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Loving someone because of their flaws, not in spite of them
By Becca T. Grade 10, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

She is shallow and very materialistic. She is sometimes vain and prides herself on her appearance. She is hesitant to accept things she doesn't understand, and is the epitome of high maintenance. But she is also my best friend and I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world.

I met Rachelle for the second time during the summer before grade seven. According to my mother, I had known her many years before that when we both lived in Chilliwack B.C., and participated in swimming lessons at the same health center. The fact that we had a history together did not help me much, however, when my mother brought her home for me to make friends with. It was an uncomfortable encounter, to say the least, because we had and still have very little in common. Except for the fact that both of our names start with the letter ‘R', and that we are in the same grade, we are basically as opposite as nature could create. She is very social while I am very shy. I like musical theatre and second hand clothing stores; she likes pop culture and dresses like a mannequin from any brand-name clothing store.

In spite of, or perhaps because of these differences, we fast became good friends. We did everything together. We wore matching ‘t-ball' t-shirts and black spandex pants to the fencing class that we joined together. For Halloween we even dressed up as Siamese cheerleaders together. It got to the point where some people had difficulty remembering who was who because we answered to both names! We were inseparable until a year and a half ago when she moved away to Edmonton. Even still we call each other almost every other day, and we know each other so well that we can tell before we even pick up the phone whether it's the other person calling.

Of course along with all the good times come many interesting times. In my life, the phrase ‘with friends like these, who needs enemies?' often rings true. During our grade 8 class trip to Ottawa, Rachelle was unfortunate enough to suffer swollen ankles and sore feet due to the horrendous amount of walking we were doing, so she was always icing them at any chance she got. One night in our dorm room, I left her alone, with shopping bags full of ice on her feet, while I went to take a shower. I returned, a half hour later, to find that she had spilled the ice all over my bed and had neglected to clean it up, leaving me with a large puddle to sleep in and a bad mood to stew in. However it would be unfair to say that she is the cause of all disturbances in our friendship for it's true that I create my fair share. Often I prey upon her gullibility. In one such instance I convinced her that I did not know what runners (running shoes) were, and in another I lured her in my storeroom with the promise of food, and then proceeded to lock her in. Most people find this type of behavior to be immature, cruel or just plain rude, but for us it's what keeps our friendship interesting. We're comfortable around each other; we're perfectly happy to be brutally honest, and blunt and bizarre.

While all our shenanigans are good fun and games, there are many more reasons as to why I consider Rachelle to be my best friend - often times a better friend than I could ask for. No matter what I do, or say, or wear (she is sometimes embarrassed by my choice of attire) she is always loyal to our friendship. She supports me and encourages me in everything I do, and is always there to comfort me when I falter. Most of the time she has more confidence in me than I have in myself! Once I was completely engaged in typical teenaged ‘boy troubles' and was complaining to her that a guy I had a crush on liked another girl. Her response, though harshly phrased, made me smile, ‘Whenever a guy that you like happens to like someone else, she is always uglier and she is always a whore!' Although she had never even seen this other girl, and had no idea of this girl's past, she was positive that I was the best girlfriend that this guy would ever find.

I am far from perfect, and so is she but our shortcomings compliment each other and create the unbreakable bond that I have treasured for the past three and a half years. I believe that we love someone because of their flaws, not in spite of them, and there is no doubt in my mind that I love my friendship with Rachelle. I know deep in my heart of hearts that no matter what may change in my lifetime, we will always be there to help each other through the good times and the bad. Thank you, Chelley, for all you've done!


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