Essay Topic APosted: October 4, 2009
“Are you attracted to her even when she looks like that?” my friend suddenly asks during lunch, pointing to the girl in question. I turn around to look.
She wears a plain white T-shirt that has somehow been splattered by assorted colors of paint: beige, light green, and pink to name a few. Her pajama bottoms are black and grey plaid, and are long enough to shroud her bare feet. Her messy mahogany hair is hastily propped up by a rubber band, and her almond eyes are framed by the thick brown glasses perched on her flat nose. She sits cross-legged on a bench with her back against a bleach white wall, lit up by the hot sun, her tanned skin aglow. Her head is bent over a book.
She and I would always have the most interesting conversations; they’d always start out with me making some half-thought arbitrary statement. After I would make this statement, she would find a point to argue over. One time I announced to her that milk is healthy and delicious and it is exponentially beneficial for one to drink a glass of cow’s milk every day. She argued that drinking milk is unnatural; no other animal drinks its mother’s milk after a certain age, much less consumes the “baby formula” of a completely different species. Our debates over such frivolous things were always heated. We’d also disagree about people, politics, objects, and class work just as passionately. Rarely did I end up agreeing with her, and never did she agree with me.
There was, though, a time that she thoroughly convinced me to coincide with her opinion. It was not a debate or collision of intellect; I simply asked her what she thought the greatest compliment one could give to another. She bounced the question right back at me and I said I thought the greatest positive comment someone could say was a simple “thank you.” Instead of disagreeing, she just stated her opinion. She believed that nothing was more uplifting than someone telling you that you’re illuminating, that you’re the finale of the iridescent annual fireworks display, that you’re the great mass of ancient stars in the sky on a cloudless night far away from the city.
She taught me humility. She taught me that there will always be someone of more importance, someone with a bigger ego, someone who will always out shine your greatest efforts: someone who is worth loving and following.
Now, at lunch, she sits there alone. Brighter than ever.
I turn back to my friend.
“No,” I lie.