A Portrait of a True Friend

English 101

September 29, 1997

She’s my best friend, Anna. Some, well, most people really do not understand what those words mean. A best friend is a connection that goes far beyond going together to the mall every weekend or being in the same class since first grade. It’s understanding through silence every thought, every move every breath. It’s something intangible and yet so real that a moment without it can leave you like a fish on dry land, gasping. It’s the laughter that no one else appreciates or the silence that no one else notices. It’s late night conversations with a cup of coffee or a bottle of wine; it’s tears that no one else can understand; it’s forgiveness for all those idiosyncrasies that nobody else could forgive you.

The first person she fell in love with, she stayed with for a year. She was sixteen at the beginning of their relationship and fell in love deeply and irreversibly. From the moment that they met, she in her characteristically sober manner, with which she approaches all matters (whether of the heart or of daily life), said that they did not belong together. Everything he stood for and represented, she was against and vice versa. I asked her once how she could be in such a serious relationship with a person who should if not be her enemy then definitely not her friend. She answered with a bit of a smile, as if looking down at me with ancient wisdom. She said she loved him for all the good things in him that had nothing to do with his views on life. It seemed like such a generic, unsatisfactory answer to me at first. Later I realized that it takes great strength of character to separate other people’s strengths from their weaknesses.

She’s my best friend.