Frieda is a lovely little lady full of character. I met her about a year ago when I began volunteering at my local nursing home. I heard a loud droning from the other room, only to go next door and find her other passionately Irish friend Nancy singing the Irish national anthem. From then on Frieda, Nancy, and I spoke every Thursday, creating an unconventional girl gang where we discussed a love for Prince Harry and Frieda’s intense loathing for tomatoes. Some of our conversations are simple and cheery like this, but more recently Frieda’s been discussing death in a brutally honest way, which has given me a new perspective and understanding for life itself. I cherish every moment that I spend with my oldest friend and I know that I’ll remember this five-star queen forever. —Eve C., 16
The Lovely Woman I Met When I Went on Holiday to My Mum’s Hometown
Embellished with intelligence, equipped with a quick, sharp tongue; she is drowning in her wit, her pure intelligence. She stands as a socialite, her head graced high: Her power is the pace of her tongue and ever ticking clogs adorned in her resplendent mind. She fails to sleep, her ever pondering mind failing to cease and surrender. Even within these patriarchal confines, she is without a doubt a center of authority. A center of humanitarian goodness, and it is this that allows me to wholly and unashamedly look up to her, regardless of the other annoying habits that crown her. She is ahead of her time, running freely with all her confines hanging from her body. Her tongue hints at irritation as she watches, her eyes painted with curiosity and colored with impatience for an adventure. She is young but her age stands old, free and, without a doubt, mad, so profoundly enthralled that her attributes manage to lead her wherever and whenever. She doesn’t know where she’s going: left, right, forward, back. They all seem the same to her now. She is feral, by birth and nature and eagles come to her call while she flies amidst the curtains of heaven. She is suffocated by her innate intelligence yet she is binded by the social patriarchy that encompasses her every blink, her every twirl of her hair, her very breath. But it doesn’t matter. For her heart is free and open, so vulnerable. And in a way, she is naïve because she waltzes through war and peace but her heart is strong and her tongue is sharpened and that’s all that matters. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, she’s just dancing: She’s just free. And she has someone by her side, a man who has given himself up to her from the moment he had laid eyes on her. Fallen so unapologetically in love with her that every time his eyes glance upon her, hues of desire and trust decorate his orbs. It is an understatement to call it love: I have stood with them for only a matter of an hour yet it’s seeping from his every pore, drawing off his fingers, twinkling in his eyes in one direction; in hers. I have tried to explain how she is, how she walks and how she defines her freedom yet I am afraid I have not transferred it well enough to you. For she is the epitome of a woman, the epitome of life and all the wonders it offers to you. Five of the shiniest stars.—Agna C., 15
Where I live, there’s mystery and many stories about the Twins. Some call them weird, some call them mysterious, but when people talk about them they just call them “the Twins.” They’re local legends. Ask someone in my city about them, and you’ll hear many stories about their experiences seeing them in any place you could think of. They’re about 40 or 45 years old, and they wear matching neon windbreakers and outfits. They wear the same bright makeup, they wear the same small, circular black sunglasses, and they both have brightly dyed hair, which is always changing. Last time I saw them was at the local Walmart, their hair was bright pink. They were looking at Cyndi Lauper Barbie dolls and didn’t say a word. They just stared and looked at the dolls on the shelves. I’ve seen them on the lawn of the local Wendy’s, at Walmart, near my mom’s work, at Salvation Army, and just walking around town or standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Many people ridicule them and think they’re strange, but I think they’re amazing. Five stars, no doubt about it. —Josephine G.
I met him the summer before my freshman year. He was the most beautiful and unique creature I had ever came across. Everything about him was so different and new to me. I was infatuated with this boy. He was and still is my definition of perfect. His name is Jonathan, and he is my best friend. He has always been there for me in my time of need. I instantly loved everything about him. His long curly hair, his enormous hands, his delicate eyes, and his mind full of wonderful and intriguing thought. He has taught me so many absurd things along the way of our growing friendship/relationship. Whether it be about binary stars, composing music, or about Megadeth’s frequent replacements. He has also taught me valuable lessons. Since meeting him I have learned to never question myself. I no longer ask myself if I am enough, or if I meet some unreasonable standard. My cherished lover, Jonathan. He’ll always be my special gem, from now until I cease to exist. P.S. I’d give him like 100 stars, but five it is! :- —Anika K.
First Girl Crush (Pink Satin and Vanilla)
It was a strange feeling. It first began as shock (as in, “omg I can’t believe how cool she is”), to utter admiration, and now the deepest of crushes. She is in the year above me, and I’m in complete awe over her. We have the same music taste (we both went to the same Mac Demarco concert in January), fashion sense, and humor—not to mention how insanely godly she looks. We go to a school with a uniform policy, but she’s always wearing a jumper that’s out of uniform, or a really cool shirt with her kilt. She reminds me of pink satin, the smell of vanilla, and chipped nail polish. The day she requested to follow me on Instagram I completely lost it, like SHE followed ME!! SHE made the first move (if that even counts as a move). I can’t wait to see where this goes. Now all I gotta do is pluck up the courage to talk to her. I can do this! —Jessica M.
