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Awww, this is a cute one, I couldn't resist! I moved to Oregon from California when I was 10 years old, which meant starting a new school with new people. It was amazing how quickly I made myself part of a group, and we became very close very quickly. We were glued to the hip during school hours and no one expected anything less of us. The most outstanding in my memories is David, because he lived - and in fact still lives - only a block away from me. We spent all summer together, and I had a bit of a crush on him, and I know he liked me too, but we insisted there was no such thing whenever someone would poke and tease us. We would spend hours walking around town, visiting each other's home, sharing everything. I remember one weekend going with David and his older brother to the school to play around and David was just amazed at how he and I shared the same favorite color. It's silly, but that small detail pleasing him so much made me feel really happy then and I remember trying to act all nonchalant about it.

The last time we spent so much time together was the summer before our first year at Middle School. David and I were going to different schools, so after school started, we stopped seeing each other so much. I am someone who succumbs easily to loneliness and having lost my group (one other close friend - Deja - moved also), I got caught into a phase of solitude and apathy, something which is still sometimes with me today even though I have found friendship and happiness in others. They're in college now and I have spoken to them on occasion throughout the years, but it's been few and far between, and definitely not with the same atmosphere we had when we were kids, which is something to be expected. I still talk to one of them frequently, and his name is John. Although he lives in Newberg, he visits me whenever he can and he is someone I definitely want in my life for always. I met Jessica after Deja and David were no longer there, and she is my closest friend today. For the past 8 years, even with 6-month intervals of no contact at times, she hasn't forgotten me and has treated me like family. Although I still crave a group setting sometimes, I am no less thankful for the people who have accepted and adored me throughout my life and I wish my childhood and present friends the best in happiness, love and fortune. I know they will make the most of themselves and that's what counts. I'm thankful for the memories they helped to create in me and I'm content with knowing they will always have a place in my heart and mind.

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Alicia

February 2011

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