The day I met Joslyn
Mae Lapira was a day I could never forget. It was the most innocent way two first graders could meet. We both stood quietly
at the bus stop holding our mothers’ hands. As we tried hiding behind our mothers, we tried to steal glances of each
other. I remembered her as a small, Filipino girl, my age, and just as shy as I was. Her features were similar to mine which
made her even more appealing to me. I grew so curious that I just had to meet her. My mother helped me introduce myself
to her and her mother and from then one, our friendship quickly blossomed into a sisterhood. Our friendship was like a dream
come true, but even all fairy tales have their endings.
After arriving to school
that morning, I introduced myself to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Gilbert. I had to do the whole explanation of why I go by
Meagan rather than Adrienne. That was such a hassla to do, but I would rather not be called Adrienne, it sounded a bit too
old for me then.
As soon as I sat down
at my assigned seat, she walked thoug the doors. It was her, the girl I met that morning. I thought to myself, "Gosh, I would
love for her to be my friend."
It is a very long story
how I gathered the courage to approach her later again that day, but I am so glad I did. She became my "lunch buddy", end
everyday for lunch, we walked together to the park, laughed at jokes, ate our lunch, and ran around in the sun.
Hand in hand, Joslyn
and I were walking toward the playground after we had eaten. Our goal was to be the first to the slides. That day the sky
was so blue that when you looked up, you felt very dizzy. High up in the blue skies, the fluffiest white clouds dotted the
sky in wonderous forms.
free hand, she pointed up to the sky and joyfully exclaimed, "Look! That one looks like a pig!!"
She released her hand
from mine and ran alone, gigling toward the playground. Giggling also, I ran behind her until she stopped and then hooked
arms with me.
Joslyn whispered to
me, "Can you go up to her and ask her to be our friend? Pleeeeaaaasssse?!"
In quick respinse to
her pleading, I went up to her and asked her to be our friend. That is what I loved doing in the first grade. Going up to
complete strangers of the same age and making friends with them with my best friend at my side. Joslyn gave me the courage
to meet new people and through the six years we would spend together in elementary, we made more and more friends together.
After first grade,
we were not, unfortunately, in the same class until the fourth grade, but that did not stop us from being the best of friends.
We found out that we lived on the same street and took advantage of that. On sunny mornings, Joslyn, her brother, my sister,
and I all walked to school. Joslyn and I would always be gigling about the littlest things, and we would get smiles from strangers.
I guess it was cute seeing two little girls having a good time together on the way to school. With Joslyn, the good times
never stopped rolling. Yes it is a cliché, but it was the definate truth.
Finally in fourth grade,
she and I had the same teacher. She started the year in a combination class of fourth graders and fifth graders, but luckily
she was switched out and then switched into my class. Out teacher, Mrs. Baity, chose me to catch Joslyn up on the things we
have already done in class. On the days we stayed in the classroom helping the teacher, we would always be laughing about
an inside joke and it was obvious that we were best friends. I absolutely loved her humor and how she could make anything
enjoyable. She could even make tidying up the room asort of game and we would end up laughing our heads off. Mrs. Baity would
always ask us if we were seperated at birth or if we were sisters and we just did not know it. That was impossible, but it
sure was something I wished were true because it would mean I could almost spend twenty-four hours a day with her.
In our fifth grade
year, we were placed in the same class. I was ecstatic. I said "Hello" to her mom then Joslyn and I went off talking about
our short summer break. Most of it we spent apart because she went to the Philippines. She told me all about itand what she
did there. I was extremely jealous of her. I have only been to the Philippines when I was a baby, and I have never flown out
of the country since. She described to me what it was like seeing the big, blue ocean below and landing in a foreign country
where once you stepped off the plane, you felt all hot and sticky. Our fun conversation had to end when school started.
It was apparent we
were not going to get lucky and be seated next to each other, but that never happened in our years together at this school.
