Years ago, I remember.
My sister had a friend, a little older, a grade over.
I remember that she was kind and gentle – I still think of her as –
You know in the movies, and sometimes even in Life, there’s that one person who seems so innocent and trusting and you instinctively just never want to hurt them, ever?
Like, you can’t be mean or angry at them and if you ever find yourself feeling all that stuff, you feel like you’ve failed humanity in some way?
Yeah, she was like that.
I don’t know what kinds of friendship things she got up to with my sister, but I do recall that at one point, she braided my sister’s hair.
I remember thinking how beautiful my sister looked.
But something happened.
I don’t know what.
I don’t know how long it had been that they were friends before it all ended – I was a child that time.
I remember standing in the bus on the way home from school.
The friend was seated in a booth that was empty but for her.
It never occurred to me to sit with her – it never occurred to me to sit down, period.
I was used to standing by this time. I was always pushed out of my seat by the older kids and back then, I was very little. So standing was the way.
I don’t remember if she asked me to sit down and I don’t remember if my sister told me to refuse.
But I do remember the tears in the friend’s eyes when my sister continued to stand – when my sister refused to sit next to her.
I remember thinking how terribly sad she looked, calling my sister over, begging her to sit down.
I remember that one word – please?
I remember being called upon, days later, to pass a letter on to my sister from one of the friends of the friend.
It said that my sister was a shit person and a shit friend.
I will never forget the face of that friend. I will never forget her name. I will never forget how kind she was to me…
I don’t know why that friendship ended and I don’t know what happened to the friend.
We do not speak of it.
I do know, however, how it feels like to beg for the company of someone most cherished, only to be denied – so wholely and completely cast off.
I know that I don’t ever want to be the cause of that kind of pain, to anyone…