“Look at her,” I whispered to my brother, discretely pointing to the girl on the corner. Stylish clothes, platinum hair, trendy makeup job over a beautiful face…and no smile. “I bet she’s so stuck up,” I finished, folding my arms uncomfortably over myself. Her arms were folded, too, but probably because she thought herself better than us newbies.
We had just moved to Idaho Falls and it was our first day of school—my Freshman year and my brother’s eighth. He didn’t respond to my assumption. He probably knew I was just jealous.
As we waited on the corner for the bus to arrive, my stomach twisted madly inside at what lie ahead. And seeing this cute girl, who apparently lived just one street over—great—made it worse. Was everyone going to be this way at Clair E. Gale Middle School? Would there be anyone I could connect with?
Nudging my brother, furthering my desire to feel better about myself, I harrumphed. “I bet she’s even a cheerleader.”
Later that morning, while all the students congregated on the lawn outside the school, a girl from my church who I’d met the previous Sunday approached with none other than blondie from the bus stop. “Hey, Jennie!” she beamed, “remember my friend I told you about?”
I gulped a guilty breath. “Yes…”
Well, turns out, blondie’s name was Chloe. Turns out, blondie was in fact a cheerleader.
But she was also the sweetest, most compassionate girl I ever met. And I felt horrible.
Come to find out, Chloe was shy, too, which explained her aloofness at the bus stop. And even funnier, she told me years later that when she first saw me at the bus stop, she thought I was a snob. Ick. I never thought I was, but maybe judging someone without knowing their story made me one. Lesson learned.
But from that first day, Chloe and I clicked better than I’ve ever clicked with anyone, and to this day—fifteen years, lots of boyfriends, 2 husbands, and 6.5 children later—we are the best of besties. Even when we’ve gone months without talking, or years without seeing each other (like right now), we can pick up that phone and have a conversation as though we just spoke the day before. She gets me. I get her. We are the same in so many, quirky ways.
She is talented, artistic, and beautiful, and can connect to me on a wavelength special only to us. She is my sister and my best girlfriend. Chloe, I love you.