My Friend and IIt all started with a request for help; a simple, casual remark that would seem unobtrusive to a casual onlooker. Unbeknownst to myself, it would be the beginning of a totally new and unexpected friendship.
Her name is Amanda. From the very first time we met, I knew she would be awkward to talk to. I had no idea who she was, where she came from, and of course, she wasn't about to tell me. Like Melody, she was a reserved bookworm, preferring to sit in the back of the lab reading John Irving over talking to others. Yet something compelled me to befriend her. Like on several occasions, I felt deeply compelled to go beyond my usual manner and really present myself.
So I tried talking to her. I joined in every once in awhile with a casual humorous remark, and she'd laugh before returning to her silence. In my attempts to encourage a level of comfort and ease, I befriended Amanda's mentor, Paritha. Now, Paritha had always been the happiest one in the lab and would often engage me in short co