I’ve been friends with Sari for as long as I can remember.
Okay that was a lie. I’ve been friends with Sari for approximately seven years, but it would’ve been nice if I had known her for as long as I could remember. Being as competitive as I am, I always feel slightly frustrated when I hear people say that they’ve been best friends with someone since the first and second grade, and I scoff it off as a friendship lesser than the one I share with Sari.
Of course, I’m joking (partly), seven years is a long time in Lisane-friendship years. I’ve had several best friends prior to her: I think I had 40 best friends in the first grade which is basically my entire class (I had just come back from Australia, and was eager to make new friends in my new school), one in the third grade, who I proceeded to be friends with until the 6th, but she eventually left the picture, and the country simultaneously, and two from the third until the fifth grade, a bitter-sweet friendship composed of three-way telephone calls, night time cartoons, and multiple-sleepovers. I think we stopped being best friends after they came over my house for my birthday party in the fifth grade. I don’t remember the particular reason, but I do know it had to do with getting chocolate cake on their pants, or something else, forcing the three of them in the bathroom. The point is, I was not in the bathroom with them, hence the betrayal, hurt, etcetera, etcetera.
Anyway, the brief history of my past BEST friendships, only leads to the fact that keeping a best friend wasn’t part of my expertise, well at least until I met Sari. (So terribly cheesy, but I had to! I HAD TO!)
We talk about how we met from time to time. I sat adjacent to her on the first day of school in the seventh grade, and it escapes me how teachers never run out of things to say on the first day of school, about schedules and rules, and how I never tried to rip my hair off of my skull from just sitting there, since they never really let you do anything but sit straight and listen. Except Sari wasn’t sitting straight and listening, she was crouched over her Brights college ruled notebook, coloring in a drawing. Mental truancy on the first day of school, I should’ve known she was bad news from day one.
She would sometime later ask me:
“Do you have a green crayon?”
And I will reply:
“No” and she’ll give me a disappointed look, and go back with her face buried in her notebook.
We wouldn’t be friends for at least another six months, but I would, from time to time, sit with her in the covered courts after school, waiting for our rides home, and I would sing her my “Sari-Sari-store” song, but that was it. That was the extent of our friendship. I had lunch with my own homies, and she had her own foreign-looking best friend.
We began being friends after an incident in school, when a very gossip girl-esque email circulated in our class, and in it, Sari was supposedly this overly vain girl who was in limerence with one of the other girls in class. I wasn’t in it, but I was appalled and vaguely intrigued by it, and for some reason, something possessed me to call her up to ask her if she was okay, if she had read it or if she was affected at all.
I’m still quite confused whether or not my phone call had helped pave the way for our friendship of seven years (and counting), but I do know that it made her think I was the suspect for sending that email and at least established a part of myself beyond concrete courts and annoying songs.
After my innocence had been given back to me, and a Saturday spent at school for high school entrance exams, we would be officially lunch-eating-secret-sharing friends. Our friendship has a solid foundation of old obscure animated films like “The Pebble and the Penguin”  and “Thumbelina”, notebook shopping, and exchanging letters despite being only 10 feet from each other everyday, Later on, there would be this whole dramatic spectacle over someone sabotaging our friendship, and us having this strange fight right before summer break, but then we would find ourselves in the same classroom the next school year, and we’ve never been apart since.
Sari and I have gone through braces/mouth guards, battle of the bands, break-ups, plays, entrance exams, summers apart, and summers together. Sometimes we would talk too often, sometimes we talked too infrequently; it never mattered, because we never felt the distance affect our friendship. It would be an understatement to say I was sentimentally happy that this was the 7th time I got to celebrate her birthday with her, so for her birthday, Bullet, Relyn and I, the occupants of three-fourths of her heart’s chambers devised a plan.
Though we had been invited for dinner night before, we arranged to meet in Sari’s house early in the morning to surprise her with breakfast. Relyn had the pancakes, I had the birthday cupcakes and Bullet had his denim jeans and his Beatles’ song. We put up post its from her room to the first floor, and set up a table for four, with the pancakes, and cupcakes.
To our dismay, the surprise was curtailed, because she had been called over the intercom that Relyn was at their house, and Relyn, being the (not-so) skillful liar that she was, tried to salvage the situation by calling her up, which actually ended up making the situation much worse.  We gave up, and just asked her to come down, and eat breakfast with us.
We blew out the candles, ate the pancakes and the bacon, until there was only one pancake left. We talked and open gifts, until I had to reluctantly leave for school, and the best part was when all three of them walked me to my car with tired (only bullet had sleep the night before) eyes, but with quiet satisfaction. They looked funny in a line next to my car, and I gave them goodbye hugs one after the other, greeted Sari one more time, and then I finally left.
Happy Birthday Sari! Here’s to your twenty years of existence, and to the seven years of our “unbridled” friendship. By my standards, we’re doing a great job Livin’ It Up.
 Which she, would tell me later on in our friendship, found repugnant, and reprehensible. Also, she would compose her own song called “Dear Lisane”, which I have forgotten the origins of, unfortunately.
 I was proven innocent when they realized that my email was present in the recipients of the letter according to the hardcopy of the said email They ended up pinning it on this one girl in class who was the ONLY person whose email was not present in the email recipients, which is pretty stupid, because if I were to send a scandalous gossip-email I would definitely send it to myself to seem inconspicuous. Not that I ever sent a shady email before. In case you are curious, she would never fess up, but we would all continue to think it was her, just to give ourselves a peace of mind.
 She is still the only other person I know after all these years who has watched it aside from me and my sisters.
 She accidentally said “HERE” instead of “THERE” when she referred to Sari’s house, but her efforts were commendable.