From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship

For Such a Time as This

We all need each other.

Leo Buscaglia

My friend is so beautiful but she is blind to it. She has exotic dark features with full lips and flashing eyes. Her figure is one that many girls would kill to have, and her sense of style is undeniable. Although her beauty is so evident on the outside, it’s what she has inside, her heart, that draws so many people to her. Her kindness and compassion, her spirituality, and especially her sense of humor. She can make me crack up with a certain face or a noise. And this girl’s voice is that of an angel. Talented in innumerable ways, she plays sports, dances and is an honor student. From group to group she flits, a social butterfly, unaware of the cliques, thinking each group is a different type of exquisite flower, each having different, but equally delicious nectar. Her many friends are constantly vying for her attention and approval, advice and comfort. She is popular, not through fear, but by friendliness and authenticity. Which is why I can’t understand how this wonder of a woman can possibly feel the way she does: worthless.

Not many know the self-loathing she feels. I am one of the few who have been granted a tiny peek into her mixed-up world. I say mixed-up because my friend just can’t see her loveliness and realize her value. Stress runs her life, and anxiety is her constant companion. Pressure, she feels, is unavoidable. She wants it all to end, her pain to be banished forever, but she covers these unfathomable contemplations with extra smiles and laughter. There is no laughter when she is all alone and her mind is telling her she’s nothing; the smiles are replaced with blank stares, and the sense of nothingness returns.

What does one do when they see their friend like this, a shell of what they once were? How does one convince this miracle of the beauty she possesses, and that she is loved by others, when she can’t love herself, and not even be able to look herself in the eye? This girl doesn’t know how much she means to me: countless times lifting me up, cheering me on, listening to my sobs and crying with me. If this girl is taken away from me, I will be dead inside, for we are joined by something greater than us. Nothing can replace what we have, and I will stand by her side always, lifting her up, cheering her on, listening to her sobs and crying with her. I will repay her for what she has done for me, and I will strive to keep her alive. I have been placed in her life for such a time as this.

Sarah Klapak

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