My Partial, Joana

I seldom remember, in great detail, the day I meet a new person. There are only three occasions in which the previous statement has been otherwise true. Only three introductions I can relive piece by piece. The first was with a boy, about my age, that at the time suffered of cancer. The second one was fairly recent, with my friend, Lily. However, the one that meant the most, and which I still hold dear, was one with a girl by the name of Joanna.

It was the morning of august 14, 2004. Three years ago. The day marked the beginning of my 7th grade school term. I recall walking through the fake wooden door of what would be my new homeroom, the one at the every end of the main campus hallway.

The walls still smelled of acrylic, it had just been painted fresh yesterday, it seemed. The classroom was plain; you may even call it ugly. The walls were painted an insipid ivory. Nevertheless, the teacher made sure to make this fact as oblivious as possible. She had covered the east wall with a row of Dell computers, and posters about Internet safety. The north and south walls had dry erase boards in them, 2 for each partition, along with one famous Shakespeare quote. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," I think it said. The east wall had a window and a giant blue poster paper with only the word "Spelling" written at the top.

With the first pace I took in the classroom, I saw her. She stood out, attracted attention. She was different, the only new face in a background of old countenances. She had on the school assigned shirt with the logo that read "D.R.A.W. Academy". Her logo was leveled, unlike the rest of the students in the class who had it wrinkled and shrunken from all the excess washing of our former school years.

The anonymous girl wore just fitting khaki pants and her hair was tied back in a firm ponytail. She had pearl colored skin, and a clear complexion. She wasn't what you would call pretty, or above average; she was just normal. If you actually met her, it is her hair you would remember; waist length, brown follicles of unmanageable texture that give the word frizzy a whole new level of meaning.

She sat in one of the round tables in the front. It appeared like Tamara had invited her to sit with us after she saw her wandering around silently in the class. My chair was next to hers. I sat down and Tamara made the introductions.

From the moment she said her "hi," I felt something click. It was instant chemistry. Maybe it was her way of being modest, and not attracting attention to herself that allured me. Maybe it was the way she talked, or her distinctive smile. Who will ever know? At that moment, all that mattered was that I was entranced by the person who sat before me.

"Hi," I responded with an amiable smile.

Since that day, our friendship grew. We were like powder and smelly feet, not getting enough out of each other. By the end of the month we were inseparable, and I mean it literally. We had it so that we had every period together, were in the same clubs and organizations, and always at the top of the class.

There were several roles our friendship played. To put it in a more exact way, we needed one another. It wasn't just that we had fun together and enjoyed each other's company. It wasn't simply the fact we had the same personality. No, it was much more. I've had this theory for awhile now. I do not think the universe brought us together anymore randomly than how computer engineers design and build a micro data chip. I believe our encounter was premeditated.

While in the company of her existence, the best was brought out of me. I was encouraged to audition for the lead in the school musical, to run past my existing limit, to organize myself, and to discover my own path. All of these efforts were rewarded in ways unimaginable, and in life changing experiences. She brought out my optimum points and I did the same for her. We…fit.

We shared an unspoken agreement. We had our own little accord. She had a keen approach when it came to trusting people. Only the ones with a bona fide nature could dissolve her numerous firewalls. I was the same. It was probably this quality that let us place our faiths and secrets in each other's hands, wordlessly vowing never to let them scatter across any other mouths.

An ability I was always amazed with was the fact that she knew when to leave me alone. She let me shine in the spotlight and made herself hidden in the shadows. When opportunities came around for me, she let me sparkle and didn't complain one bit. I did the same. I don't know exactly how, but it was almost telepathically the way she let me know when to stay away. No words needing to be said, almost like an instinct.

Even though we were the greatest of friends, there were still other selves we had stashed up somewhere. We both knew it. She had her secret desires, and I had mines, yet there wasn't pressure to reveal these secrets. It was our own choice whether to tell or not. It wasn't an obligation, and you wouldn't get judged if you kept quiet. We had sense enough to know we both deserved a stash of shadows. It was relieving. I valued the feeling, for I had never had it before.

Yup, this was my very first friend. You could even call her my half.

I've admired a great deal of things: authors, philosophers, poets, songwriters, dancers, musicians, and countless others, but those are all people I don't fraternize with. For all I know, they could be leading completely different lives than what I believe they have. That is why I value her and the friendship she and I share; because it is the one thing I admire and that I can actually touch.