This I Believe

Marion - arlington, Virginia
Entered on September 20, 2006

Second Chances

Spider like cracks stood out against the orange bowl. Among the trinkets in a sixteen year old girl’s room, one stood out boldly- a bright orange clay bowl with colorfully painted flowers While far from perfect, it was broken in several places. While owner tried to mend it, the chipped paint and spider like cracks masked a history of tears, memories, and second chances.

Adrienne and I met at the YMCA. We were in the same gymnastics class. One day after class, Adrienne reached in her carefully embroidered backpack and hesitantly gave me an orange bowl made out of clay. She made it in art class. It was a small gesture, but a token of friendship and an introduction. And on that day, a simple friendship between two five year olds was established.

Years flew by. Adrienne and I grew up together, played together, and naturally became each others other half. She was there for me when I fell flat on my face in my first dance routine. When Adrienne ran away at the age of ten, it was me who convinced her to go back home.

Sometimes changes are hard to accept. When I was 14, Adrienne met a boy. This boy, to 14 year old Adrienne, was heaven sent. We slowly grew apart, as Adrienne started hanging out with the boy all time, and began to forget to return my calls. I was hurt but I tried to be understanding.

Upset about the state of our friendship, I invited her over. When I tried to talk about my difficulties, she just brushed it off. Instead, she asked me what she should buy her boyfriend for Valentines Day. Anger, sadness, resentment, and betrayal washed over me. I exploded. A friendship of nine years was disintegrating before us. When she told me she hated me and stomped out of my room, Adrienne slammed the door just hard enough to make the orange clay bowl teeter off the edge of my shelf, and into a million pieces on the floor.

Adrienne and I were both stubborn. Hurt and betrayal took a long time to heal. Sort of like the orange bowl. The broken pieces laid unmended in my dresser drawer. A broken bowl could never be perfect again.

One year passed and on my 15th birthday, Adrienne rang my doorbell. I froze. She shoved the gift in my hand and ran down my pathway. Thing is, I didn’t chase her, I just shut the door.

Going to my room, I sat down on the bed and opened the gift. It was a bracelet. Attached to it was a note that said “P.S. I’m sorry.” Two words. Two simple words that made all the difference. I picked up the phone to call Adrienne. And made a mental note to mend the orange bowl. Even though it would never be perfect, an imperfect bowl was better than a shattered one. That’s when I realized everyone deserves a second chance. This I believe.