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Updated: Aug 20, 2020

When my best friend and I first met, we hated each other.

In second grade the girl with the brown bangs found a way to make the girl with blonde hair hate someone like she never had before. Maybe that is what drew me to her.

She dressed weird, sat on her large plastic pencil box weird, read too fast for it to have not been weird, and told me to get out of her personal space when we sat next to each other and my arm crossed into the point of no return. I would return home on the yellow school bus at the end of the day and tell my mother stories of the weird girl Allison that I sat next to, complaining and wishing for a change in the seating chart.

Allison preferred that people called her Alye and that it be spelled that way because no one else spelled it that way. In her yearbook picture, she wore her hair in pigtails and posed with a narwhal stuffed animal in her hands. Her eccentricity was like nothing I had ever seen before and unnerved me in a way that made me want to see inside her mind. One day, I did.

Allison had turned to me and cracked, “How do you boost your grade in school?” I was so surprised that this girl who I had gossiped and ranted about had spoken to me in a normal tone that I just glanced at her in confusion. “You sit on your pencil box!” I still remember the starry look in her eyes and goofy smile on her face. All I did was grin in return, and I finally understood why she sat on her large plastic pencil box. Since that exchange, our friendship has blossomed into one of loyalty and tenure.

In elementary school your first real best friend means more to you than a visit from the tooth fairy or a gift on Christmas morning. You do not want to share them with anyone or see them get hurt. We are still friends today and she has helped shape me into who I am.

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