Sample Synectics (Extended Metaphor) Narrative Essay
A Shattered Skyscraper
I used to think of the world as an exciting place where I could confidently stretch my legs and explore the unknown. Often my best friend would accompany me on mountain trips, city walks, or visits to other friends’ homes. Linda and I shared everything: our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams, and our fears. We had a symbiotic relationship that allowed us to flourish at school and in our free time. I never even contemplated a time when we would no longer even know each other, but that time came. Now I know that Linda’s last gift to me is the knowledge that friendship is like a glass skyscraper—beautiful, but easily shattered.
Our friendship did not end in betrayal or in an argument. Its cracks, invisible in my obliviousness, simply grew over time. I was busy—pursuing awareness of my own identity, my desire to get perfect grades, and my fervent wish to become popular with boys.
“Are you coming over to my house this afternoon?” Linda would ask, and I, carelessly, would say that I had to stay after school, go somewhere else, or be with someone else. I was taking a hammer to the cracks in our friendship, but I never knew it. I didn’t even know there was a problem. I was running, not walking now, through life’s experiences. I wanted it all: a perfect academic experience, a perfect social life, and perfect acceptance from adults and peers. I never even noticed that Linda and I were rarely seeing or speaking to each other.
One day, unexpectedly having free time, I decided I wanted to go to a movie. Without thinking, I called Linda to invite her to go with me. She did not answer her phone. I was disappointed. I did not want to be alone. I wanted to be with someone and go do something, even if no one wanted to see a movie. Aaargh! I hate being bored, I thought.
Needing to get away, I got in the car and just drove around. My spirits lifted when I saw Linda and some other girls in front of Taco Bell. Happily, I decided to join them.
“Hey, Linda! I just tried to call you. Do you want to go to a movie? We can all go,” I said, turning to the other girls. I knew them, but I did not hang out with them.
Linda looked at me coldly, but spoke politely, “No, thanks. We’re going to go in, eat, and hang out here. You go ahead. Have fun.”
I stared at her face. She had not invited me to join her. She had not smiled. She stood back from me, and I saw her there, encircled by her new friends. I saw myself outside of that circle. “Well…” I started to invite myself to join them, but Linda had already turned away. I was left standing alone, wondering what had happened.
I spent my drive back home muttering defensively angry thoughts. What was wrong with Linda? Why had she treated me like that? How embarrassing! What did the other girls think? Were they talking about me now? Arriving home, I got out of the car. I was upset and angry, but I never dreamed that my friendship with Linda was over.
As the days passed, I waited for Linda to call me. I expected an explanation, an apology…something. The phone did not ring. In desperation, not anger, I finally called her. She must not have noticed the caller ID because she answered. I don’t remember her exact words. She said she had moved on. She said I had made it clear that our friendship was over, that I had moved on before she had, that it had been painful… that she didn’t want to go there again. I remember looking in disbelief at my phone when she ended the call.
Linda had been my friend since kindergarten. Together we had erected a skyscraper of friendship, one that had gleamed in the sun and towered up into the sky. That skyscraper had been built on laughter, tears, shared experiences, and childhood innocence. Through indifference, I had unwittingly shattered each window until all that was left was an empty monolith accusing and convicting me of wasting one of the most precious things in my life. I know now that friendship, like a skyscraper, must be carefully built and maintained because both can be easily shattered and that tears, no matter how sincerely shed, cannot repair that which has been destroyed.