Mrs. Reault asked me to take Jenny outside into the hallway and get to know her for about 10 or 15 minutes and then reintroduce her to the class. You see, Jenny was quiet and shy. And who wouldn't be when they're the center of attention infront of complete strangers at the age of 10. I believe Mrs. Reault thought Jenny didn't speak much English because she didn't speak much...period, and since we both spoke Chinese, it was easier for me to get to know her. So into the hallway we went and being the shy little girl I was, it was quite an awkward 15 minutes. I asked her a question, she'd answer it in one word. And sadly, I didn't have much to report to the class. But our classmates didn't seem to care because everyone just went onto their merry way and Mrs. Reault started her day teaching.
It wasn't until recess and lunch, Jenny and I started to hang out and got to know each other a little better. Despite the fact that we were both Chinese, we actually spoke English to eachother and I was surprised to find that she had no accent, and her English was perfect. It was the start of a beautiful friendship that lasts until this day. A friendship 20 years in the making.
Jenny and I only lived in the same town for a little over 2 years. After 6th grade, my family moved to Seattle because my dad graduated a little earlier than her dad in the Ph.D program since my dad was a little older. After her dad graduated, she went off to Missourri, then graduated from college and lived in New Jersey, then moved Cincinatti, and went off to law school in Boston but now reside in New York City. She's a big time lawyer now and during these 18 years or so that we've been physically apart, we have written countless pages of hand written letters to one another pre-email days. And now, we email almost every other day.
I'm not sure what the right formula was for Jenny and I to have kept in touch for so long. Because I know I've lost touch with many people in my life, but Jenny and I will always be there for one another. Both Jenny and I are extremely loyal people who value friendships as much as we do our families. And I think we both hold on to that very first day we met as little girls, in a small town where we felt so different from the rest of the kids there. We are not remotely as similar to one another as some of my girl friends that I have here in Seattle. Actually, we are very different and we have different outlooks on life. But what's best about our friendship is that life in the past 20 years has taken us to so many different places. We've been through countless ups and downs, but we've never judged one another. The unconditional love I feel from my family is felt from her as well, and I truly think of her as a sister. In fact, I believe we're blood sisters and we've performed some blood sister ritual long distance (I was in Seattle, she was in Pullman and at a certain time we agreed to poke our fingers and put our blood on a piece of paper and mail it to one another), but she refuses to remember this! We'll just leave it at....she's a sister from another motha!
My visit with Chris to NYC in 2007...Chris met Jenny for the first time
Jenny and me at my wedding