This I Believe

Sydnie - Gresham, Oregon
Entered on January 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Believe. Such a word can cause a World War III. Most people, who use the word “believe”, use it for selfish reasons; I believe I should run your country. Yet, there are people who use “believe” to help others speak when they have no voice, people who stand, while others sit, just to get their point across. When I use it, I speak for others. I believe that no child or pet should be abused or neglected. When you have a child or pet, all they want to be loved and cared for. When you think about the sweet children who don’t get any attention, all you feel is a sharp pain in your heart. You just want to take them in your arms and hold them and tell them, “You’re going to get through it,” and usually you know you’re not right. Many kids and animals die from abuse or neglect every year. I used to sit in my bedroom and wonder why or how people could hurt anyone. It’s still foggy to me.

When I was in 4th grade my best friend, Kara House, would come to school and get bullied and made fun of by the other kids. As soon as people found out I was friends with her, they began to do the same to me. None of them knew the truth about her. She would come to school in the trashiest clothes and the messiest hair, but the only reason she would look like that was to hide the bruises and the scares that her stepmother gave her. She made me promise that I wouldn’t tell anyone. As painful as it was, I promised. She would tell me everyday what happened to her. I would become teary, but remain strong for her. I always hated myself for making that promise, but I wanted her to have someone she wouldn’t be afraid to talk to.

One day she came to school with her stepmother right behind her. Her stepmother signaled for me to me to come over to her to talk, so I did.

“Kara is taking your papers, with grades on them, home and coping them,” she said to me, with a slight glare on her botox face.

“No she hasn’t, I have all my graded papers. My mom makes me take them all home to show her,” I replied, she looked angry.

“Well, Kara is very dumb. And I’m very surprised that a girl as smart as yourself would be hanging out with her.”

“Ma’am can you please not talk about my best friend like that?” I said in a polite way, and then calmly walked over to Kara.

Deep down I knew I had to do something to help her, but what?

The day after I had that conversation with Kara’s stepmother, Kara had I dark red spot on the butt part of her jeans. I asked her if she knew about it, she said she did but that she didn’t know what to do about it. I told her to go to the office to get clothes and a pad maybe. When she got to the office they called her stepmother to come and her and explain the female parts. I sat in my chair waiting for her to come back, but she never did. I was scared.

The next day I was late for school. Mrs. S, the school secretary got a disturbing phone call. She walked into the principal’s office crying. They both walked out in tears. I was in a chair waiting for assistance. When I finally got the secretary’s attention she was upset. I asked her what was wrong, and she simply replied, “You’ll find out,” She knew Kara and I were best friends.

I walked into the classroom confused as ever. Mrs. Arends, our teacher, said she had an announcement to make. We listened closely.

“Kara House…” She had a hard time breathing. She took a deep breath and continued, “Kara House, was killed last night. So she won’t be with us anymore.”

My heart stopped. I didn’t know how to react, or how to think. Mrs. Arends looked at me with a slow smile; she walked over to me and gave me a huge. My mouth was dry and I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t move, so when she hugged me, I didn’t move. She was worried so she sent me to the office to go home.

I knew I should have told someone.

My beliefs are strong, and not so selfish. When I say I don’t agree with abuse, I truly mean it.