Devyn M. is such an inspiration to me. We became friends my freshman year of high school, and she functioned as a paragon of cool. She has an eclectic style of dress, unlike the pajamas and Uggs generation I had grown up with, and made me feel OK with experimenting with style. Her compliment on a piece I had maybe felt tentative about wearing gave me confidence to break the barriers of what I thought was “normal,” and has contributed to my process of not caring too much what other people think. If I want to wear knee socks and skirts to school, fine. If I want to wear a muumuu, I will! Damn anyone who says otherwise. I credit her with inspiring me to “dress better,” though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pajamas and Uggs! We found common ground in our interest in the arts, flea markets and thrift shops. Through her I found Rookie, and brand new genres of music. Furthermore, she was an important figure in developing my feminism. She challenged teachers who said misogynistic things, and exposed me to the many things that are unfair about being a woman in today’s world. She formed our school’s Women’s Empowerment Club with a friend, and continues to inspire me with her views. From personal social issues to global political ones, Devyn is the person to go to for non-judgmental, critical discussion. And she’s just so cool! Five stars! —Madeleine P.
About four months ago, while in Austin for Austin City Limits, I decided to re-download Tinder. While there, I ended up matching with a couple of people, and of course like any Tinder conversation they didn’t go far at all. Anyway, back in the day, Tinder had this thing called “Tinder Moments” so I decided since most of these people really couldn’t converse, maybe they can snapchat, so I posted my Snapchat. One guy in particular who added me caught my eye. His name was Daniel. I didn’t give Daniel much thought at first, and I would ignore his snapchats most of the time until December, while in Chicago, I decided to give him a “snap-chance.” We began snap-chatting a lot more. Some days we’d snapchat each other music and other days the most random stuff like our eyeball, a cigarette, a trashcan, and CDs. In the midst of all this, I attempted to give him my number, but the conversation ended when he abruptly stopped texting me which made me question his true interest. Did he really like me?
Although Daniel and I don’t text, we surprisingly still snapchat, typically on the daily. I’m not sure where this will go, or if we are just doing this out of pure lonesomeness. Sometimes I feel weird because I feel like our “relationship?” is purely based on technology, and I can never relate to the old romance films/novels where people are actually writing to each other, which I wish we were. We live in the millennium of technology, and as sad as it may sound I don’t think I’ll find someone willing to write me a letter or two unless Daniel snapchats me his P.O. box or something. I’m not sure how long this snapchat thing will go on, and I haven’t been back to Austin since, but I’m glad I’ve got the chance to snapchat him. He has shared some greats tunes. Thank you Daniel, for sharing music such as Dinosaur Jr. and Alex G. with me. They’re pretty great…I guess. —Lydia S., 18, Texas
As a teenager in high school, you underestimate other people’s circumstances. Your only focuses are getting into a college that everyone around you will approve of, and therefore achieving your insecure goal of acceptance, but with that comes a tendency to forget about others. In middle school I only cared about boy bands and celebrities, as did almost every other girl. Through that, I made friends based on similar interests, but most of them were very distant. Freshman year came along and one of those friends got caught up into her own personal problems, which I decided I should have no involvement in. This turned out to be one of my biggest mistakes ever. Without seeing her for almost two years, my now-best friend battled all her demons and became the strong, admirable woman I know her as today. We spend our days driving in the rain and laughing at ourselves, and should I ever lose her again, I will blame nobody but myself. —Maya A.
Home has never been a place built out of bricks for me. I hear all of the clichés: that “Home is where the heart is,” and “Home is a person, not a place,” but never once have I heard that someone’s heart is in a car with the windows rolled down, driving 40 down a busy main road, with the music turned up, snacking on routinely bought food with a father so great that one would think they are fiction. Well, this is my home, on wheels, strange as it may seem. This home is miles, worlds, lightyears, parsecs away from everyone and everything; our own little universe where just my dad and I live— detached from the roads filled with fast, car-brought breezes and distant sounds of city life—and I would not have it any other way.
Just like any home, it is not always singing and smiles. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes I get in the way of myself. There are days that are not so great, when waking up is harder than usual, and I become weighted down by waves of inexplicable, fatiguing sadness. I do not want to dance, or laugh, or talk. I want to sleep. I feel trapped in a tsunami of anxiety and negativity. Life feels blue like the sky showing through the passenger window.
He senses it, and knows the tide has broken out unexpectedly, without reason or rhyme. So he asks, and my mouth becomes a word bank, nothing more or less than, “I’m bummed. Feeling blue.” So we sit, and let the sound of the air conditioning act as the white noise that drowns out the thoughts throbbing in my head, every thought but one: that I am in comfort, because of him. I feel safe and purged of pessimism because of the person beside me who brings a light to my dark cloud of depression.
Dad: “I wanted to make the world a better place.”
Me: “You make my world a better place.”
Dad: “You are my world, you are the epitome of my whole world.” —Alexandra B.