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“The silver friend knows your present and the gold friend knows all of your past dirt and glories. Once in a blue moon there is someone who knows it all, someone who knows and accepts you unconditionally, someone who is there for life.” This is a quote I read once in an article by Jill McCorkle. I wrote it down and posted on my wall. McCorkle’s description of a “gold friend” describes a friendship that I have with a group of girls who mean the world to me.
I became friends with these girls when I was a freshman in high school. Since the beginning of that year, we have all been best friends. There were many times we rode around together. However, this particular Jeep ride was very significant because I realized what friendship is all about.
One Saturday night, Kasi, Beth, Beka, Amy, and I had nothing to do. Like always, at times like this, we decided we would ride around town. We let the top down on Kasi’s vehicle. It was a red Jeep Wrangler, with red interior and big mud tires. We climbed in the Jeep one by one until we were all inside. Amy, Beka, and Beth all sat in the back after a fight about who had said “shotgun” first. The back was the most uncomfortable. The Jeep was only built for two backseat passengers, so with three back there, it was a tough ride. Kasi and I slid into the front seats. We strapped on our seatbelts, trying to convince the three of them in the back to do so. Our friends did not want to bother strapping in because they were too crowded, and there were only two seatbelts anyway. I was sixteen at the time, and they were all seventeen. We were the perfect picture of youth, five young girls packed into a Jeep with shorts, sweatshirts, and ball caps on.
Kasi would never drive without music, so we put in one of our usual CD’s, the Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack.
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We rode around in a small town called Tracy City. This place was where all of the people from Grundy County High, where we attended school, hung out on the weekends. After we had made a couple of laps, someone flashed their lights at us wanting us to pull over. We pulled into a place called Street’s Auto Parts where our friends always parked. The flashers were Jameson and Josh, a couple of guys we knew from school. We talked to them for a little while until we got bored of the conversation. Then we all climbed back into the vehicle to make a few more laps.
Our hair was getting more tangled with every mile, and we were getting colder as it got later on the April night. We did not mind though, we had dressed for the trip. All of us had on sweatshirts and baseball caps. My sweatshirt was a blue, hooded one from American Eagle. Beth and Beka both had on Peace Frog sweatshirts that they had bought in Gatlinburg. Amy had on an orange Old Navy fleece. Kasi had on a sweatshirt from Abercrombie and Fitch, which was the only brand she ever wore. All of us had on hats, too, except for Beth, whose big red head of hair would never fit in a hat.
As we were riding along, I turned around to look at my friends. When I did this, I realized every single one of them had the biggest smile on their face. I do not know what it was about this particular moment, but I will never forget it. I can still recall so vibrantly how every one of them were seeming to have the time of their life in the Jeep freezing their tails off. I always had friends growing up, but I had never experienced the closeness that I had with these girls. I knew at that moment how special it was to have friends like these, who not only could enjoy themselves with hundreds of dollars, but could also have a good time with a couple gallons of gas and a CD.
We had all grown tired of the scenery and decided to head back to Kasi’s house. We got out of the Jeep with our faces ice cold and our hair more tangled than a comb could ever fix. As we all walked inside, we were laughing and being loud, as always. Kasi’s mom and dad never minded the company. I guess they had grown fond of us, being that we were over there day and night. We all changed into some pajamas to settle down for the night. Then we spent the rest of the night gossiping, a ritual for any sleepover.
As the time fell into the early a.m. hours, I was the last to go to sleep. I could not stop thinking about how blessed I was to have a group of friends like this. Friendship like ours was something many people had never experienced. To me, the significance of our relationship is a unique bond that I feel with these ladies. They are like sisters that God did not give me. They have been there for me at times when my world was falling apart. As I finally drifted off to sleep that night, I thanked God for allowing me to have them in my life.
These four girls have been my guardian angels. I have always been able to count on them, no matter what the situation. They have helped me face the next day when I did not know if it was possible. We have been through everything; we have laughed cried, and then laughed at ourselves for crying together. There have been many times when I have been lonely and I reminisce back to that night in the Jeep. It reminds me that there are people who care about me and accept me for who I am. A true friendship is a magnificent thing. Life without friends is a life I could not imagine.