Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

#1 Pink Shirt

nienna's picture

At the first moment I looked at her, I detected she was the kind of girl I was raised to hate. Everything from the pink shirt to the whitened teeth pissed me off in such a way I could not explain.  She must have spent three Apostols (Calculus I Bible) just to get her make-up done. She did not move her eyes when I entered my new bedroom. She was sitting at one of the four top bunks while I was dropping my suitcases and saying goodbye to my mother.

She was reading an elementary Math book and she was enrolled in my advanced course, it was difficult to keep from laughing.  

"Poor Girl" I thought to myself "Either you're going to give up or stop being so preppy"

I glanced at my mother, holding back her tears. It was the first time in 17 years that I was going to sleep away from her, from home.

"Are you going to stay okay with daddy?" I said, as I watched her eyes fill up with sadness. My father just had a stroke, which left him paralyzed and aphasic. My mom would have to take care of him alone now and I felt completely guilty for that. Both for abandoning dad and for abandoning her. Mom held me, tighter than she had ever held me before. I could not hold back my tears any longer and began to sob. I could notice the girl in the pink staring at me with pity.  "Great, now I am sad and mad." I thought

   "Hey, don't cry or I am going to start crying too!" The girl in the pink decided to communicate with me.

  I stared at her and forced a sad smile.

  "I said goodbye to my mom yesterday and know what you’re going through" she shared with me. Even though we did not share the same problems, I admired her compassion.

   "I am Felicia, what's your name?" She introduced herself.

   "Nienna" I choked out between tears.



“May I sit here with you?” Felicia asked of me.

    I nodded my head contradicting my inner thoughts; I did not feel comfortable having her around since she represented my extreme opposite. From the hair down to the lifestyle. She was preppy and I was nerdy. I worked hard and heard her talking about cheating on tests. She was materialistic, make-up, hair straightened. I had old nerdy clothes, washed up face and my hair had its own life.

My dad used to say that we can learn from everybody, but at that point of time I could only wonder what that girl would ever teach me.

As the months passed by, I had the opportunity to understand what was behind that entiremake up and that big smile: a tough past, tougher than my present. So I regretted for judging her so heavily on that first day. Yes, we were completely different but I learned from Felicia that you can learn how to like and deal with someone regardless of all the differences; most importantly, you can always learn from somebody and teach that person.

I saw my own vision of myself change as we grew friends. I went shopping for clothes and make-up and started taking care of an area I have never given much credits. I learned how to love myself and feel good with my appearance, despite everyone. I learned trend fashion, learned different and professional styles of clothing and I learned that there is nothing wrong in taking care of yourself as I grew up believing. On the other hand, Felicia ended up being a little less preppy. She ended up learning my studying techniques and doing much greater at the school. The elementary math books were soon replaced by intermediate levels. Everyone who saw us together could see how unlikely it was, two friends like us. At the end, we ended up growing more like each other without losing our essence. We found our connection in a missing father and built a friendship on top of that. By the end of the year we went shopping together, she went to the library and I to the fancy pink shirtsstore.