"Hey!" someone yells at me, and I breathe in sharply. The boy looks like a gang member. Heavy chains hang from his belt, as he swaggers towards me. Aggressive would be one way to put it. "I, uh..." searching furtively for somewhere to escape, I peer over my shoulder.
There she is.
Tall and beautiful, I remember her. She was a runner, the fastest girl in the school. I spent whole summers at her house, swimming in the pool in her backyard. When it rained, she'd come over for a game of "Monotony". I was the horse and she was the shoe. We would talk about cute boys for hours. She liked candy floss, high heels... and me. We were best friends, forever.
I guess that changed.
She looks completely different. Her once beautiful hair has been dyed an angry red. White makeup hides her face, and she looks much skinnier. Tiny, in fact. She has shrunken into her shell, unsmiling, terrified of what people will think.
They say horrible stuff about her.
I don't know who "they" is, really. But me, my friends, teachers.. we all know who she is. What she's done. I've always gone along with it, because that's just what you do. Smile, and laugh. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. She wouldn't know what we say anyway. I never understood why she changed, what made her do it.
Now I can see.
The gang man strides past me, towards her. I can smell weed.
"Hey! Don't ya look away from me. We're leaving".
Without a word of reply, she picks up her stuff; a V can with dubious contents, her phone and a little purse. Her twig legs wouldn't be able to sprint, not like she used to. I feel like asking her to run away from here, to somewhere safe, but then I don't.
I'm too scared.
Now that I have exposed myself to one moment, just one snapshot of her life; I am so ashamed. How could I be so naive? Why didn't I help her? All that time I was angry at her for not being my friend any more. And that was when she needed me the most.
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37
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