I Believe in Second Chances

Mollie - Minnetonka, Minnesota
Entered on September 23, 2008

Family and friends are some of the greatest assets a person can claim. Without family and friends who gets you through the rough times? Who is there for you when you need to vent about your day? Who is there for you when you don’t feel good? Who stays up with you all night when you are sick? I believe a person’s family and friends define who she is. You can tell some things about what kind of person someone is by the family she comes from. You can also tell some things about a person’s interests by the people she chooses as friends. With all of that said, relationships with family and friends can be the hardest to sustain. Sometimes people tend to push away the things they love the most for reasons that aren’t always clear. It is because of this that I believe in second chances.

I tore open the letter with tremendous excitement. The next thing I knew I had tears streaming down my face like a popsicle melting in the hot sun. I raced down the dirt covered wooden steps on the side of my cabin hoping to find the only person that I wanted to talk to at that moment, the only person that would understand, the only person who would be able to comfort me, Allie. After five minutes of running around aimlessly crying, I finally remembered where she was. I sprinted over to the Beit Am, a gymnasium used for basketball games, dance performances, and plays, and found Allie sitting by the door drinking a bottle of water. I ran up to her, at this point completely out of breath, and with my tear-stained face I tried to form a sentence to let her in on what was going through my head. To my dismay I couldn’t stop the flow of tears, making it impossible to communicate with her. After another couple of minutes of her calming me down, I handed her the letter. The letter had made me into an emotional wreck. It had caused me all the pain in the first place. She read the letter and her eyes filled with tears.

Luckily Allie had more self-control than I did. She pulled herself together and forced me to talk to her. The letter was from a friend from home. Allie and I were away at summer camp, completely separated from our lives back home. The letter revealed to us that our best friend from home had begun hanging around with people who did bad things. It was obvious, from the letter, that our best friend had also started to get involved with these bad things. This meant she was out drinking, possibly smoking, and who knew what else. The worst part about the whole thing was an incident with “My Space.” We had heard countless stories about the dangers of “My Space” and about not talking to people you don’t know, and inappropriate pictures, and other things. We also found out, in the letter, that our best friend had put inappropriate pictures of herself up on her “My Space.” This hurt the most to hear because it wasn’t something we had expected. I was in shock and was horrified at the thought that she would do something so degrading to herself, and put herself in danger both physically but emotionally. The pictures were very inappropriate, and not only could anyone see them, but there was no way she was emotionally prepared for the things that people were going to say about the pictures. We had been best friends with her since first grade. We were inseparable almost to the point where we could pass as sisters. It was inconceivable to us that she would do something like this.

We both knew that this could be the end of our friendship because we always vowed never to get involved with those things. The three of us went through D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) together. We had been given the speech about not giving into peer pressure numerous times. We all had goals that we promised wouldn’t get interfered with because of things such as drugs and alcohol. I couldn’t admit to myself that my best friend had fallen into this crazy messed-up trap. I was in shock, not to mention in a terrible mood for the rest of that week.

A few weeks later, Allie and I returned home from camp. We had been away for two months. I decided to confront our friend. After all, she had been my best friend for seven years and I wasn’t about to let her throw everything away. She had so much going for her, and when you care about someone you don’t just let them ruin their lives. She was a straight A student who was, and still is, absolutely gorgeous. She really did have beauty and brains, not to mention she was hilarious. She could always make me laugh and we never had a dull moment. We were always there for each other in ways that nobody else could be. Her aunt took her own life when we were in 3rd grade. That’s a hard concept for a third grader to grasp and, although family is comforting, sometimes you just need a best friend. I was there for her. When something big happened we were always the first to let each other know. I was at her black belt test. She came to all of my dance recitals. We called each other to study for tests and to help with homework. We helped each other prepare for our bat mitzvahs. She came to visit me and bring me flowers when I had a concussion. Basically, we were as close as two best friends could be. It was for these reasons that I decided to talk to her. I needed to explain that her decisions affected me too. I really needed for her to understand all that was at stake.

Once I confronted her, things got worse. We got into this huge fight which nearly ended our friendship. We got to the point of not talking and I really didn’t think our friendship would ever be the same, if it lasted at all. At the beginning she denied everything, saying it was all rumors. Slowly the truth came out. As harsh a reality as it was, it was better to know then to be oblivious. It was up to me. I had to decide whether I wanted to stay friends. I knew that if I said that I could never forgive her, then our amazing seven year friendship would have ended then and there. Thankfully, I didn’t say that, but I did make it clear that honesty was going to be a big issue in our friendship.

People deserve second chances. Of course there are exceptions, such as murder or other crimes. However, in the case of best friends, when one makes some bad decisions, the other should be able to forgive. Things didn’t just go back to normal immediately. It took time. After a year of rebuilding the trust between us, I am happy to say that we are still best friends. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. Although I have forgiven her, I won’t ever forget.