"I need to get my life together", sighed Andrea, her head rested on my shoulders. She was my age, shared the same dreams as me and liked the same things I did but unlike myself, Andy had a face as perfect as a painting, never sang in cacophonies and actually had a heart which I suspected was made of gold.
I patted her shoulder and tried to think of something comforting to say. "Andy I've known you for donkey's years and I know you will find a way out of this mess.", I said reassuringly. Andy shook her head and smiled. "You say that only to make me feel better"
"No I mean it."
"I don't think so. I'm nothing but a little dot on the vast planet trying to make my mark in this world even though there are people way better than I am, doing greater things than I do with a greater degree of perfection. I suck. End of story."
"Well...", I began and she cut me short immediately. "Don't!! Please don't say anything. I know what I am. I am a small fish in a big sea. If I dare venture outside of my little shell, I know I'm going to be eaten."
I sighed. "You're right Andy. There's nothing you can do about it. I guess you're just going to have to accept that you're good but not good enough. Not everybody makes it to the top of the ladder."
She looked askance at me, rubbing her thumbs together. She always did that.
"What do you mean *not good enough*?", she asked, careful to stress every word in its utterance.
"Just that... not good enough."
She stood up, arms akimbo and stared right into my eyes. "Look, I don't know about your standards but let me tell you... I've been published in more than one renowned journals, I have had three exhibitions of my artworks... two more on their way, and I have been invited to be the lead for the nationwide dance extravaganza. So if you wish to tell me that my accomplishments are *not good enough* I will need you to place on record your own. And after that you can badger me with your aspersions but until THAT happens I will *NOT* be abased, you hear?"
I allowed myself to smile a little and then stood up myself. "Now that we have this sorted out, you want to go to Ranger's and get pizza?", I asked averting a direct gaze at her searching eyes, fumbling with my purse. Andy stayed quite for a minute and then we both looked at each other and laughed our lungs out.
"You are such a piece of work, you know that?", she asked squeezing me into one of those girly hugs that I have never grown quite comfortable with even after ten years.
"Thanks Andy, I can say the same for ya."
She nodded and we walked hand in hand to the pizza restaurant down Baxter's Road, talking about horrible Mr. McMath at school and how difficult it was to find good looking boys to go to the dance with... and suddenly we were ten years old again.