Kim is my best friend. We’ve known each other since our gusgusin days in grade school. Kim and I were total opposites. Everyone thought of us as an odd pair. People would always give confused look whenever they would see me and Kim hanging out together. I didn’t blame them because Kim and I were indeed poles apart. Kim was a liberated, statuesque beauty who couldn’t live without her kikay kit. She was never shy, and was very outspoken and optimistic. She always had a smile on her face that lit up every room she entered. Kim had a lot of friends. Everybody liked her—or at least pretended to like her. Meanwhile, I was this awkward, dalagang Pilipina who didn’t have a clue what the words “social life” meant. I preferred being alone and doing my own thing to hanging out in the school cafeteria with our classmates.
Even if our personalities were totally different, Kim and I still had something in common. What bonded us together was the fact that we both had a passion for volleyball. Aside from being my classmate, Kim was also my teammate on the varsity team. We were together all the time. We sat next to each other in class, and then at practice, Kim would always be my drill partner. It was during those varsity practices that we really got to know each other better. After practices, we exchanged numerous stories—about ourselves, our lives, families, regrets, dreams, and ambitions.
We’d hang out together while waiting for our rides home. But then, even though I was active in sports, my life still seemed dull. The only time I got to be surrounded by people and actually had something like a social life was when the team had practices or games. The moment I slipped out of my varsity uniform, I’d be the same old me again—Clara, the shy, awkward, teen who always felt alienated by her peers. I admit I lived a boring life. But my black and white world was revamped because of Kim.
Click on to the next page to read how Kim made a big impact in Clara's life.