An Oath to a Friend
Friendship is one of the most important aspects in life. We make friends and assume the responsibility to support him or her; it is an oath of loyalty, honesty and respect. As we grow older we constantly hear that “friends will come and go” or “eventually you will meet new people” and soon we forget about these promises we make a million times a day. But does that really give us the justification we need to forget about our friends? As we meet new people it should serve to remind us, just how special each and every one of our friends are, and the unspoken oath we took to support them.
I grew up in Bronx, New York, a place that was separated by race and gangs. Chinese people throughout elementary, middle school, even high school were the minority. The friends I made were small in number since I didn’t fit into their groups, and with every school year I would lose some friends and gain a couple more. But for every ‘best friend’ I had, I would make a ‘promise’ that we would be friends forever. Most of these people I hardly remember what they look like without going on to their Facebook page. The oath of keeping in touch never worked out. Eventually, I began to lose faith on these promises. It was pointless to get close to someone only to have the relationship disintegrate.
That was my mentality going into high school. It was a new school; my graduating class consisted of 33 people. It was natural that we turned out to be a tight knit group, and no matter how much I detested the idea of friendship I became incredibly close with a boy named Ehis Osarenweinda. Together we supported each other through test, seminars, declamation, and the rigors of the International Baccalaureate program. Throughout the four years in high school we grew up together academically and emotionally, and with that we developed a really close relationship. Everyday after school we would sit at our spot at Los Arcos and talk about everything and nothing at all. Finally senior year came along and I suddenly became afraid of our inevitable separation. I had no faith that our friendship can survive the separation of college.
During the last week of school I sat at an empty staircase with Ehis telling him of all my fears about losing him as my friend. I actually prepared a good-bye speech telling him how much of an honor it was to have him as a friend and how lucky I was to meet him. He sat there and looked at me, telling me how ridiculous I sounded. With a smirk and a deep Brooklyn accent, he said, “Friendships that don’t survive are because people don’t try hard enough, and they don’t care to. So if you lose a friend like that good riddance! But we aren’t like that. ” As the last bell rung announcing the end of the school day, he made me promise to text him everyday. I made the promise and we shook on it as he commanded we do, to make it official. However, I had no faith that after I went to college we would talk to each other until a high school reunion event.
After I moved onto campus he called that night to ensure everything was ok and he encouraged me to go socialize with the people on my floor. I met new friends and am having a great time on campus. But every morning I would receive a text from Ehis saying, “Good Morning!” We would talk everyday about our different college experience, and as a result we learned to be more open to each other. As I began experiencing new things so was he, not much really did change about our friendship besides our locations.
However, some days the distance does start to take a toll. I even wondered at times whether we were merely hanging on to the past. We talked less and a relationship through text messages and phone calls starts to feel detached. But when I would receive his “good morning!” text it all makes sense, and we would continue to discuss things academic related or absolute nonsense. Our history strengthens our friendship but as we change and grow I know he will always be there to support me and tell me, “Good Morning!” Even with something as small as an essay.
I took this oath completely expecting our friendship to fail, in some ways I wanted to prove myself right, that friendships don’t last. A friend is equivalent to that of an acquaintance a person we converse with because it is convenient, but this was definitely the exception. I did learn however if I hold up my end of the bargain the unexpected might happen.