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When I was 8 months old, my best friend was born. I wasn’t at her birth, but I imagine she came out bald, except for a few strands of brown hair. Today, sixteen years later, her hair is a flaming red. I imagine that when she finally fell into her mother’s arms at her birth, she cried at the top of her lungs. Now, instead of crying, she makes bold statements.
Picture this: two teenagers, walking next to each other. One has dyed, red hair. She is singing, seemingly to herself. The songs range from terrible pop songs by artists like Demi Lovato to Broadway show-tunes. The other girl walks a few feet away. Her hair is its natural brown. It will probably stay that way for the rest of her life. This girl’s head is down, and she avoids eye contact with other pedestrians. She is busy pretending to not at all be associated with this crazy person next to her. If you haven’t already guessed, my best friend is the crazy person, and I’m the girl trying to look away.
We are polar opposites. So much so that it’s kind of a miracle that we’ve managed to stay friends for so long. We don’t go to the same school, and we don’t live near each other. Our parents knew each other when we were kids, so we saw each other often growing up. You’d think that being around someone for so many years would make you similar. You’d start wearing the same clothing. You’d start using the same slang. This did not happen for us. If you saw us talking together, you might think we were two random strangers. You might assume that one of us was asking for directions. Or if we were walking together, you’d probably think we didn’t even know the other person existed.
I have to stop here, because I have to admit something. I can’t describe my best friend accurately. After sixteen years, I still don’t understand her. My step-dad always says that she is a true “hipster”. She doesn’t try to be different, she just is. I guess I could compare our relationship to the friendship from the movie “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”. She’s E.T. in this comparison, and I’m the little kid, Eliot. She was dropped down on this planet and expected to fit in with the rest of the world. Maybe I don’t understand her, but I’ve realized that doesn’t really matter.