Most people meet their best friends in kindergarten, or even preschool, but I met my best friend the day I was born. Her name is Marta. She has thick curly hair, and she’s Hispanic, like me. She has my brown eyes, but I am an inch taller than her. She is two years older than me. We’ve been through everything together, from good to bad, happy to sad. My mother told me that when I was born, Marta counted all ten of my fingers and all my toes; just to make sure I was perfectly healthy. I don’t remember much from the early years, but I know Marta was with me the whole time.
When I was three, Marta was rolling me on a laundry basket with wheels. Whipping around corners, the wheel bumped off the tile and tipped forward. I smacked my head on the corner and had to get four stitches. While I was getting my stitches, and screaming that I wanted to “go home NOW”, Marta was lying under a chair pretending she was fixing a car. Looking back, she remembers that it was because she didn’t want to see the needles. She hates needles. She was there again when I broke my arm. She was seven, I was five. She heard me hit the ground and came running out. She made sure all the adults knew I was hurt, calling to my mother that “her nose is bleeding!” She sat with me and held my unhurt hand while I was getting arm re-set and even had a song that she sang the whole time. “Ema is the bravest, she is so brave.” Marta always makes me feel better when I was hurt.
For as long as I can remember, we’ve played sports together. I can recall years of soccer, sweaty cotton socks and ‘Kangaroo Kickers’. These days we both run on the varsity cross country and track team. It is great to be able to be on a team with her, and it definitely brings us closer together. Our captain, from last year, told us that we were running together too much, and that our running was attached. Whenever she was hurt, I was hurt, and when she ran well, so did I. Now I still play soccer, but Marta quit that a long time ago. She never really liked it. Even though I can’t have her on the field with me, I know that she’ll be out in the stands, cheering, even if she doesn’t want to.
Music is a huge part of my life; all the people in my family play instruments. I play the mandolin in a bluegrass band and, coincidentally, Marta is in the band as well. We both sing. We lean on each other for support because we are the only girls, and the boys don’t give us much say. Our band does performances outside of school, my favorite of which is Florida Folk Festival. Between camping and swimming in the river, it’s just an overall good time. Camping with her just adds to the ever –growing number of hours we log sleeping in the same house.
Marta is the person I talk to late at night, when I can’t sleep. She is my best friend, and I can tell her anything. When something happens to me, the first person I want to tell is Marta. When we were little I used to be a charismatic little charmer, and Marta was really shy. I brought her out of her shell and she simultaneously knocked me down a few notches. Our mother always said that siblings were made for each other, and Marta was made for me.