This I Believe

Katelyn - Burnsville, Minnesota
Entered on June 3, 2007

Personal Essay

In the Bible there is a verse that says, “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” It is one of my favorite verses and it is one thing I believe that everyone including myself needs to strive for more. One memory reminds me why this is so important, because the one time I intentionally did not follow this principle, I had to ask myself the question later, Do I try to follow this principle for my own satisfaction, or do I really want to be nice to others?

Until the middle of eleventh grade I had exactly one best friend. We met on our first day of kindergarten and we were inseparable. Looking back on our friendship I have noticed the disparities between, how I treated her and how she treated me. I, on one hand did whatever possible to make her happy. While she treated me as though she could do better, but was too lazy to look. I would call her and she would never call me back until days later, or I called again. The only time I was ever appreciated was when at moments I would catch on to how she treated me and she would quickly make up for it with a simple gesture of desperation. I let her make her excuses saying to her,

“I’m not mad, that’s just how you are.”

The summer before eleventh grade came and she began choosing a life style for herself, which I could not support. That was the decay of our friendship. I saw the harm she did to herself, I tried being nicer, hoping she would change her ways. One day she said to me,

“Katelyn, this is the way I am, you know that.”

I had enabled her.

The days came where she never retuned my phone calls, and that was when I took my moral and cast it aside. I decided never to call her again unless she called me first. I stopped calling in December 2005, I have not had a call since.

I know where she is and it is not good. Sometimes it amazes me that I used to have a life with her in it. I still laugh at things knowing that if she were there with me, she would have thought it was funny.

From time to time I had thought about picking up my phone and calling her, knowing that I have thrown 10 years of my life away and one call might bring it back. One-day out of curiosity, and fear, I had allowed her to ruin her life and I made that call.

My fingers trembling I dialed the number I used to be punch into the phone with my eyes closed. I had a yellow pad of paper on my lap. On it, I had neatly written a script so I would not forget what I wanted to talk to her about.

“Kassie?”

“Katelyn?”

“Hey, hows it going?”

“Hey man, things are good, hows about you”

The conversation went on, in its awkwardness but at least she still knew I cared. She told me she had decided recently she was going to change, but deep down I knew that was not true. She and I both knew, “how she is.”

Every now and then, I pick up that phone and I call her to make sure she is still okay with the life she chose. I don’t feel any better after making these calls, but I know she does. They remind me of what I have lost and the mess my once innocent best friend became. Maybe it’s not what I wanted for her, but at least every time I call she thanks me for calling and reminds her that no matter what she does there will always be people who still care about her.