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Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: Friends Forever
By Sheila Boyd
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“Friends forever!” We said in unison. “Blood sisters.”
We had met the first day of first grade and remained best friends through 7th grade. Kay was an excellent student and was promoted from 7th to 9th grade. She was hoping to win an academic scholarship it was her way to escape her family, and show them she had worth.
We lost contact during that year, when at last I joined Kay at the high school I noticed the changes in her. She often skipped classes to hang out in town with her boyfriend, an older man who was a known drug dealer. Worse of all, Kay had become a heavy user herself.
Her attitude toward me had changed too. She had been my protector, now she challenged me, daring me to join her new lifestyle. Always the follower, I warily stepped in. We were still friends, but I did not like the feeling of being high, of being out of control. I did not like her boyfriend who flirted with every girl in sight and treated Kay like a possession. I tried to talk to her, but she responded with scorn and laughter.
“Don’t be such a square!” She taunted, “I know what I’m doing. You always were a baby.”
By the end of the first semester, I began to pull away and make other friends. Kay and I still hung out at times. I continued my attempts to ‘get her back on track’, but had no success.
Kay became pregnant and by the time school began the next year she was married. She said smoking pot helped with the morning sickness. Any suggestion that this could be harmful to the baby brought derision. I did not know how to get through to her and soon tired of the abuse I received when I tried.
Over the next couple of years, Kay divorced, remarried and had more babies. The drug use continued to hard drugs.
After my marriage, Kay and I lost contact. Four years later, I saw her again.
My parents had been in a car wreck a few months before; Mom died. I had taken my Dad to his doctor’s visit. I waited in the main lobby, but the door to office across the hall was open. I recognized Kay’s voice. I realized the office was mental health. From the bits of conversation I could hear, I knew they wanted her to go into the hospital, but she was refusing. I thought I should go talk to her. I walked to the door, hesitated when I saw her face. I scarcely recognized her. She was crying.
I remembered the little girl Kay, the schoolyard, and the blood pact. I remembered the promise ‘friends forever’, and I remembered the taunting. I was still in shock at losing my mother, feeling too vulnerable to be bruised by her I returned to my seat to wait for Dad; still flooded with memories from the past, good and bad.
It was a week later when the phone call came. Kay had placed a shotgun against her middle and triggered it off with her toe. The grief and guilt I hid beneath anger, and hatred. This worked well for several years.
With help, I realized I had to forgive myself before I could receive God’s forgiveness only then could I forgive Kay and grieve for her. This works better.