Monday, December 24, 2007

From Japan With Love

For the last week, my friend Nami from Japan has been staying with us. I hadn't seen her or spoke to her since she moved to Japan after we graduated from highschool five years ago...

I met Nami in first grade when she had just moved to America and didn't speak English. She carried around a thick japanese dictionary to help her translate what people in class were trying to tell her. Looking back at that, I am totally amazed...I couldn't even read anything- and she was furiously looking up the japanese translation of english words in her 20 lb dictionary.

I walked into class for the first time with my mom and immediateely began crying. I was terrified at the thought of being in school all day without her. Nami was in a totally new country and she didn't even seem phased. Our teacher Ms. Rankin sat us next to each other and we were instant friends (take a packet of powdered friend mix, just add water).

We were best friends for a long time- all the way until sophmore year of highschool when we both liked the same boy. I had one date with him before my mom found out and told me I was not allowed to Date Boys until I was 18...then he asked Nami out. She said yes. I was hurt and angry. They dated for about two years and that whole time I felt betrayed. Looking back, I guess he wasn't even that cute.... he was definately no Indiana Jones :) And I feel dumb for letting such a long friendship become destroyed over a silly boy.

After this whole ordeal, Nami and I graduated and never really spoke. Deep down I harbored a grudge even though I pretended that I didn't care. Over the last five years I had regretted the loss of the friendship. I guess its easy to think your past feelings are silly when you no longer feel them. In situations like this, time is really the only healer.

When I picked Nami up at the airport l ast week, I was really nervous. I didn't really know who she would be anymore. I didn't know what to expect. It turns out that even though five years did a lot to heal us both, five years is not enough to change us beyond recognition. Behind the older looking smile of hers, I recognize the little girl who taught me so much about life beyond the little world I knew. The girl who sparked my love for adventure and foreign lands and who helped me develop a passion for understanding other people.

Yes, things are pretty much the same.

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