[ Two weeks after the end of my freshman year of college, my father unexpectedly passed away. During the week he spent in the hospital and the months after his death, the rock in my life was my best friend Micah. In real life and over the internet she made me laugh, offered a necessary distraction, and filled my life with light and love when it would otherwise have been only darkness and loss. I don’t know what I would have done without her in those first months, or what I would do even now. She remains one of my best friends no matter if we haven’t seen each other in person in years.
I wrote this story several years ago but it never made it onto any of my online journals, so I thought I should post it here. It’s not a true story, unfortunately. We met in eighth grade, not first. But I like to imagine what it would have been like if we had met years earlier; I know it would have been instant friendship. It’s always been our destiny. (And yes, that’s a Pokemon theme song reference.)
The title is lyrics taken from Don’t Lose Your Way, the Land Before Time theme song. It’s one of many songs that remind us of our wonderful, reckless, oftentimes raunchy friendship. ]
“Faith, Hope, and Glory”
Her stomach hurt. Really, really hurt. She wanted to cry but kept a brave face like her mommy and daddy wanted her to. She would be brave. She had to be brave. She could do this…
Still, the first day of school, real school (first grade!) was terrifying for six year old Elyssa. This was a new school and it meant she didn’t know a single soul in the whole place. Her mommy and daddy had kissed her and given her two very big hugs before they left her at the entrance to room 107 with her new school bag (Power Rangers!) and her faithful stuffed calico cat. Now the little girl stood on the threshold of a new, exciting (but very, very scary) adventure. She was a big girl now and she had to act like one.
Taking a deep breath, she hugged her kitty closer and stepped into the classroom. Most of the other students had already arrived and were claiming desks, shoving things into cubbies, and chattering enthusiastically to each other. Many were friends from kindergarten and so already knew each other, but Elyssa had gone to kindergarten somewhere else. She did not know anyone here and her natural shyness kept her from approaching the first person she saw, as her parents had suggested she do. Instead she chickened out and slipped into an empty desk near the back of the room, a good place for the timid girl to blend in.
Sighing nervously, her stomach aflutter, Elyssa began unpacking her brand-new school supplies (Lisa Frank, of course) and concentrated on not feeling out of place. Where were her kindergarten friends when she needed them? Where was Erika to play kitties or Batman with her? How did anyone expect Elyssa to talk to complete strangers? Sure, they were her classmates now, but she didn’t know any of them! What if they wouldn’t like her? What if she had no one to play with at recess or eat with at lunch? What if she never made any friends here and was alone for the rest of her entire life? The thought made her stomach lurch in extremely unpleasant ways. Her parents had said she would be able to make friends, that they believed in her and knew she could do this, but she wasn’t so sure now. Elementary school was so big and frightening compared to kindergarten; so many things could go wrong!
“Um umm umm… excuse me?” A nervous voice broke Elyssa’s pity party. She glanced up in surprise to another young girl who stood in front of the empty desk next to her. She had extremely long blond-brown hair and huge blue eyes and the brightest smile Elyssa had ever seen. The girl clutched a Jurassic Park backpack in her tiny hands and shifted anxiously from foot to foot. Elyssa’s heart raced, the way it always did when someone she didn’t know spoke to her, but that didn’t stop her from noticing the absolutely awesome backpack.
“I love your backpack!” she blurted out without thinking, then immediately blushed. The other girl blushed as well and giggled modestly.
“Thanks! My mommy got it for me. My stupid little brother wanted it but she said I could get it ‘cause it was my very first day of school.” She glanced to the desk next to Elyssa, then took a leap of faith and rushed out her question. “Hey, umm… woulditbeokayifIsatnexttoyou?” Her blush deepened profusely.
“Sure!” Elyssa grinned cheerfully, ecstatic at the idea that this incredibly cool girl (she had a Jurassic Park backpack!) wanted to sit with her. The girl gasped happily, yelled “Ohmygoshthankyou!” in a voice that clearly had no concept of indoor versus outdoor volume, and plopped down into the empty desk. She turned in her seat and wiggled her fingers in a joyful greeting at Elyssa.
“I’m Micah! What’s your name?”
Don’t lose your way
with each passing day.
You’ve come so far
don’t throw it away!
dreams are for weaving!
Wonders are waiting to start.
Live your story
Faith, Hope, and Glory!
Hold to the truth
in your heart.