In January of 1990 the World Wide Web did not exist yet. Cell phones were mostly for doctors, attorneys and Zack Morris. We were still watching the Cosby Show on Thursday nights and thanks to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure everyone was saying "dude" and most girls we knew were crazy for a man twice their age, Patrick Swayze of Dirty Dancing fame. Everyone was begging Mc Hammer, Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, Tone Loc was gett'n funky with the Cold Medina and Vanilla Ice, was busy rolling in his 5.0. All the cool kids were sporting labels like Guess, Z Cavarichi and The Limited. Hair was tall and crunchy thanks to mass amounts of aerosol hair spray, this is likely about the same time scientists started to become concerned with the condition of the ozone. This is also the time that a twist of fate brought two strangers together that now almost 20 years later could no not imagine life without the other.
Kelly was the new kid on the block.
In the 9th grade I transferred high schools half way through the year. I knew one person in the entire school, who I was relying on to show me around, introduce me to new friends, save me a seat in the cafeteria and all the other important stuff that comes with attempting to fit in. On my first day at Pinellas Park High School I was excited about a fresh start but mostly nervous about being noticed as the “new girl.” On Monday morning, I was working my way down the hallway feeling pretty confident when suddenly I was distracted by the loudest voice I had ever heard. It was this girl talking to a group of students who appeared to be the “popular crowd.” She had her finger pointing, her neck rolling and she was flipping her hair too; this girl was really working it out. I walked by trying not to stare and the girl doing all the talking walked towards me, threw her arm around me and said, “Hey, you’re Kelly! Great hair, nice pants, love the shoes, oh I’m Becca it’s great to meet you. I’m going to need your class schedule to coordinate note passing and locker meetings. My locker’s down in the senior section. I have connections and I figure we can share lockers cause who knows where they’re going to put you. Oh my God, I can’t believe I didn’t tell you this first Kelly, I hear that Mike Winters is hot for you already! Is that exciting or what? Dude, lets walk.”
Lots of information, I know, but what’s even more impressive is that I’m pretty certain she got everything out in one breath. I was overwhelmed and honestly a little scared but mostly happy about meeting a new friend. I handed Becca my schedule, she grabbed me by the arm and started guiding me down the hallway. About two seconds later she screamed, “Awesome, we totally have third period together, the class is kind of boring but at least we’ll be together.” We stopped outside of a classroom doorway that I assumed was our Language Arts class. Becca introduced me to a couple kids as they were walking in and we hung out until about ten seconds before the bell rang. So far, the only thing I could see that I had in common with Becca was teased bangs that defied gravity.
Once we got into the classroom Becca said hello to the girl sitting in the desk next to her, paid her a couple of quick compliments and then asked if she would switch seats with me so that we could sit together since I was new and all. The girl did not seem to mind and so I sat next to my new friend Becca who clearly knew how to make things happen. She continued to inform me of all the clubs and organizations I had to join, where to sit in the cafeteria, how to get out of certain classes a little early and most importantly, she told me all about her new boyfriend. Even though it had only been 3 days, she was sure he was “the one.” She started talking about plans for the weekend as the teacher was walking towards the front of the classroom. Class began and I finally had a moment to take a deep breath and relax a little bit. A few minutes into third period Language Arts with Mr. Buchus I started thinking that my first day at PPHS wasn’t going to be that bad.
Meeting that day remains one of the most pivotal moments in our lives. We both always wanted a sister and here we found one in each other, the fact that we wore the same size shoes was merely a bonus. From that moment on we grew up together, we have shared all of life’s moments both big and small. What makes our friendship so special besides the fact that we can finish each others sentences is that without hesitation the good, the bad and everything in between we will always be there for one another. Our friendship is truly a matter of two souls meeting and realizing that we are actually family.