Monday, June 13, 2011


When I was 17 years old, I fell into the boyfriend trap.

I slipped away from my friends and spent every spare moment with my love of the year.

After the novelty of the new relationship wore off, I opened my eyes. I opened my eyes and saw my friends off to the side, enjoying each other’s company. Laughing. Chatting. Planning weekend activities. Activities that no longer involved me.

There was no Facebook in the mid 1990s, so I turned to the most popular high school “social media” at the time - I wrote a note. A simple note on lined paper torn from my 5-subject World Geography notebook.

    Let’s hang out this weekend! I miss you.

I folded the note precisely and slipped it to my friend as we exited the classroom. We parted ways for different 6th-period destinations. My heart skipped a beat; I did the right thing. I vowed to get my friend back.

When the final bell signaled the end of the school day, I searched the halls for my friend. I was antsy to connect with her as soon as possible. What fun activities would we get ourselves into on Saturday? I could hardly wait. But I did not find her.

Disappointed, I made my way to my gray metal locker, dialed the combination lock, and yanked it open. Yellow paper fluttered to the floor. Yellow paper, which had been previously stuffed through the upper slats in my locker door.

It was a note. Or, more accurately, a letter. Three full pages of handwritten words on slightly crumpled yellow lined paper. I flipped to the back – it was from her! Happily, I skimmed the words.

Then my heart plunged to the pit of my stomach.

My eyes widened with astonishment.

My hands began to tremble.

This was not what I expected.

My friend? Was not delighted to receive my optimistic little note. Her response? Three pages of frigid accusations. Her words held no affection. No wistfulness for our past adventures. No acknowledgement of our former closeness.


I was stunned. I was hurt. Her words, floating through the corners of my mind, knocked the wind out of me. My pulse raced. My eyes darted around the emptying high school hallways. Tears wet my eyes as I observed other groups of friends happily chatting as they crossed the threshold towards the sunshine and eventually, to their cars.

I held it together long enough to arrive home and race up to my room. Only then did I let myself feel the sharp-edged pain of her words.

I cried. I called my boyfriend – no answer. I clung to my fuzzy brown bear, trying to find comfort in his warmth.

Maybe we can work this out.
I took a deep breath and picked up the phone. I dialed her number.

“It’s me,” I managed to squeak out. “I got your… note.”

First, silence.

The dial tone felt like a sharp smack in the face. The utter coldness broke my heart. This was someone who was once a very close friend… could there really be no affection left?

I distinctly remember this event as one of the most difficult in my teenage life. I can still feel this day. We patched our broken relationship over time, but it was never the same. I doubt she ever fully forgave me for putting a boyfriend ahead of our friendship. Nor could I ever shake the sting of her written words.

We became polite acquaintances.

The boyfriend? Long gone.

- - - - -
These days, as Amelia clings tightly to my hand in the midst of social situations, I should be glad. At least she hasn’t left me for a boyfriend yet. I hope my painful lesson can somehow keep her from suffering a similar collapse of friendship. I always remind her, “good friends are treasures.” And we thank God for all her friends in our nightly prayers.

- - - - -

Prompt: Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us. Bring us to that time. Help us feel what you felt.
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