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BFFs since elementary school reflect at Hampton Bays prom

Best friends Erin Murphy, left, and Brianna Wilds

Best friends Erin Murphy, left, and Brianna Wilds hang out at the Hampton Bays High School prom at Bourne Mansion in Oakdale on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Rachel Weiss

Hampton Bays High School seniors Erin Murphy, 17, and Brianna Wilds, 18, have been best friends since elementary school.

The teens maintain a quick and bubbly back-and-forth, often cracking each other up, which is an example of their closeness even though they each hold very different interests: Murphy is a stellar science student, and Wilds is a three-sport athlete.

Leading up to prom, which was held Thursday at Bourne Mansion in Oakdale, they did share one similarity: Both received elaborate promposals at their school.

“It was a surprise,” Wilds said of her promposal, which she received from a friend since seventh grade, Haris Ljesnjanin. “I didn’t know that he was going to be asking me.”

Wilds walked into her fourth-period math class, held in the school’s computer lab, where she was greeted by her friends cheering and holding balloons that spelled out: “Prom?”

Ljesnjanin handed her a bouquet of flowers before officially popping the question.

“We have a close bond,” Wilds said.

Murphy knew her boyfriend of two years, Andrew Hafemeister, would ask her to prom -- she just didn’t know how. Hafemeister is on the Hampton Bays baseball team, so he asked Murphy by creating a sign that read: “Can I catch a date to prom?” with an image of a baseball glove.

“He asked me at the end of the day at school, right before his game,” she said. “He was in uniform and everything.”

While resting their feet from the dance floor, the girls laughed and reminisced about everything, from their fourth-grade teacher to highlights from the past four years.

Murphy recently completed her research after a four-year study on the effects of general anesthesia on the developing brain. Her work culminated in a presentation at Hampton Bays’ fourth annual Science Research Symposium.

“I got to speak in front of the whole auditorium about my topic,” she said, as Wilds looked on proudly.

“I love it. Yeah, I’m a science person,” Murphy said with a smile.

Wilds, on the other hand, has played basketball, softball and volleyball from elementary school through high school. She has a special connection to volleyball.

“My mom used to play, so we’ve always had that bond,” she said. “We’ve always played volleyball together. It’s been a great experience.”

In the fall, Murphy will attend SUNY Geneseo to study biology in hopes of becoming a physician assistant. Wilds will head to Mercy College where she will pursue occupational therapy.

At prom, however, the friends were focused on the same thing.

“We both love dancing,” Murphy said. “That’s our favorite thing. I didn’t even want to eat [dinner].”

“Yeah, exactly,” Wilds agreed.

“I was like, ‘Why are we wasting time eating?’ ” Murphy said, as the girls broke out in laughter.

Wilds added, “We didn’t even have plates; we just wanted to dance! That’s what we look forward to the most.”

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