The girl next-door

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Sophomore Sophie Ye sits in the backseat, her backpack on the seat beside her. The morning news, the usual weather and traffic reports, blares from the speakers. The car is filled with the sharp aroma of her dad’s morning coffee.

Ye’s dad backs the car out of the driveway and onto the street. However, instead of continuing down the road, the car halts in front of the identical townhouse next door. Ye taps her watch impatiently, glancing at her neighbor’s front door. After a couple of excruciating minutes, sophomore Lucy Liang, Ye’s neighbor bursts through the door. Her untied shoelaces trail after her and she is clutching a bagel in one hand. Liang runs up to the car and squeezes in, breathlessly saying good morning to Ye and her dad. As the car cruises down the street, Ye and Liang exchange smiles. To them, carpooling to school is practically second-nature. They can hardly remember a time when they did not share the ride to school every day.

“We’ve been carpooling forever, since like third grade,” Ye said. “Although this year, we aren’t carpooling to school because Lucy has a free first [period]and I don’t. It feels weird, since I’m used to having at least one person other than the driver in the car on the way to school. It was just such a regular part of our routine.”

Despite having met over eight years ago, Liang and Ye still vividly remember their first meeting. The girls met when a common friend of both their families encouraged their families to meet one another.

“My family walked to Sophie’s house and we rang the doorbell. I remember we bought flowers for some reason. When  [Ye’s parents] opened the door, we said, ‘Hey we’re neighbors!’ and we went inside. That was the first time that I saw Sophie. I still remember that Sophie was wearing her pajamas.”

Not only do Ye and Liang have a close friendship, but their families do too, which further strengthens the bond the girls share. Their families are close and often go on trips and outings together. This has given Ye and Liang many opportunities to make memories, as their relationship goes beyond school.

“[Our families] have been on a few vacations together,” Liang said. “We went to Hawaii together in sixth grade and Cancun in eighth grade. We also have neighborhood parties.”

 

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Photo provided by Lucy Liang

Ye and Liang’s relationship has shaped their childhood. Neither can imagine growing up without the other. Liang and Ye reflect on how much they’ve grown together over the years, realizing how much their friendship has matured. The girls remember going on night-time walks together with their families. Liang recalls the imaginary games she and Ye used to create and play, which seem absurd to the girls now.

Despite their close friendship, Ye and Sophie have polar opposite personalities. And yet, they perfectly complement one another.

“I feel like Sophie is more introverted and reclusive, but if you get to know her she’s not that introverted,” Liang said. “[You’ll] learn that she has a pretty interesting sense of humor and actually is pretty outgoing.”

Ye explains that Liang is definitely the perkier of the two. Liang helps Ye not take life too seriously while Ye helps Liang stay organized and focused, creating a balanced friendship.

I think Lucy is definitely the more quirky and outgoing out of the two of us,” Ye said. “She has an interesting sense of humor and makes me laugh a lot, but she is able to be serious when the situation calls for it.”

Ye and Liang reveal that their complementing personalities and dynamic friendship has given them some memorable memories, which never fail to make them laugh.

“One time, we tried to have a conversation through our bedroom windows. At least we tried to,” Liang said. “I just wanted to see if it would work. And it did work. We were screaming through our windows, having a conversation.”

Through the years, Ye and Liang have gotten into many childhood scrapes, such as the window incident. However, Ye looks at the past with no regrets, as she has many hilarious memories of herself and Liang.

“My parents got really mad at me [after screaming out the window],” Ye said. “They were like, ‘You need to stop screaming out the window. You’re going to wake up the entire neighborhood’.”

Despite all the memories Ye and Liang have shared, now with piles of homework and their futures looming on the horizon, they find it difficult to make time for one another.

“We don’t meet up that much anymore, we’re both pretty busy,” Ye said. “It depends on if we have time or not, which we usually don’t, honestly.”

Ye and Liang have vowed to never let school — or college — destroy their friendship. They have decided that they will stay in touch through social media during college and they will meet up during breaks when they’re both at home. The girls have promised to remain friends through every obstacle life brings them.

“It’s great to have someone that you know well at school with you,” Ye said. “If the people I hang out with aren’t around, I can always go search for my neighbor. Lucy is kind of like my built-in friend.”

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