From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship

Tinfoil and a Hair Ribbon

Not a letter, not a card, and not even a call.

How could Jane have forgotten, when they’d been

    through it all?

Teardrops and heartache, they’d shared many things,

Crushes on boys, their hopes and their dreams.

Haircuts and makeup and CDs and clothes

Secrets and habits, they even shared those.

So where could she be, didn’t she care?

Why didn’t Jane come, why wasn’t she there?

Through the second grade, third grade, fourth grade, too,

The fifth, sixth and seventh, their friendship grew.

Always and forever, they vowed till the end

To faithfully be there, as the other’s best friend.

And they always had been, even when Jane moved away.

But for whatever reason, she wasn’t there on that day.

And Allie felt sad as she circled the crowd

As her graduation party grew increasingly loud.

And then she heard it, a loud knock on the door

As she quickly hurried across the bustling floor.

Weaving through family and friends without care

Hoping and praying, when she opened the door, that Jane

    would be there.

But there on the stoop was a deliveryman instead

In his hand was a package, addressed to Allie, he read.

She reached for the package and brought it inside

And as she tore open the cover, she started to cry.

For the package was wrapped in tinfoil, with a hair

    ribbon tied with great care

And a million memories came flooding back, as Allie stood

    tearfully there.

For Jane hadn’t forgotten, and as a smile crossed her face

Allie’s memories took her back to another place.

Many years prior when she and Jane were so young

When they joined the local Brownie troop all in great fun.

And Allie was so excited about the Christmas party her

    troop was to have

That she never noticed that Jane didn’t seem quite as glad.

On the day of the party, everyone brought an unmarked

    gift, and numbers were drawn

And with anxious eyes, Allie and Jane both looked on.

At the table piled high with presents galore

Wrapped in beautiful paper and ribbons bought from the


But one particular gift seemed out of place and well


For it was wrapped in tinfoil and tied with a worn-out

    hair ribbon.

“What kind of person would give a gift that’s so lame?”

The girl who received it cried out in blame.

Tears stung Jane’s eyes as the girl carried on

Complaining quite loudly how much she’d been


As her accusing eyes searched, looking at each girl all


Jane shifted nervously and stared at the ground.

For inside the package was Jane’s favorite bear

And the ribbon on the package, Jane had worn in her hair.

And because Jane lived with her grandma, and money

    was tight

She gave away her most treasured thing, because she felt

    it was right.

And just when Jane felt the presence of tears

She heard her friend Allie saying quite clear.

“I’ll trade you,” she said, as she offered her gift

Of nail polish and jewelry, all glamour and glitz.

“I’ve always loved bears, and that one is especially neat”

As she grabbed the bear from the girl and returned to her


And it was then on that night, they each knew for all time

They’d found a true friend, a one-of-a-kind.

For Allie knew what it meant for Jane to give up that bear

And she knew how special the ribbon was that Jane once

    wore in her hair.

For Jane’s mommy and daddy died when she was just


And the bear and the ribbon helped to keep their memory


For Jane’s daddy had lovingly given his daughter that


And Jane’s mommy had crocheted the ribbon to put in

    Jane’s hair.

And so as the girls walked side by side together alone

Allie handed the bear and the ribbon back to Jane before

     they got home.

And no words had to be said, as they both started to cry

And then they each headed to their houses, waving


Tears streaked down Allie’s face, as she stared again at

    that old bear

And the crocheted ribbon Jane once wore in her hair.

And then with trembling hands, she retrieved from the

    box a handwritten note

And read over and over the words Jane had wrote.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, Allie, but Grandma is ill

Yet I wanted you to know that I think of you still

As my very best friend whom I always will love.

“And so with my bear and my ribbon, I send you a hug.

I should have called sooner, but I didn’t want to dampen

    your day.

And I knew if I told you about Grandma, you would have

    hurried my way.

And I wanted your party to be all you deserve.

I’m still your best friend, Allie, you have my word.”

Always and forever, they vowed till the end

To faithfully be there, as the other’s best friend.

And as Allie held the ribbon and hugged that old bear

She knew Jane was the one friend who always would care.

And then Allie decided her best friend should not be


As she went to her bedroom and reached for the phone.

Cheryl Costello-Forshey

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