The Backbone of Life
When the phone rang, I quickly answered. My sixteen year old cousin, Amanda, was calling. When her voice seemed frantic I became a bit nervous. When she spit out four words that I never wanted to hear, I was in complete shock.
My cousin and I have always been an inseparable pair. With one year separating us, we were very similar in many ways. I would run to her for advice, questions, and comfort. She automatically took the spot as the role model and I was her admirer. As years passed, we joined different groups, but still remained close due to nightly phone calls and weekly sleepovers.
A day that seemed normal to me was the complete opposite for Amanda.
“I think I’m pregnant,” she stated on the phone.
I was stuck with horror and disbelief. My sixteen year old cousin, the one I admired and loved was possibly pregnant. I sat in the car and gazed straight ahead, but I could not say a word. I pulled up to the restaurant that I was headed to with my mom and jumped out of the car. She noticed that I seemed stiff and scared, but I told her I was fine. While at dinner with my mother, friend, and her mother, I could not eat. I had received a new text message. When my cousin’s name popped up on the screen, I ran to the restroom.
I was so relieved she was safe, but I was not okay myself. I broke down and could not stop my tears from flowing out of my eyes. This feeling was so weird for me; I was helping her with a situation that was so important. I was the one who needed all the help, she was older and she was supposed to be perfect. That night put a lot of things in perspective for me. I learned that people make mistakes, but when they need your help, you have to support them. Amanda needed someone’s help and of course, I was there for her. I could not handle the truth, but I had to; she needed a friend.
While I was crying, I lost track of time and did not realize I had been in the bathroom for quite a while. My fiend, Emily, walked in and noticed that I looked startled and uneasy. She gave me a hug and held on to me, letting me know that I had support. Her tight grip on my body made me believe that she would be available if I ever needed her. This was the same feeling I gave Amanda.
I believe that as humans, we need comfort and we need at least one person we can rely on. It is crucial that people know they can talk to someone about their problems or feelings. This situation hit me with such a surprise, but I loved how my cousin confided in me; she made me feel needed and important. I believe in support.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.