Michelle and I had been best friends since the forth grade. She was a beautiful person inside and out, one of the kindest I'd ever met. We were like paper and glue - completly inseparable.
When we began junior high, the new social life was a tough adjustment. But our friendship endured, and we were there for each other. I took comfort in the fact that I could tell her anyting and always trust her.
Sixth grade passed, as did seventh, and soon eighth grade was upon us. It was that year that things slowly started to change between Michelle and me. I became a social butterfly, fluttering around to different cliques of friends, discussing the hottest gossip and relishing my new categoriation as "popular." Although I made many new friends, I still loved Michelle and wanted her to hang out with my new, fairly large social group. I attempted to drag her alone go my social gatherings, but I soon noticed the disapproving looks and whispers about Michelle - a clear message that she was not "cool enough" to hang out with us.
My new, so-called friends made up lies and rumors about Michelle in order to ruin our friendship. And somewhere along the way, I fell into their trap. I started to believe that I shouldn't be friends with Michelle just because my other friends didn't like her.
One night, one of my new friends, Jamie, came over after school. I was thrilled that she wanted to come over to my house of laughing and having a great time, Michelle's name came up in our conversation. Slowly, a mischievous grin formed on Jamie's face. Remebering that Michelle was madly in love with a boy named Zach, Jamie ordered that I tell Michelle that Jamie was going out with Zach, and then rub it in her face. Afraid that my new friends would dislike me if I refused, just like they did Michelle, I picked up the phone, dialed Michelle's number and blurted it out to her. She was more sad, heartbroken, and furious than I'd expected, and as I listened to her systerically cry over the phone, I remembered how close we used to be. At that moment, I realized how much I treasured her friendship, and the cruelty of my actions sunk in. Needing to think about what I had just done, I got off the phone.
I soon called Michelle back and told her the truth. Zach was not going out with Jamie, and I was deeply sorry that I decided to betray her. I was sorry for not being there for her in the last few months, and I was sorry for letting my friends pressure me into situations like these. I wanted to be her best friend again. But she was not as forgiving as I had hoped. "Its not that easy," she said solemnly.
For the next couple of weeks, I did everything I could to win back Michelle's friendship. I sent her a thousand apology notes, I gave her pictures of the two of us, and I called her every night. I even stopped hanging out with my new group of friends who had been so cruel to Michelle. They wern't true friends anyway.
One night, I was sitting on my bed doing homework when I heard the doorbell wing. Unsure of who was at the door, I opened it tentatively, and there stood Michelle. I was shocked. "I forgive you," she said. "I wanted to let you know."
"Really?" I responded excitedly. "So, do you want to come in? Maybe you could sleep over, and we can talk."
"No, I can't. I don't want to," she said.
"Well, maybe we can watch a movie this weekend," I said with a hint of desperation.
"No," she answered.
"I thought you forgave me, Michelle," I said, unable to hide the disappiontment in my voice.
"I do forgive you, but what you did changed what we used to be and what we are now. There is still a hole in my heard from what you did; it will never be the same."
She turned away. "I'll see ya around," she said, without looking back.
Every once in a while, Michelle and I run into each other at school, and she waves without saying a word. I always held out hope that our friendship would rekindle. But it hasn't, and things between us wil lnever be the same. I lost my best friend, and it changed my heart forever. I wish I could undo the damage and take back what I have done. Never again will I let the influences of others get in the way of genuine friendships. I owe that to Michelle.
- Celine Geday