Fiction Friendship

It all started with a tiny acorn on May 13th, nine years ago. I was seven at that time. 

My family had just moved from Beijing, China. We knew very little English, and knew nothing of the culture. We were at the Chinese border when I saw a pretty rock. “Mamma! Don’t run over the rock!” I cried.

Mamma had looked kindly at me, and stopped the car. I then raced out of the car, and snatched up the rock.

Once I got back into the car, I showed mamma the rock. She laughed and said, “Chan-Juan, my dear, you have found an acorn! Plant it once you get home, and it will give you wisdom, strength, and endurance! Good girl!

I blushed with happiness, and put the acorn in my pocket. Very little did I know that this wonderful acorn would give me friends.


We arrived home late, so mamma told me to put it under my pillow and plant it the next day. I remember snuggling up in my new bed, with new blankets. I felt scared, but mamma’s soft and familiar voice put me to sleep. I dreamed of beautiful acorn trees saying in deep voices, “Chan-Juan, daughter of Jia Li, you are an honored friend. You have saved one of our children from destruction. We bestow upon you wisdom, strength, and endurance. You will also have the power to talk to plants. You are a dear and priceless tree-friend.”


I woke up to a foreign smell, one I have never smelled before. I walked downstairs, yawning loudly. Mamma laughed. “Someone's sleepy.” 

“Mamma, what's the smell?” I asked. Mamma smiled.

“It's American food, called bacon. I decided that if we’re in America, we should have American food.” I nodded, but still not fully understanding. After a breakfast of eggs and what they call bacon, I was sent to school


Once I got to school, I suddenly started feeling nervous. No one could blame me. If you had lived somewhere foreign your first seven years, then moved somewhere else, I promise you, you’ll feel nervous at one time. The teacher was very strict, and not knowing all of English didn’t help. Mrs. Teresa, for that was her name, would give me stares that would make the bravest man shiver. And these stares were given to me very often, for I often did not know the right American word to use in a sentence.

In recess, I thought I would be alone, but a young girl came next to me. Her blazing red hair looked very bright next to my jet-black hair. “Hi! You’re the new girl, right?” After I had nodded, she continued. “Well, do you want to play with us?” I nodded again, and went to play with her.


In all the years to come, I would look back and realize that they were not real friends. Many times I would hear them say something behind my back, or trip me on “accident”. And now that I think about it, they also never let me be first in anything. I was always last. I would always sit in the corner of their table, and no one would talk to me. But I was young then, and thought they were my BFFs. 


Once I got home that day, I went quickly to look at my maple tree. Day by day it grew. Month by month. Year by year. Even when it was only a little stem, when I had a bad day, I would go and tell it all about what was upsetting me. From the beginning, I felt a special connection with it. When I was twelve years old, another family moved into our neighborhood. She was shy, and even when I asked her name, she was quiet.

That day was not great. I was tripped more than once, and came home with a few bruises. I ran right away to the oak tree, which was now bigger. But once I got to the tree. I saw the shy girl there, crying and telling the tree all her woes. I knew this was the wrong time to confront her, but I still went to the other side of the tree, and sat down holding my legs. After a while, she noticed me. 

“Oh….. umm.. Hi.”

I smiled. “Hi. You like trees too? I planted this one when I moved here. I was seven then.” I smiled at my memories.

The girl gave a shy smile, but said, “I moved here from Africa. I left all my friends, all my stuff I could call home.”

I gave her a sympathetic smile. “I felt the same when I moved here. I left all my stuff, my relatives, my friends, and even my sister. Of course, we go back every once in a while, but I still miss her. This tree was an acorn, and I found it on the border from China. It’s one of the only things from my real home. I have always felt a special connection to plants.”

She nodded. “Me too. They just…. Make you feel at home. They comfort you.” She agreed.

There was silence for a while, then I decided to break the silence. “Soo…. what’s  your name? My name is Chan-Juan. 

She smiled. I didn’t know someone so shy could smile so much. “My name is Rose.

I paused, thinking of what to say next. “Are you going to be at school tomorrow?

She nodded, so I didn’t press her to speak. Not everyone is as chatty as me.


The next day was a Saturday, so there was no school. For once I looked forward to school. But seriously, at the same time, I was dreading telling my old friends that I was no longer their friends. I had no idea how they would react. I mean, even If they weren’t my friends in the first place, I still wished I didn’t have to say those dreaded words of, I am no longer your friend. But I knew I would live through it. I had always been a strong girl.


Throughout the years, Rose and I became wonderful friends. We invited each other to sleep- overs, parties, and other fun stuff. But I knew this wasn’t the end. From the oak tree, not only had Rose and I became friends, but our children would also become friends. Our children's children would become friends. And It would keep on. All because of an oak tree.

April 23, 2021 17:15

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