It was like the school had cameras or spies that took note that Joslyn and I were a dangerous combination, a combination that
would set off laughing every five minutes when put together. It did not take long for her and I to grow a friendship with
our fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Inumerable. She was young and fun, plus she would not let Joslyn and I get seperated anymore.
We were excited to
hear that we were elegible to be in a program called Peace Patrol. It was the program that her brother used to be in when
he still attended our school. We thought it would be a fun thing to do while we learn how to resolve conflicts. We definitely
took advantage of the fact that we got to go to a lower grade level’s lunch time during class. What was funner than
leaving class early to spend time walking around on the black-top with your ultimate best friend? Exactly. It was the best
thing we invested our time in. we got to laugh all we wanted and we shared our happiness with the rest of the children on
the playground, which we felt like we ran because we looked official in our blue jackets. We were the chicks in the blue jackets,
and nothing was going to stop us-except the scary yard duty.
By the middle of that
year, Joslyn was switched to a combination class of fourth and fifth graders. It was like bad luck for her with combination
classes. She couldn’t stay in a combination class or a regular class. I guess Mrs. Inumerable did not have the
powers to keep that from happening. We shared tears because it broke the record we were trying to go for, the highest amount
of hours we could spend a school year together.
In addition to those
tears, we found out that our first grade teacher had passed away. Back in first grade we knew that our teacher, Mrs. Gilbert,
had cancer and was taking chemotherapy to win the battle with cancer, but we did not think that it would go this far. She
was our favorite teacher and we both shared our stories of how fun and memorable she was. The was the teacher that brought
us together, and we knew we would never forget her.
The year I found out
that Joslyn was in this program called GATE. When she told me, I quickly grew jealous of her. I mean, I was like her twin
in everything and now she gets placed in this great program to recognize her intelligence without me-nontheless show that
she was the better half. That made me feel inferior to her, but I never showed it. I always knew that she was smarter than
me, and she had talents I didn’t have, but this smacked me in the face and told me I was not as great as she. She could
play the piano better than anyone our age that I knew, she was liked by everyone, the teachers always liked her, she could
always draw and paint better than I could, she never got in as much trouble as I did, and now it was proven that she
was really smart. Who can’t get jealous of a person who has practically everything?
Our competition with
each other had started there. If she can get into GATE, then icould get straight A’s without GATE. If she can
run a lap on the track without getting winded, then I pushed myself to do so too. If she can win at tetherball, then I will
try my hardest to beat her. The competition between her and I was never stated officially, but we knew it was there, and we
just had to win. It went through sixth grade, and the competition never slowed down. Anything that you could be the best in,
we just had, to be the best. It was a hard fight in sixth grade, but I was able to be the best.
Our sixth grade teacher,
Mrs. Miller, had this system that if you receive an "A" on an assignment or test, you got a sticker. Then you would take that
sticker off and then place it on your shicker sheet. I was always the first one to fill up a sticker sheetfront and back throughout
the whole year, and I felt very proud. That meant I was beating everyone in the class and getting the most A’s in the
class. Joslyn was the one to help me have that power. Though we were in a competition with one another, her friendship never
stopped. She never stopped giving and helping me in everything that year in order to get A’s and got me the prize for
having the most stickers.
It was the little things
that made us who were were. We were like sisters and inseperable. Teachers and students even made the mistake of thinking
we were actually sisters. If I were really her sister, I bet I would have had some of her smarts and talents. She was the
type of person that stands out from the crowd with a big red arrow pointing at her. Ironically, my jealousy of her only made
me a better person. I know that sounds weird, but it is true. She made me try my hardest at everything and she made sur ei
was keeping up. I still don’t have her fantastic 4.9, but I know if I try harder than I am I could get there someday.
I’m still not as outgoing as she is, but I know I’ll be up to her level in no time. Joslyn Mae Lapira was not
only my best friend, but she was my sister and my teacher. Now that we’re both in different high schools, living on
different streets, the good times and phone calls have stopped rolling, and the memories of our fun times together will never
stop replaying through my head.