On the first day of my freshman year of high school, I met Jessica*. She wasn't very nice at first, but she was having a hard day so I understood. It didn't take long before we became friends—really good friends. We did everything together. We went to the mall and to football games, and we even did our school projects together. This kind of friendship was very new to me because I had never had close friends before. I was so excited I finally had a best friend!
Our relationship continued like this for about two and a half years. Shortly after Christmas break of our junior year, Jessica stopped talking to me when we were around certain people. I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't long after that she stopped talking and calling altogether. And still I could find no reason for the sudden change in her attitude. I would go home crying to my mom every day because I felt so worthless when even my best friend wouldn't talk to me.
My mom gave me some good advice; she told me to write Jessica a letter telling her how I felt. So I did. The next day in homeroom, I gave her the letter that had taken me three hours to perfect. Later that day in the hallway, she handed me a letter of her own. It said, "Of course we are still friends, it is just that if I talk to you when Sarah* is around, she won't be my friend." I was devastated. I didn't know what I had done to make Sarah hate me.
Finally, when I couldn't take it anymore, I went to the school counselor for help. She called all three of us down to her office. I was devastated to discover that there was nothing that could be done to save the friendship that I was fighting so hard to hold on to. For weeks after my meeting with the school counselor, I was depressed. It made me feel so worthless to know that my "best friend" could ditch me like that.
With the help and support of my family and other friends, I made it through my senior year of high school. The road was long, hard, and depressing, but I did make it. On graduation day I went up to Jessica, gave her a big hug, and wished her luck in the future. And then while tears ran down my cheeks, I walked away. I had finally said goodbye to the past.
I am now a week into my freshman year of college, and I've never been happier. I have lots of friends both here at college and back at home. This is not an experience that I would wish on anybody, but it did make me a stronger and better person. So thank you, Jessica, for your gift of strength.
*names have been changed