Forget it? no chance…
This daily prompt caused me to do some soul-searching before I found it, hidden in the murky depths. Long forgotten save for when it occasionally resurfaces, stinging my conscience, the regret welling up from within, Horrible consequences which stem from the one horrendous act. I’ve just counted up how many years it is since it happened – 18 long years. oh how I wish never happened.
I had a few best friends at primary school, one who died when we were 12, between primary school and beginning at the local comprehensive. Most of my friends were, obviously never the same after that. However, the incident of my making was the year before. A sweet girl had made me a best friend card. I half remember it now.
Which path to take?
I was in the corridor at lunchtime, the area on the right hand side where the benches were, along with two boys. I don’t remember why. What I do remember is the taunts, telling me it wouldn’t matter if I wrote something nasty. I don’t know why I didn’t just refuse and walk away, be the better person. The toss of a coin, or the fork in the road, which path to take, left or right. Anyway, I veered right. I don’t remember how the girl saw the card, if I was so callous as to hand it to her. I don’t remember the rest of the afternoon either, except a friend of the girl running after me, threatening to thump me. Nothing less than I deserved.
Next thing I remember is how I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I think I told my mum I’d done something terrible and I hated it, the tears welling. My mum isn’t huggy particularly, but I remember she just held me while I cried. I remember my mum taking me round to the girls house. I was desperate to apologise, to make everything okay, or at least as okay as it could get. The girls response the next day, that she couldn’t forgive just like that.
I don’t remember us ever really talking after that. I remember her in the comprehensive though. I caused trouble for her then, stirred the pot. I heard her slating my old headteacher who had been very good to me. Instead of deciding it was nothing to do with me and leaving well alone, I went to another girl who shared the same religion as my old headteacher, and told her what I heard so she rounded on the girl. The first girl approached me in the playground, her eyes flashing with anger, telling me she wasn’t talking about our mutual friend but the old headteacher. and running off again. Why oh why, what is it about teenage girls, most of us have to gossip about this one and that one, separate in to cliquees to keep out one and not the other, and more besides. I remember my current bestie being by my side, who stuck by me even that day, and is still my bestie now, though many years have passed and we are many miles apart, and I have moved several times since then.
I still wonder about the girl I originally hurt. Where is she now? What is she doing with her life, is she happy, does she have children, a partner. Hoping and praying she is happy. The worst thing of all was the way I brought my Saviour into disrepute, No way for a Christian to act. I have done many hundreds, perhaps thousands of bad things since, thought this one of which I have written is the biggest regret of my life. Had we staying best friends, there’s every possibility I may have led her to Jesus, transforming her life and her confidence levels for once, and pointing her to the loving Saviour, to the love she was seeking. But all of that is history. I will never know. until one day, I will search for her in heaven, hoping someone else was a far better witness of Christ than I. Until then, I feel haunted by the mistake. Forgiven by Jesus but I cannot forget. I don’t think I ever will.
For the record, this, and one or two other incidents made me always decide to be a better friend than I was that day. I have tried, as far as possible, to use it for good. I guess that’s as much as I can do. The damage is done. Erase it? Yes please!
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