My Gratitude for Two Lovely Ladies

by Calla Sayton

Elie and Isabella are two girls I’ve had the privilege of spending more time with this final semester of my senior year. They’re very different people, but I can honestly say, my life has been happier with them in it.

Isabella has been my friend since freshman year after we both went to preseason practice for volleyball. I was drawn to her bubbly personality and bright smile. Also, when we had to share a random fact about ourselves, she shared that she had been to every good ice cream shop in Portland. For the sake of my happiness and tastebuds, I desired to befriend her.

We became fast friends and much of my earlier high school memories have Isabella in them. From her freshmen Halloween party to the Mississippi winterim, Isabella and I have spent a lot of time together. Her laughter is infectious and you can’t help but notice her when she walks into a room. We’ve also grown closer because of our shared love of food. We constantly share recipes and drool over cooking videos together. I’m so happy to have found another foodie in such a fun friend!

Over the course of my friendship with Isabella, one thing has stood out: she’s incredibly talented, especially when it comes to the arts. She’s consistently recognized for her writing, and after having read some of her work, the praise is well-deserved. I was fortunate enough to be cast in her one act and the writing was impeccable. Comedy is a tough genre to master, but I would confidently say Isabella knows what she’s doing.

However, what I consider to be one of her greatest talents is her songwriting. Very few people are skilled enough to not only write appealing songs but also perform their own work. Isabella’s songs are moving and haunting. After I hear one, it’s hard for me to remember they were written by a peer. They’re that good.

Isabella’s artistic gifts and cheerful personality make her not only an outstanding member of the OES community, but also a treasured friend.  

As I wrote in her yearbook, I made the mistake of getting to know Elie later than I should have. Being at a school with less than 80 students in my grade, I always sort of knew everyone. How can you not? However, while I’ve always known of Elie, I didn’t get to really know her until a couple of months ago.

Throughout high school, we had some classes together. Most notably, we were in the same English 10 class and I remember struggling through Sir Gawain and the Green Knight together. She sat a few seats away from me, and I could always count on her to giggle at one of my sassy remarks or, as I happily discovered, she would make a quip and bring a smile to my face.

We had crossed paths a little bit during the JV tennis season last year and I respected her strong backhand. She was brave enough to play singles and I enjoyed watching her dominate at the famous All-Day JV Tournament.

Elie is also wildly creative. When she has won awards at ECHOES, I’ve been blown away by her writing. Her poetry was thoughtful and smooth. I was left wanting more. Her artistic talents extend beyond the written word too. Her paintings are stunning and have even found themselves on the cover of our yearbooks. She was invited to be a part of the Catlin artists exchange and her artwork based off of another student’s poems was amazing. She used small scraps of newspaper and then painted over some of them to create a piece that was fresh and beautiful.

Besides her many artistic feats, Elie is just a fun person to be around. I was surprised how much we actually had in common and we shared the same perspectives on a lot of different issues. One of the qualities that has stood out to me most about Elie is her non judgement. I feel like I can tell her private information and she’ll listen to be honestly and not be critical. That’s a rare quality to find in a person.

While my time with Elie has been shorter than I would liked, getting to know her has been a wonderful experience and I’m thrilled to have gained a new friend.

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