When I moved to Texas from Saudi Arabia, I had a difficult time adjusting. I had many things going on in my life and no friends. The only friends I had were left in California from before our stay overseas. 6th grade could have been a lot worse than it ended up being, however. I made a couple "friends" that I hung out with a bit, but what really changed my life was when I got assigned to work on a class project with Kathleen. Somehow Kathleen and I just clicked, and through Kathleen, I met some other kids our age and slowly I made friends and life got better. From the beginning, Kathleen and I started up with our shenanigans. Between the two of us we covered the entire spectrum of various personality qualities. From crazy and reckless to motherly and responsible - we had it covered.
Sometimes Kat and I were so much alike that we were like sisters; and acted as such. Other times we were polar opposites, but this is how we balanced each other out. Most importantly though, is how throughout the years and throughout change, we're still there for each other. It wouldn't be adequate to say that we're best friends or any of the conventional labels to describe our friendship; we're Kat and Lealah, plain and simple. After high school, our relationship changed and we grew apart some, we talked less. She went to school in the UK and I went to school in South Texas. We each made new friends and got occupied with college life. We still talked online and kept in touch, it was just far less frequent.
Last year Kat and I talked after not talking for some time, and I found out that Kathleen had broken her back. Or more accurately she had her back broken for her. Something about Kat and I is that we can laugh about anything. Shamefully the method in which she told me her story had us both laughing - luckily we are the kind of people that can find humor in our misfortune or perhaps in this situation find humor in the ridiculousness of which her incident occurred. This is how awesome Kat is. Sadly I cannot do her story that kind of justice, but here it is nonetheless:
Kathleen and her aunt were walking circles around the mall to get a little bit of exercise in. Her aunt had made a joke about how Kathleen was cheating because she was walking on the inside of the circle and therefore had a shorter distance, so they switched spots and Kathleen started walking on the outside of the circle. They were walking on the lower level of the mall and were passing underneath the Sears when out of nowhere a man came flying over the ledge and landed smack on top of Kathleen. The guy took off running and fled the premises. Come to find out, the man had robbed Sears and used Kat as a cushion (intentionally) for his landing on his escape route. Kathleen lay in excruciating pain, broken on the ground as some jackass succeeded in evading security. Kathleen told me that she was just glad that she had switched spots with her aunt and that the man had landed on her and not her aunt. Coincidence? The paramedics made it to the mall and started caring for her when a woman came running to one of the paramedics with a small child in a panic because the child was choking. Coincidence? When it was all said and done, Kathleen was left suffering and broken, but what did she have to say about it? She was glad that it was not her aunt and that the paramedics were already onsite when the child started choking. It's a good thing Kathleen is such a positive person because she had a tough year ahead of her.