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Rated: E · Short Story · Friendship · #1298934
Everyone will lifelong friends and will need a hand on their own journey. Draft.
In literature, legend, and cinema alike; there are always tales of friendship.  Friendship where two people share deep roots in each other's lives, where they have an understanding so complex it doesn't seem likely, where the company is something you cherish so dearly.  Sometimes, in this stage of my life, I feel like that is something left only for the characters whose life I read about through the crisp words on a page in a book, or watch as they walk across the screen.  Other times, I realize that that is not so.  Not so at all.  For someone as independent from others and who doesn't need a lot of support from friends to make it through the obstacles life throws at me, I sometimes thought that a friendship like that would never happen, that it would only be my family that knew me like that.  However, I was quite wrong.  A short hike and inspiring discussion showed me that I was looking in the wrong direction, that a true friend was right in front of my very eyes.  Don't misunderstand, I know I have wonderful and true friends, but I've realized that already in my young age and short experience in this world, I've already made at least one friend who will last my entire life.


"Oh man, it's 9 30 already? I don't want to get up."  These words run through my head right after the high pitched annoying chirp of the alarm on my cell phone goes off.  I think to myself that I could sleep longer if I wanted to; then suddenly remember, I made plans with my friend Olivia to hang out before she left for vacation.  True, I would be spending a week in the Adirondacks with her in just a few short weeks, but I haven't seen her she left for Europe a month ago.  Nevertheless, I decide to get up, I was in the mood for a hike anyway.  But I wasn't really feeling the idea of awaking so early in the middle of my summer break.

After a quick shower, I got dressed and started to get ready to go out.  I didn't really pack anything special, just grabbed two water bottles, my house key, adorned with the key chain I received from Olivia for my sixteenth birthday the prior November, and my wallet, cell phone, and gum.  I always have my pack of Orbit peppermint gum on me, no real reason why, I rarely even chew it anymore.  I pet my two dogs goodbye, and the younger dog, he's a mutt we adopted from Tennessee, runs next to me as I unlock the door to leave.

I say to him, "Bye boy, I'll be back later.  Don't eat anything your not supposed to," and then realize he is just a dog, and can't understand me anyway.  With that, I go out the door, lock it, and wait to be picked up.

Olivia swings by in her mother's red Porsche and is estatic she is driving it, since she hasn't been allowed to in a long time.  However, her car is in the shop, so her mother had no choice but to let her.  Soon enough we arrive at the state park where we'll be hiking that morning.  Both of us are tired, we both were up late the previous night, I reading, her, her doing something crazy as always.

I was under the impression the hike was supposed to be short, I guess three miles in is short to someone who has hiked at least half of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks.  We come out of a break in the woods to see a cement dam in a large pond.  It will be our bridge across, another part of our journey.  Little did I know that this bridge will be symbolic later on.

The pond is large, and filled with lilly pads.  Scattered about are the beautiful water lillies, with their white outside and yellow insides.  The sun is out and reflects off the uncovered water to create a beautiful backdrop for the lilly pads.  The frogs are out, and every now and then you hear one croak to another.  To complete the picture, is an old man sitting on the dam with a book, just reading under the shade of a large tree.  As we approach, we realize just as it comes to his attention that he will need to move to let us pass.  The dam is only about a two feet wide.

With a smile the older man says, "Mornin' "
"Good morning," Olivia and I reply almost at the same time.
"Beautiful day ain't it?"
Olivia replies before I get the chance, "Yes, yes it is."
"Well I better scoot out of your way, enjoy the rest of you day."
"You too," I reply as I think to myself how much I love the friendly people you meet along a hike.  It's wonderful to know that there are others out there at many different ages that also love to experience the tranquility and beauty of nature; a major interest Olivia and myself share.

As we finish walking along the narrow top of the dam, we reenter the woods.  The path seems to take us under many shorter trees and causes me to have to bend down almost every step of the way.

