When you tell people that you go to school in Seattle they seem to automatically assume that you go to the University of Washington. Although I do have season tickets to the U.W. football games and I spend a lot of my Saturday afternoons sitting outside in the cold cheering them on that is not the school that I go to.

I go to the Art Institute of Seattle. It is located on Elliot Avenue. About one block up from the waterfront and a short five-minute walk to Pike Place Market. The view of the waterfront is breathtaking from our classrooms. The only problem is that normally the instructor is the only one that gets to see it. We, the students, either seem to have our backs to the view or our noses in the books.

I have made a lot of great friends in the 2 years that I have been going to school. Monica and Yael are my closest friends. They are both around my age, which is a few years older than the majority of students, but we have a good time together and I think that makes us do better in class. We venture around the city together a lot. Like most people in Seattle, we enjoy having coffee. We walk up to the market a lot and stop at the Starbucks that’s there. We always seem to get a different drink but rarely do we get all the same thing on the same day.

One day when we headed for our walk up to the market we got talking about the things that we like to buy when we get there. Monica likes the fruits and vegetables. That wouldn’t surprise you if you ever saw her she is as thin as a rail. She seems to eat a lot when we are with her but normally she is snacking on carrots and apples. That wouldn’t be my ideal meal but it seems to make her happy. Every time we walk up to the market that is the first place she goes, after we hit the Starbucks that is. Yael, on the other hand, is all about the seafood. This is Seattle, after all. You can smell it from a mile away but even so, she seems to love it. She isn’t usually really picky about what she gets although every time she says she is going to get something different she usually leaves with a pound of salmon. Sometimes I think that she just likes to watch them throw it around.

For me, it’s the flowers. I can’t walk up there and not come back without a bouquet. Usually, on my trip back down to school, I have a mocha in one hand and a flower bouquet in the other. I really like the big bouquets but most of the time I just go for the little ones. I can buy them more often that way and they don’t seem to die as fast.

One day not long ago on our way back to the school, Monica made a comment to me that my house must always smell good. It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. It had never occurred to me that they both have always assumed that I buy the flowers for myself. I went on to explain to them on our walk back to the school that I take the flowers to the cemetery every week. My mom died several years ago and she had always loved the flowers that you could buy at the market. Every time we would come to Seattle we would make a stop for flowers. I guess that I hadn’t realized that they never knew that because they looked at me with such surprised looks on their faces. After that, we didn’t talk about it anymore.

We walked back to the market the next day, it was unusually hot and we needed to stretch our legs. We stopped for our usual Starbucks and then headed across the street like we had every time before. We stopped for Monica’s vegetables, went down the way for Yael’s salmon, and made a final stop for my flowers. When we got to the flower stop I was surprised that both Monica and Yael bought flowers. They occasionally would pick up a bouquet but not usually both of them at the same time.

We walked back to the school just as we always had but when we got back they both gave me the flowers that they had bought. I asked them why they were giving me their flowers and they both quickly told me that they had always assumed that I was buying flowers for myself and they thought that I deserved a bouquet to take home. I didn’t know what to say to them. I knew that they were good friends to me but we never have really done anything together outside of school. I couldn’t believe how thoughtful that was of both of them to think of me in such a nice way. I have friends that I have known my whole life that wouldn’t think to be so nice. It makes me think about what a true friend really is. I think that Monica and Yael are just that. They are my true friends.