Her Smile

submitted in by stormblade

Ever have one of those friends that would just listen to your useless life stories all the time and even when they don’t want to listen but they still show interest? I used to have a friend just like that. Even when she was studying and I would just crashed in on her studying session to talk about my crazy day, she would still listen to  me. Of course, she wouldn’t be able to remember half the things I said because she needed to study. And even late at night when I don’t know how to do my homework I would text or Face Book her and she would help me even though I waited until the last hour. This friend of mine, I only know her for four years but yet she knows so much about my personality. We met during freshmen orientation (college) and that’s how we became friends. She is indeed and can be the world’s best friend.

The thing about this friend is that she gives out really good advice even when she herself hasn’t have a similar experience to the problem, but she knows what she’s talking about. She also has this unique sense of humor that can make you laugh until you cry. However, she also has this strong and bold feeling that most people find it hard to approach her. WHY? Well, I’ll just simply say that sometimes her normal face don’t look to happy, but it doesn’t look like she’s mad all the time. In fact, sometimes when she gets frustrated it’s even funny to see her reaction, and she stills laugh along with us. She’s also a very smart person, although, she says that she’s not, but she is. She helps other people even when she barely have time or when she only has little time dedicated to herself. She would always talk about her family, and they are one big happy family. I even met her family once and even though they don’t have much, they have lots of love and happiness to be shared.  The only thing about this friend was that she seems so perfect in about everything she does. And now that I think about it it doesn’t seems right, right? Or maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, we (group of friends) would never thought that she would did what she did. During our last year in college, she dropped out during the middle of fall semester. She went home for fall break and never came back. We were all surprised and shock. We know for sure that she didn’t get married because she doesn’t even have a boyfriend. However, it seems like the professors knew about it. She probably told them before hand. We all tried to get in touch with her, but never can. She changed her number, hardly got on Face Book, and deleted her email account, although she may have got a new one (because you need one for Face Book). Anyway,  months came by and she still hasn’t gotten back to us. However, one fine spring day one our peers who was studying in the library for midterms as well told us that she talked to our Friend. We were all surprised and shock.

She told us that our friend is now working a full time job and will be going back to school soon (2013, which is like two years from 2011). We asked her why and immediately she figures out that we haven’t been able to get in touch with our friend. Well, she told us that after her older brother’s death in a fatal accident everything just went down hill from there. We were shocked because we never knew about it. And then she told us that there was a reason to why we didn’t know her. It was because we never listened to her problems. Every time she wants to talk to us about something we just “listened” we don’t really listened to her, and that our friend did notice our behavior, but she kept quiet. She also told us that we took our friend for granted a lot (especially me because she specifically pointed me out). During late night even when she was tired or sleeping we would still talk to her about nonsense stuff and she would stay up for a while to have a conversation with us if she wasn’t all that grumpy. But that we can never do the same to her. In all she ended by saying “you guys see her as some shelter house not a friend.”

I was really mad and upset after she said all those things to us, but still I couldn’t do anything about it because we were at the library. Maybe if it was outside of campus I would have slapped her in the face, but then again I’m just saying and would probably never be able to do it. However, it’s been two years that we graduated and 3-4 months I saw my friend around town again. Technically, she came back to the same university. And when I saw her I was happy and she was happy (at least I think she was). So I asked her why she dropped out and she told me “I never did.  I took two gap years. I worked for about six months and then volunteered abroad.”  I also asked her why she never contacted us, and she replied that she was really busy with all the activities that she has been doing. We didn’t get to talk much because she left to go to class, and I had to go back home because I only went to pick up a recommendation letter. However, later that night she texted me:

I would really appreciate it next time if you asked how I’ve been doing all these past two years. Not why I never got in contact with you guys or why I never told you guys. I apparently, made it clear to you guys one day but everyone just ignored me and went on talking about their own problems. I even sent everyone a Face Book message with my new number and email, but you guys were the one what never contacted me. What am I supposed to do since my old dead phone won’t even turned on. I was going to tell you guys before I left abroad, but figured it wasn’t worth it. Next time, I hope we get a new fresh start.”

I was really surprised and mad by her text message. However, my mom told me that my friend has all the reason to be upset. Since for the past three years I never once mention about me listening to her problems. I only talked about me talking to her. My mom even asked me a few questions that I didn’t even know the answers to. I taken aback. However, my mom told me “You don’t even know much about her and you say that you’ve known her for three years at most. You should be able to at least answer these few simple questions, but you can’t. Honey, you haven’t been a good and responsible friend at all.” That was how our conversation ended.

Well, a now a few weeks have passed by I saw my friend again at Wal-mart. This time she was with two little kids and approached me first. She asked how I was doing and I told her fine and I asked her the same thing. She gave me a good response and then I asked if those two kids were here niece and nephew. They were. Apparently, she has been helping to take care of her niece and nephew after her brother died, their mother didn’t want them. Her parents are also doing fine, but she still has younger siblings to be taken care of and the youngest one is just starting sixth grade. We then decided to went to McDonald’s and talk some more there. It turns out that she is only a few credit hours from graduating because she took a few courses while she was in Japan, so she’ll be graduating soon in December. She’s also working part time at a Science Museum doing research, which turns out to be her internship. I also met her boyfriend that day, he’s Japanese. They met in Japan, he was also volunteering abroad to teach English and like her he also took a gap year. To be honest, I was jealous of her that night. I never thought that she would ever get such a fine boyfriend, even though I have told her so many crazy stories about me and some of my co-workers (male) I never ended up being in a relationship with them.

Anyway later that night after I left, I begin to pondered a little bit about the past and wonder what have we become. Are we still friends or are we now just strangers once again? I even remember one time she told me “Some friends are stepping stones, they help to support you until you cross that pond to the other side.” Maybe she’s one of those stepping stones for me for all those three years. I wished that I could have been a better friend for her, and maybe I still can because it’s never too late. And I finally realized that she can smile and laugh so lot because of the hardships she’s been through. Every happy person has a sad story in their past. Every great friend needs to talk and someone to listen to sometimes. They’re not Dr. Phil, Montel Williams, or Oprah Winfrey who listen to people for broadcasting (even though those shows aren’t bad). Like their friends, they’re just an average Joe trying to make a living and get by society. If you have a great friend, you should be thankful because you never know when you’re never going to see them again.

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