“Look at how good they are at snowboarding,” exclaimed the six-year-old.
The young girl turned around to see her family no longer standing there. Among all the snowboarders chattering to their friends and their light, happy laughter, she stood there. She immediately panicked and rushed to the parking lot, the white snow pinching at her skin, she searched for her family's white van. Rows upon rows of white vans stared back at the girl. No family was to be seen among the crowd. A hand grabbed the girl's arm and jerked her against another body in a hug strongly stenched with cologne.
“Your mother was going to kill me,” her father had said with a huge sigh of relief.
In her father's embrace, she felt protected and safe. He had quickly rushed her passed many cars. She saw her mother's tear-stricken face in the window of the passenger seat. Everything would be alright. Though several years later, protection and safety were no longer associated with her parent's embrace.
Now eight, she sat in a cramped room with a single desk and four extremely uncomfortable chairs. It smelled of sweat and copy paper. Her mother gripped her hand and asked,
“You sure you're okay with this, Shawna?”
Her daughter nodded her head, completely unaware that she would still have to withstand the screaming. Papers were spread all over the desk- custody, property and child support. After many hours, they left the office. This is when her life changed.
She had spent many awkward dinners with boyfriends she had disapproved of for her mother and girlfriends much too young and tacky for her father. If she protested enough, they would be dumped. Always finding very truthful excuses like, “he doesn't respect me” or “she can't cook.” Laying in her bed with the soft blues and pinks from her night light shining onto her clean face, she would cry. She held a pillow to her face to muffle the sobs so her parents couldn't hear how unhappy she was, the salty tears wet her pillow and she drifted to sleep with swollen eyes. But every morning she would wipe her face from the sticky tracks her tears had left, plaster a smile on and fill her lungs with laughter. People saw her as she wanted them to, happy. When night had fallen, she could finally be true to herself.
Another four years passed as she lived in this facade. It was when she was twelve that she finally found her light at the end of the dark tunnel. A girl named Sabrina had changed her life. She provided the comfort and friendship nobody could ever give. No longer did she feel alone, she had somebody to talk to without fear of judgment. She wanted to share her life with Sabrina, her embrace that smelled of cats and soft words had always helped her wake up in the morning. The times they had fought could never overpower the times they had shared crying in each other's arms. This was what a best friend felt like.
“I love you” is a strong phrase. Yet how do you feel anything but love for a girl that provides you with safety. Without Sabrina, life would be unfulfilled. Nobody to help with the reoccurring sorrow of a broken family or to give the best memories in my life. Best friends are often compared to a sister-like bond in a cliché manner. But what we share is not a cliché, it is what best friends are supposed to be.