Friends forever

Dear Arizona,

My friend is moving in a month―and not just to a different neighborhood, but to a whole different country! I'm so sad, I can hardly think about anything else. I know you can't make my friend's family stay, but I'm hoping you'll at least have some helpful ideas. ―Already Lonely in London

Dear Already Lonely,

The first thing I want to say is―I'm so sorry your friend is moving!

The second thing I want to say is-are you from London, as in London, England? That is so exciting! Have you ever seen the Queen? Is it true that people there drive on the left side of the road? How big is Big Ben, really?

OK,I guess I should stop asking questions and get back to your letter-which reminds me of how beyond and I was when my friend Elizabeth had to move.

I met Elizabeth in my very first karate class. I was the only new kid in the class. Everyone else knew a lot of the moves already and had yellow or orange belts.

I had a total beginner's white belt and felt unbearably nervous the whole way through the class. I tried my hardest to follow along, but everything was way harder than I thought it would be.

Friends forever 永远的朋友

Afterward, as I was putting on my shoes, I was thinking, There is no way I am ever coming back to karate!

And that's when I met Elizabeth.

"You did great!" I laughed. "I was so clueless!"

"That's how I felt at first, too," she said. "If you want, I can help you practice."

"Really?" I said.

"Sure. By the way, I'm Elizabeth." She scribbled on the back of a karate schedule. "Here's my number."

"Wow, that's so nice of you!" I said.

She smiled. "No problem."

Anyway, to make a long story short, I called her a few days later, and we've been amazing friends ever since.

Now for the sad part. Not very long ago, Elizabeth had to move. Her family still lives in California, but if you know anything about my state, then you know it's gigantic. And I'm not positive about the exact geographic details, but the distance Elizabeth moved was about the same as if she had moved from London to Paris!

"You can't move!" I screamed when she told me the terrible news.

"I know. That's what I told my parents,"she said. "But they said we don' have a choice. We'e moving in with my grandparents, and I guess it'l be way cheaper than where we live now."

"Wait! I have the perfect solution,"I said. "You and your parents can move in with my family! We can share my room, and it'l be like having a sleepover every single night! I' sure my parents will be totally cool with it."

Friends forever 永远的朋友

"That would be so great!" said Elizabeth, then she sighed. "I wish we could do that. But there's no way. My parents also want to be closer to my grandparents, so I think we're definitely going."

So Elizabeth and I had to come up with a Plan B. A would have been, we were actually pretty happy about our solution. Here's what we did.

First, we asked my mom to take a picture of us together and help us print it out regular size and teeny-tiny size .

We put the regular photos in special frames that we decorated Forever. I gave me the frame she decorated.

Then, we cut the teeny-tiny picture of us in half. I put the half with Elizabeth's face in my locket necklace, and she put the half with my face in her locket necklace.

So even though Elizabeth lives miles away and I only get to see her once in a while, our Friends Forever picture frames and lockets really do help with the "missing-you" part.

Besides that, our parents let us e-mail sometimes, and we still get to talk and crack up together on the phone now and then. Also, we love sending each other funny letters and packages filled with goofy surprises.

So, dear Already Lonely, being separated from your friend doesn't have to be as bad as it seems right now. Photos, letters, phone calls, e-mails, and great memories can really and truly make a friend seem closer than he or she is.

I hope these ideas help. As they say in London, "cheers" to you and your friend! And as I like to say…

Ciao for now,


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