Amber Gems

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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Amber Gems Eyes reveal a person's soul. When all is well, the shimmer like stars in the heavens and when sad they reveal a picture of a broken heart. Angela Rago has eyes the color of a warm fire. They glow like hot coals when she is mad. However, when she is content, they sparkle like polished gems. Through all the memories I share with her those amazing eyes are the first to come to mind. It is the sincerity of the fiery gems that drove me to befriend the girl that owns them. I never thought she and I would become close, much less practically sisters. But somewhere between the day I met her and now we developed a bond that will never die.

Angela entered my life during rehearsal for the spring chorus concert in 1999. I still remember how her auburn hair lay on her gingham shirt and the contrast of her olive, Italian complexion against her khaki pants.

She was almost heavenly in appearance.

"Hi, what voice are you?" I asked as I was positioning everyone for the dance number.

"Alto, but I can sometimes sing Soprano," she said angelically.

"Well we are down two Altos"¦. if you don't mind the front." I replied. She only smiled and nodded.

Two weeks later the show was over and summer was just beginning. To be honest, I had forgotten all about Angela until I saw her again at my surprise birthday party June 22. We talked and giggled all night. By the time everyone was saying goodbye we had exchanged numbers and planned several fun things for July. Angela and I hung out everyday. Watching Sailormoon and gabbing online were only two of our daily rituals.

Before we realized it school was soon starting. I was in a catering course and needed a job in the restaurant business; Angela just needed a job. So, my mom told us about a place named Charley's that had two positions open for hosting. For the interview Angela and I dressed exactly the same, khakis and sapphire tops. After brief questioning and a tour we had landed the perfect job. The coolest part about it was we were working together. Our first night on the job was a blast. We mastered the phone, greeting and seating the customer all in the matter of a few hours. The year seemed set for success; only life never goes the way we dream.

Leaves the color of rubies, oranges and golden rays blanketed the earths ground. Chimneys had smoke seeping from their mouths and the air had the sent of purity. November was beautiful to everyone except me because a "new" Angela had entered my life. She was an evil version of the one I once knew. You always hear about friendships being altered by a guy but you never think much of it until it is ripping your heart apart. Angela was "in love" with a guy named Casper and the worst of it involved him taking away my best friend. People say jealousy makes a person bitter; all it made me was full of despair. Everything suddenly had to involve Casper. Nights of watching movies in our pajamas were almost unheard of and all the happiness that once shone through her eyes now was blocked by his dark reflection. I tried to save our friendship but I didn't have enough passion about it. If I had everything would have never gone as far as they did and life wouldn't have been so horrible.

We had been fighting for weeks about her "love" for Casper when the holidays finally approached. Her eyes were nothing more than hollow pits by now. Angela had turned into lies and deceit. However, nothing seemed to hurt as much as hearing her say she hated me on New Years.

Though we were having problems, we had planned to go to a New Year Eve party together and then spend the night at my house. To keep the peace, I had my boyfriend invite Casper also. The party actually calmed the bickering. Everyone was laughing, dancing and playing pool. To this day I still believe I saw the glimmer back in Angela's eyes for a few hours that night. There was only an hour left until 2000 when my boyfriend, Scott, and I left to get the pizzas. We were back fifteen minutes before the ball dropped. There was so much commotion I failed to notice Angela and Casper missing until after midnight. I searched everywhere to no prevail. Finally, I called her mom to see if she went home. Just as I was dialing the number Angela and Casper walked in from a "ride".

Swiftly the relief of knowing she was safe turned into anger. There were several words exchanged early that morning but the last few are all I remember.

"Stop being like my mom" Angela screamed.

"I could if you actually knew how to be a friend." I cried. There was a complete moment of silence and the final three words "I hate you". Standing in the cold I watched in tears as Casper's truck left the neighborhood to take Angela home. The unthinkable had become reality; I had lost my best friend. That night my boyfriend held me for hours and by morning life was once again looking promising.

My New Year Resolution was to make peace with Casper and rebuild my friendship with Angela. After a warm shower and some hot food I began the process of getting my life back in order. I called Casper and together we sorted through our differences. Then he picked me up and drove me to Angela's house. I met her at the front door with a fountain of tears and a million apologies. We were all once again happy and for the first day in months I fell asleep without crying.

Sadly, the renewed friendship lasted only a short while. It was the third week in January when a simple misunderstanding shook our unsteady friendship again. Angela had plans to see Casper that day but they were cancelled because her parents didn't like her hanging out with him. Since, she was then free I asked her mom if she could stay the night. I was taking a shower when Angela called me claiming I had talked her parents out of letting her see Casper. Within hours everything was out of control. That day I officially "separated" myself from the friendship and by doing so caused Angela to be banned from seeing Casper. I never thought insecurity could destroy a friendship but it was able to destroy ours. I was always trying to protect her and keep everything happy. I should have realized the wrong in the way I was acting but when my world was crumbling around me I couldn't see I was making hers crumble too.

By March I was completely dead and Angela had transformed into a person I didn't want to know. Drained from all the stressed I asked to move to live with my grandparents. I never thought I would miss Angela considering all the pain and fighting but by the end of April I was homesick. Finally, after thousands of tears I called her. To my surprise Angela was more than willing to listen and talk.

We had almost completely rebuilt our relationship when I moved back home the first weekend in June.

Summer brought a lot of old memories. Everyday was spent the same as the summer before until on night in late July. It was two days after the news of my mother's cancer and my friends wanted me to go to a pool party to get my mind off things. It would have worked if my ex-boyfriend, Scott, hadn't gotten angry because I wanted to leave early. What started out as yelling ending with me lying on the ground in tears; Angela had stood over the entire event with two steamy coals glaring at us. Then suddenly she was gone; she left me when I needed her most.

I wish I could say that she had ran for help and that we are still friends today but, that only happens in my dreams. Too many little things will always interfere and there will always be the haunting memories of all that went wrong. Angela is the only person I have been through so much for and is the only friend I have cried myself to sleep thinking about. Though her friendship was at one time the most important thing to me I have come to realize the pain isn't worth the small spurts of happiness. I still love the owner of the warm amber gems but now only from afar.