My mama told me that friends come in all shapes and sizes.
The people closest to you are variations of you;
People who have qualities that you want to see in yourself.
Her words had me thinking that I needed to see people for what they are,
Which leads me to the story of my first breakup with a friend.
We met the summer before freshman year.
Everything was full and rosy-colored at my school’s program for incoming freshman
When she became my candle.
With her by my side, all I could smell was pine trees, sweet rain, and rich soil.
As a thirteen-year-old, thousands of miles away from my family, she supported me and acted as my closest confidante.
She was comfort and relaxation.
And, of course, as all candles do, she provided me with warmth when my oldest friend laid to rest in the evening.
But as her flame continued to dance and smile brightly,
the aroma and substance of the candle reduced to almost nothing.
Come the end of freshman year, her flame was no longer comforting.
Next year I was cold at the timid arrival of winter.
Her flame was no longer with me
And the candle was nothing but a glass cylinder
Tinted brownish-black inside
So, staring out of my dorm window at the undusted pine trees and the delicate, white frosty flakes performing in the sky,
I wrote a poem.
I wrote about how I had a love-hate relationship with snow
And how I prefer the sun.
I wrote about how I was accustomed to the sun and its rays of independence.
I wrote that I am fine with living together with snow.
After all, we are winter’s children.
This poem and my mother’s words influenced my decision to end my friendship with Her.
She who had once been my candle of comfort.
She who did not talk to me much once she met another
She who gossiped, lied, and tested my character.
She who tried to return to me after her other friend left her.
I did not see myself in Her flame.
I did not want to see myself in the reflection of the glass cylinder of Her candle.
I did not want Her in my life like I wanted the sun.
Like snow, She easily disappeared and reappeared in my life.
And snow will always fall and dissipate.
I did not know why her persona seemingly changed at the start of high school.
Or perhaps she was the way she was when we met.
When She was my flame of the candle
That masked any unpleasant events
With a lovely, natural scent of pine trees, rain, and soil.
And intoxicated me so that I only want to be around her.
I only wanted to be her friend.
I only wanted that scent.
But I suppose my eyes, thoughts, and words clarified my senses
And conjured a flame within me of self-expression, confidence, and warmth.