I was in the middle of Ross trying to figure out if I liked the jet black area rug or the perky, bright blue. One would match with everything, but the other was so cheerful it was hard to resist. There are so many distractions and wonderful things in that store. If only I could buy everything in that store, I would be so happy! But I was in that store waiting for something to make me even happier.
I was ready to skip and dance when I heard my friend yell my name from an alarmingly high volume in the middle of a Ross store. I hadn’t seen her in 5 months.
I unashamedly screamed back, much to the dismay of the other shoppers that previously quiet evening. Good friends are like that though, even if you haven’t seen them forever, they’ll be by your side no matter what when they can.
I was especially grateful for my friends when I read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” because Arnold’s amazing relationships with his friends made me remember how much I loved mine.
Arnold was so alone on his reservation and in his new school at the start, but soon enough he found people important to his life. There were moments in the book that were so touching, and completely described the epitome of friendship. It touched me so much when Penelope, the girl he had a crush on mostly for her body, came up and hugged him after the news of his sister’s death. That moment that he realized that she cared for him as a whole human being, that he could be loved like that, and not just for outward appearances. The moment when Roger found out the secret that Arnold was poor yet gave him an incredible amount of money anyways, made me feel Arnold’s vulnerability. However, he also figured out that to be vulnerable was sometimes ok, because it meant opening up to another person in a special way. Towards the end of the book, I couldn’t take my eyes off the page when I read about Gordy standing up for his little friend in Mrs. Jeremy’s class. What gripped me even more was hat the entire class followed in his actions; everyone felt for Arnold. He thought he would be so alone in that new school, but time and time again, his friends proved Arnold wrong.
Lastly, of course, is the story of Arnold’s deepest and longest friend. Rowdy is the kind of friend everyone should have. I don’t mean one that beats you up because he’s lived with abuse and doesn’t know any better. I mean one that stands by you no matter what. Rowdy is the one that stood up for Arnold in the reservation. Rowdy is the one that even though he got insanely mad at his best friend, still loved him enough to care about him and forgive him in the end. Rowdy always came back. He didn’t always understand his friend, but he was there when Arnold needed him most.
Everyone deserves good friends, but most especially, everyone deserves a Rowdy. I think I have a Rowdy, a lifetime, caring friend in my friend Bernadette, who makes me not ashamed to yell her name at the top of my lungs in public. I am grateful for my friends; I am grateful for my Bernadette.