I entered the doors on the ground level of the school theater. As I walked across the blue vinyl flooring, I took in all of my surroundings. The cushioned seats, the soundboard on the mezzanine level, and above me to my right, the stage. I watched as my band instructor, who also happened to be in charge of soundcrew for the play, walked down the carpeted stairs from the mezzanine. Smiling from ear to ear, he instructed me to get on the stage and help the blonde haired girl he called Cosette untangle the wires. “Jules, this is Cosette. Cosette, this is Juliana.” The small blonde girl had a friendly smile, one that told me I was safe, and I waved my hand smiling back to greet her. I have a feeling that she could tell I was nervous; this was my first sound crew rehearsal, and my social skills back in eighth grade weren’t anywhere close to where they are now. I still had yet to feel the importance of a true friendship in my life.
As I studied her and gathered my first impressions, it began to feel as if I were staring into a mirror. Her eyes weren’t coated in black eyeliner as mine were, and her slightly blonder hair wasn’t flattened down by a straight iron; it was still straight, but had a little wave to it. Even our facial features were strikingly similar. It didn’t take long for our band instructor to notice this similarity between us, and thus I was soon given the nickname “Baby Cosette.” In the duration of the three other years we had been attending the same middle/high school, with a population of only five hundred kids, it was hard to believe that I had never once seen her in my life before. Somehow, everything was meant to align in this moment, and it was finally time for her to be introduced into my life, and me into her’s.
It’s been a little over two years since that first interaction occurred. I put down the eyeliner and the flat iron, and my hair is a little shorter now. After deciding she needed change in her life, Cosette’s hair is now red (and she’s grown fond of wearing a fedora nowadays). I can’t imagine the paths I could have taken if the one that led me to her had never existed. My life was sailing towards treacherous seas, and this ship would not have stayed grounded if it wasn’t for her anchor. I would have gotten a lot more hours of sleep, but sometimes the best conversations happen at three in the morning. If we didn’t have each other, our greatest secrets would stay trapped inside our heads, bouncing off of each part of our brains and begging for a way out through our mouths. There comes a time when everyone needs the support of someone else. We weren’t built to bear all of the weight of the world on our shoulders alone, or keep every good moment to ourselves. Humans share ideas and become stronger through friendship, as we gain a new perspective in which to look at the world around us.
For someone who has been to hell and back, Cosette is filled with so much life. Pain, sorrow, emptiness, happiness, wonder, amazement, and even pure joy- she has seen the whole spectrum. Her resilience is like none other than I’ve seen. Everyday she fights to stay alive in a world that has wanted her dead. She is my inspiration and all that I strive to be as as a person. We all need that one person to look to in our lives.
A lot can happen in two years, let alone one year. You meet new people, and two friends become a group of four. New memories are made. Sometimes it’s staying up until the sun rises just to change the lyrics to some song in hopes that it’ll give us all a good laugh. Other times it’s dancing around in separate rooms to celebrate an important event in our lives. You all wind up growing together, and ultimately become stronger people. With friends like mine, you never know what you’re in for when you wake up the next day. You could be hearing the best or the worse news of your life, and there’s nothing that you can do to prepare yourself. So you hope for the best, and move through life with as many laughs as you can. That’s what friendship is all about.
I’ve never had much of a history of being terrified of change. To some extent, change brings out a fear in us all, no matter how small. We are creatures of habit, we can’t help it. This being said, I’m quite terrified of losing my close friends. Everybody seems to have some sort of plan for their future, or at least have some idea of the road they’re going to travel down. I feel as though I may be left in the dust, as I have no sense of direction. I’m is just another lost soul trying to make her way through this complicated world. However, I’m sure a lot of people feel this way too. As long as I’ve got my friends by my side though, the world shouldn’t be as much of a scary place.