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Lisa Romito

When you meet someone you can truly call your friend, it is the best feeling. Being able to confide your deepest darkest secrets with someone is uplifting. A best friend is someone you can share with, be honest with, and be absolutely comfortable with. No need to impress them, they really know you, but love you anyway. This person would be my friend Renee'. She may not always agree wit my decisions but always sticks by me. We have eighteen years of history to prove it.

My first memory of Renee' would be walking into the kindergarten classroom and seeing her long pigtails. She was standing by the slide. I was hysterically crying (it was the first time I was without my mother) and the came up to talk to me. I realized that I forgot my crayons at home and she offered to lend me hers. I remember all the other kids looking at me like I was weird because I was crying. Everyone else was thrilled about going to school except me. Renee' did not turn her back and laugh at me, she made me feel more relaxed and basically was the reason I became more brave about the whole school thing. This event affected my behavior because I was not complaining anymore about not wanting to go to school or how much I hated it. This reminded me of an episode of Full House I watched. The little girl Stephanie was afraid to start school alone and did not want to go. Her family took turns showing up in the classroom to make her feel better. Eventually, by the time class started, she made a friend and was feeling better.

Renee' and I attended the same school up until the third grade. For fourth grade, my parents transferred me to the Catholic school down the block. It was the first time in four years that I did not have Renee' with me. It was hard starting out all alone and all over again. During that time, Renee' and I lost contact for a while. She continued on with her other friends and I made new friends. Then one day months later, I remember looking through a photo album. In it, I saw a picture of Renee' and I on out first day of the second grade. My hair was long and I was wearing a flowered, ruffled dress and Renee' had just gotten her long locks cut off. Her hair looked like an oversized helmet. She was wearing a blue spaghetti strap dress. I remember thinking that I needed to talk to her and make plans to hang out. When we got together it was just like old times and as if nothing changed between us. So even though we went to different schools, we still hung out all the time and even had more to talk about.

In the eighth grade, Renee and I decided to keep a scrapbook with all of our favorite stuff in it. We clipped articles that were interesting, photographs of people we liked, and important news topics. We wrote about the cool fashions, our favorite musical artists, and girl stuff. Towards the end of high school, Renee' and I found the scrapbook and laughed our asses off. If you forgot, I.O.U.'s and cavariccis were cool. Some of our favorite bands included New Kids on the Block, Vanilla Ice, and Nelson. What were we thinking? I can't really remember what the important news topics were (shows how interested I was in that), but it would be funny if we busted that bad boy out again. Scrapbooks along with photo albums are the coolest ways to collect memories. This experience has recorded a piece of my past with my friend and is not replaceable. It makes me wonder where all the years have gone.

High school was another challenge for Renee' and I. Once again we were finally going to the same school, but did we have any classes together, NO. But in a school of 1200 girls, we managed to stay best friends. We liked to team up and pick on people. One girl in particular: Angela. I remember clearly senior year of high school. Angela broke her foot. She had a knee high cast and crutches. While walking into school one day, Angela asked me and Renee' if we cold each hold one of her crutches while she put her backpack on. As she picked up her bag, we took off running down the hall with her crutches. Being the meanies that we are, we let her hobble to us to get them back. Apparently, everyone else thought it was funny too because at the time, someone videotaped it and it ended up on our senior video for all to enjoy. This experience was just a taste compared to what we would be doing later.

In college, Renee and I started to change. She was pretty much on one side of the spectrum and I was on the other. But we still had a common ground with each other. What was cool was that we both picked careers that had to do wit the media. Renee' wanted to be a writer and I wanted to be a photographer. I remember a conversation we had about working together. She said we could have a photo-journalist thing happening. Renee' would write the stories and I would take the pictures. She stuck to her guns and continued on that path, I changed. After reading magazines and taking some classes, I realized that I would do photography for a hobby but not as a profession. I thought Renee' was going to be disappointed in me because I was giving up. She was not though. She tried to keep encouraging me, but it didn't work. Renee' accepted the fact that I'm a floral designer and soon will go to beauty school. It makes me feel happy that she supports me, because it feels like everyone want more for me. But I am right now satisfied with myself and what I do.

Till this day, Renee' and I still talk. Our phone conversations may be few and far between, but we always seem to catch up. In bad circumstances, you always find out who your true friends really are, and I know she is one of them. Friendship is important. Friends are relatives that we make for ourselves. True friendship is a gift, and Renee is my gift that keeps on giving. I read in a book that "there's no friend like someone who has known you since you were five." Renee and I met at the age of five so this statement must be true. Just like on the television show Friends, "I'll be there for you... cause you're there for me too."

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