"You know, I'm not really all to good at the limbo," I say sarcastically.
Olivia retorts, "That's why I love being short".  At 5' 1", you could say she's short.
"Hmph, lucky you, you little hobbit," I add.  She chuckles and we continue on our way.

We both love to hike, it brings us peace.  We've been friends for a long time, but our relationship has had it's dull points, where for an unknown reason I was angry with her for quite a while.

As we approach the end of our path, I look up from the ground to see through a little clearing in the trees the beautiful shining pond with the beautiful blue, cloudless sky behind it.  Instantly, a smile grows on my face.  I've always loved the water, since I was a young boy.  I spent many days playing on the rocky shore of the brook in my backyard.

"I thought you'd like it," Olivia says quietly, observing my moment of bliss.
As we climb out onto a large rock, where will be eating our lunch, I reply, "You're right.  This is amazing".  We sit down and take in the view as Olivia unpacks her rucksack with our lunch in it and lays it out on our table provided by Mother Earth.

"So, tell me everything about your trip.  Don't leave anything out," I say after a while.
With a smile and a look of excitement, Olivia begins to replay almost every day of her trip throughout Austria, Hungary, Italy, France and Germany.  A feeling of jealousy starts to enter my mind, but joy and excitement quickly overcomes it.

"I have an important question to ask you," Olivia abruptly says.
Taken back a little, I reply, "Go for it".
"Will you travel to Europe with me next summer.  You would love it," I start smiling, "It really changed my outlook on my life.  It'd be awesome to go right before college." Ah, college.  One of my favorite and least favorite topics to discuss.

After a breif hesitation and another smile, "Of course".
"Then it's settled," she says, as we enter a long discussion about our futures and our desires for how are lives will end out.  We soon rediscover I burning desires for travel and to make an impact on the world which we live in.

"You know, I really see no point in not enjoying one's life.  'Live everyday to it's fullest', I've recently really come to appreciate that saying," Olivia states with a small sigh randomly in the conversation as she looks out over the water.  I could not agree more.

After what seems like hours of discussion about everything imaginable, we pack up and head back on our way.  We take a took a different trail back to the car, and soon find ourselves on a grassy path between two lines of trees.

"Ha, this reminds me an awful lot of the Lord of the Rings movies.  Where Frodo and his friends hid under the tree root off the side of a road just like this from the guy on the horse," I say after a short silence.
"Oh wow!  It really does," replies Olivia. 
"Boy, were those guys true friends or what," I say without really thinking.
"They were, that they were," Olivia says as her voice fades.  My mind starts to wander back to some previous thoughts I had just days ago...

While I know a lot of people, I feel as if I've met no one like you see or read about in stories, a true friend who will last a life time.  People always say that they would do anything for their friends, and I would too; but deep down inside I still feel as if all of the people I know in high school will disappear from my life after a few years, but then I realize I was wrong.  Olivia and I go way back, all the way back to the start of schooling in kindergarten.  While our friendship had been on and off, the past few years we've really begun to stay close.  Then it hit me, this is one person I would know forever.  We share too much in common, we have the similar goals and ideals, and I realized then and there, that we were more than just high school friends, we would be friends for a long time.

"Promise me something," I say to Olivia, taking her by surprise.
She quickly replies, "Anything," she pauses, "what is it?"
"Promise me we'll never lose touch, and promise me we will make a difference in this world.  And promise me," I pause,"...promise me we'll always be there if the other needs it, because lord knows we'll need it at some point".
With a hesitation which turns into a wide smile, as if everything became clear in the world, she replies, "Of course".

With that, we go on to finish our hike, but it's different than before, I have a new feeling of comfort, knowing that I have at least one person to always count on for the rest of my life, someone I can always trust; and for me, thinking that that was only for stories, was happily proven wrong.  That day was like crossing the dam for me, a bridge to a path that I could take to my future, knowing I have support from a friend forever.
© Copyright 2007 Ryan M. Manthey (foreverwalking at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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