promise I will be.”
For once, mom had got it right; Silvia did turn out to be one of the best friends I ever had.