Books; Life Long Friends

Looking around my living room, I see my greatest friends of my life are
all around me on my book shelves. Every book I lift off the shelf pinpoints a
time in my life. They represent all the joy, sorrow, and laughter felt in my
life. The large, shiny red poetry book my father read to me reminds me of all
of these. It is probably my favorite. Then I recall my people friends that
attended school with me through the years. What great fun they were! I doubt
I\'ll ever forget the smell of my kindergarten class and my first meeting with
Belle Hudson. As I get older, I realize how precious that friendship was. It
taught me how to be a friend and what I have seen in her is what I have looked
for in friends ever since. Now as an adult, I see Belle in friends like Tiffany,
Rachelle and it seems my favorite characters in my books have always reminded me
a bit of Belle. Belle had a profound effect on me in childhood as well as
later on in life. She was my finest friend throughout grammar and Junior High
school. We fancied relishing our lunches together. Laughing about the boys\'
wicked ways and planning our revenge at the ensuing recess. This always made
lunch go by so swiftly. It was hard to tear us apart. Hell, it was hard to
tell us apart. We were both round bodied and a bit out of shape. But I always
saw Belle in a jovial light. She had a merry way about her, and her laugh was
infectious; it reminded me if Christmas bells, tingly, jingling and warm. I
miss her. She was happy, giving and warm. Upon reflection, these are the
attributes I look for in friends.

Rachelle holds a special place in my heart. I work with her and have
found her to be a superb listener and always seems to know how to dole out the
right advice. It seems no issue is too large to solve, and I would love to
duplicate her upbeat nature in me. It was our mutual interest in books, not
our hiring at the same company that brought us together. She desperately
wants to be a great writer. I know she will be. As our friendship deepens,
she has helped me realize my own potential. Although younger than I, Rachelle
has lived a much tougher life. I could say I know this as hear her words of
advice. It\'s not only in her words. She has the oldest eyes, and for all of
cheerful nature, there is a immeasurable and profound sadness. I have such
deep affection for her. Perhaps one day I will have the words that will quell
the sadness in her big brown eyes.

My books, of course, would be my life long friends. Oh the joy I feel
to crack open a new book. I am desperately trying to come up with the words
that would describe the anticipation. As I flip through the pages in
contemplating of the next, I am in constant thought of the person that breathes
life into the characters. Do they see themselves in them? Are they writing
about that which they aspire to be? Is the dying child theirs? Then there are
all my old favorites. Lying in bed at night I would wait ever so patiently
for my father to come in and pick up that great big shiny red poetry book. I
can still vividly feel how Jack did climb that giant beanstalk. I remember
the sleepless nights after discovering the very next year, I would learn how to
read. Then I recall my father telling me he would teach me prior to class in
the fall. He couldn\'t possibly watch me sicken myself from lack of sleep. Oh
the excitement! How helpless Rupunzel and Cinderella\'s prince were! I recall
the feeling when Belle and I had discovered ”Are you there God, it\'s me
Margaret?” We had not yet gotten our periods, so we read with breathless
anticipation as Margaret discovered her body grow. Needless to say, Belle and
I had much to discuss. On and on I could go. Indeed knowing my books have
always been my greatest passion and my books have always been my most
distinguished friends.

It is a wonderful experience verbalizing how precious my friends are.
While I shall always love Belle, Rachelle and the friends I make in the