Monday, June 10, 2019

Best Friends Forever

                                                        Best Friends Forever
                                                            By Valerie L. Egar

            The magic started when Lily found a green bottle almost covered in sand at the edge of the water. Ocean waves kissed it and receded, then kissed it again. “What’s this?”
            Lily picked up the bottle and saw it was sealed, its golden cap screwed on tightly. Holding the bottle to the sun, Lily shook it. Something clinked inside, but she couldn’t see what. She tried the cap and was surprised it unscrewed easily.
A silver necklace poured into her hand and glittered.  At the end of a delicate chain, a heart shaped pendant hung, engraved with the words, “Be My Friend.”  Lily put the necklace on and shook the bottle again, expecting to find a note so she could learn whose friend she was invited to be. No note fell out.
            Lily sat on the beach for a long time, thinking. She decided what she had to do.
            Lily dragged a huge red umbrella to the top of a grassy hill. She popped the umbrella open and felt the wind tug it. “North!” she whispered and held on to the umbrella handle with both hands.
           Slowly the wind lifted her and Lily floated over farms and  villages, wide rivers and green valleys.  A sassy crow kept her company for a little while, hitching a ride on the top of the umbrella.
Lily landed gently in a meadow. “This must be it,” she thought, noticing a dirt path leading through the nearby woods.
            Signs were posted on trees along the path.  “Go home!” 
            “Turn back now!”
            “No welcome mat here!”
            “Hmmm,” Lily thought. “With all these signs, it’s no wonder he or she has no friends.”
            Lily rounded a curve to find a cabin, its windows shuttered. Another sign, painted in red hung on the door. “Nobody’s home. Really.”
            Lily banged on the door. “I’m here to be your friend!”
            No one answered, but Lily could hear footsteps inside.
            Lily banged louder. “I came a long way to see you,” she yelled. She peeked under the door and glimpsed feet.
            “I found the bottle and the necklace you put inside.”
            Lily heard a quiet, “You did?”
            “Uh huh. I’m wearing the necklace. But you’ll have to open the door to see.”
            Silence. Then, “Come back some other day. I’m busy.”
           Lily was hungry and thirsty after her long trip. She wanted to sit in a nice soft chair for a little while. “You don’t know how to be a friend!” she yelled. “That’s why you don’t have any.” She started to cry.
            The door unlatched and slowly opened. “Would you like to come in and sit down?”
Lily saw a girl who looked exactly like herself. The same black hair, the same sea green eyes, the same dimple on one side. “Hello Lily, “ the girl said. “That’s my name, too. But I use my middle name, Marie. I like that name better.”
The inside of the cabin was a bit messy, but comfortable. Art hung on all the walls.  Poems were scattered across the table. The girls sat and talked.
“I journeyed a long way to find you,” Lily said.
“And I have been waiting all my life for you to find me,” answered Marie.
The girls talked deep into the night, getting to know each other better. “How talented you are,” Lily commented, looking at all of the paintings and reading the poems.
“And you are brave,” Marie told Lily. “You had no idea who or what was waiting at the end of  your journey.”
            As they talked, they realized they would never be separated again. They were happy to have found each other and would be best friends forever.
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Copyright 2019 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be shared, copied or distributed without permission from the author.
Published May 25, 2019 Biddeford Journal Tribune (Biddeford, ME)


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