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Friends Forever
by Anushka Ravindran
The moment someone says, “What? You too! I thought I was the only one,” they have a chance of becoming friends. That’s what happened with me and Jane. On the bus ride home, the first day of school last year both of us were new. I needed somewhere to sit and Jane was the only girl with an empty space next to her.  I opened my songbook, to write down words for the latest hits that I liked. “What? You too!” Said Jane and helped me pen down all the wordings for ‘Set fire to the rain’, wherever I drew a blank. That was the beginning of our friendship.

A few weeks later we were all headed to our buses, after school.  “Hey Jane! Wait up!” I called to my new friend. “Oh! Hey Betsy. Did you write down the words for Diamonds?” she replied. “No, but I memorized them.” I said with a twinkle in my eye.
Both of us sped up to a run and started to get on the bus. As I jumped on our regular two seats, Jane pulled out her songbook and I scooted over. The bus started moving and we opened to a new page. “Found it!” she exclaimed, pointing to a pen in her bag. We always wrote stuff that we liked or songs that we wanted to sing on the bus. Sometimes we played hand games or talked about the new things we got on the weekend. Time passed quickly and my stop had come. “Bye Jane!” I said.  She grinned. “See you ‘morrow."
Jane wasn’t good at sports or flexibility, so at school the next day, she failed in flexibility test. “It’s okay,” I said patting her back. “You’ll probably get in the long jump or something.” But things got even worse for Jane when I passed in sprint, long jump, shot put, flexibility and strength and she failed in everything. At least Jane wasn’t crying.

When we got on the bus that day, Jane was upset. She didn’t want to play and I could sense it. Well, today Jane was supposed to get down at my stop with me, so we could hang out. We both walked home and ate snacks. “Jane, don’t you want to jump on the trampoline or play with Rocky?” I said, holding up my Labrador. “Uh… sure,” she said.  I told her that it helped to practice long jump by running, jumping on the trampoline and then landing in the pit. She thought that was cool. We had fun doing that and I hoped next month, Jane would be a satisfactory jumper. Anita, Lina, Mandy, Rhea, Jen, Monica, Anya, Caroline and all the others were surprised to see Jane do well in the long jump. Even I was amazed at the difference in Jane’s performance. Whoa! Jane’s new skills got her a lot of eyes and popularity, but I appreciated that she didn’t forget about me. On the bus ride home, she invited me to her place and so I walked with her to her apartment. I had done well in all the tests, and Jane told me she had practiced her sprint all week and my ideas had helped. “I’m glad it’s working out for you. You could come over tomorrow to practice again, if you want.” I told her. “Sure,” she said, flipping through her math test that we had gotten back at class today. “I’d love to come. It’s always fun at your place.”  I couldn’t help but peek at her perfect score. 50 over 50 would make my eyes widen if it was anyone else. But not Jane. She always managed to nail these tests every time. ‘Let’s see what you got.” She demanded innocently. I pulled out my 35 over 50, suddenly sheepish about my marks.  “I’ll help your grades get higher,” she promised. “Tomorrow we’ll both help each other at your house.”

So that’s what we did. Jane came over the next day and we worked together on our math homework. The more we worked together, I got better and I felt I knew more about math for the test in a few weeks. Jane and I kept our running practice until we were nearly at the same speed. We both had a lot of fun doing our work and all our hard work showed with my 49 over 50 in the test while Jane got better at the sprint, long jump, and strength. On the bus ride home, Jane and I grinned as we began singing Diamonds together. She was coming over, so at my stop we got down and raced home. When you need help and your friends do everything they can to help you, they are your best friend. We were truly best friends forever.
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