Keeping in Touch

Keeping in Touch

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

Keeping in Touch

There is one thing better than making a new friend, and that is keeping an old one.

Elmer G. Leterman

Two years ago my family moved. The day that we left, my best friend and I cried together in my empty bedroom for hours. I was miserable and homesick during the five-hour car ride to my new house. Life was unbearable.

When we finally arrived at my new house, I ran to the phone to tell my best friend my address and phone number. We talked for a little while, but I had to hang up because the long-distance call was expensive.

On the first day of school, I called her to tell her how it went. Then, on Halloween, I sent her a letter and a picture of my new friends and me.

Finally, she wrote me a letter. It wasn’t even a letter— just a bunch of pieces of paper saying, “Best friends forever.”

When I finally got her e-mail address, I e-mailed her the longest letter I have ever written. I never received an e-mail back, and by the third e-mail letter with no response, my messages grew shorter and shorter. With each passing day, I got angrier and angrier. I never received a reply from her.

Mom said that I could always call my other friends, that I didn’t need to always call her. Give up on my best friend? Give up on the person I had known all my life? The person that I had gone from diapers to Barbies to nail polish with, and who had been in the same class with me from the first through the fifth grade?

My first answer was automatically, “No way!” But after five more e-mail messages, three phone calls and two more letters, I started to consider what my mom had said. Every night for about a week, I stayed up in bed thinking, Should I give up? Should I keep trying?

The way I looked at it, if I’m her best friend, she’d take a minute to push a few buttons on the phone, or type a short “hello” on the computer, or scribble a few words on a piece of paper. To me, keeping in touch is part of being a friend and is important. To her, it really didn’t seem to matter.

After two years of disappointment, I finally got a phone call from my best friend. She told me how sorry she was for not writing, and about how busy she had been. It was so unexpected, I forgot about everything that happened and how angry I had been at her. I forgave her. I guess keeping in touch just isn’t her style, and it didn’t mean she didn’t care about me.

I came to realize that true friends never really lose their special connection. Even after two years, it felt like we had just talked yesterday. Now she and I write regularly—or at least she tries to, and she tries hard.

What more could a friend ask for?

Emily Burton, eleven

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