A true friendship requires loyalty and trust. Esther betrayed my trust. How can that ever be repaired?
i, my name is Esther. My birthday is on Purim and it is by far my favorite Yom Tov. I love everything about Purim—the music, the costumes, and the creative mishloach manos. This year, though, when I think about Purim, I have a pit in my stomach. Last Purim is when I lost my best friend.
Baila and I were best friends for three years, ever since she joined my class in 5th grade. We always planned themed costumes together as a pair. In 5th grade we were salt and pepper, in 6th grade we were Cheerios and milk, and last year, in 7th grade, we wore the cutest costume ever: We dressed up as a Bubby and Zaidy with face masks that hid our identity, along with real orthopedic shoes. Wherever we went, random people took pictures with us.
While Baila is energetic and a ton of fun, she’s also a Drama Queen with a capital D. So, when she told me she was planning a surprise Purim party for our entire class and I shouldn’t tell a soul, I didn’t take her that seriously. I knew she would probably make a party and if she would, of course it would be awesome. But I couldn’t imagine that she seriously thought it would be a surprise. You can’t really plan a party for thirty girls and keep it a surprise. So I told a few of our friends. I only did it to make the party better for Baila. I told Ruchy because she always bakes the best cookies for class parties, and I told Sori so she could bring her keyboard and play. I told them not to tell anyone else, but in the end, everyone found out. Baila got really mad. She told me I ruined the party and she feels like she can’t trust me anymore. Of course I apologized, but since then she acts much colder toward me. We’re still friends, but not half as close as before. I really miss her.
Hi, I’m Baila. Esther was my best friend until she betrayed me last Purim.
Best friends are supposed to keep each other’s secrets. There were many times that I kept secrets for Esther. When she got a bad mark on her test, when she lost her new earrings, and when she got into trouble in school and had to speak with the principal, I never told anyone her secrets. That’s why I can’t forgive Esther.
Truth is, this is not the first time Esther spilled the beans. I often share my ideas with her before I want them to become official and I ask her not to tell anyone. Many times, she accidentally spills the beans and when I confront her, she just shrugs with a halfhearted apology. This time I told her I was really annoyed, and she actually laughed. She said, “Come on, you know you’re overreacting. I already apologized and it was an awesome party anyhow.” It’s not that I’m angry with her, I’m just frustrated. I feel like she doesn’t get me.
If she does something wrong, it’s not her place to tell me to get over it. Obviously, I forgive her, and we’re still friends, but if I can’t trust her, I can’t allow the relationship to go back to how it was before.
I miss her, I really do. I started spending time with lots of other girls, but I miss the closeness that we shared. I wish things could go back to how they were, but of course they can’t. A true friendship requires loyalty and trust. Esther betrayed my trust. How can that ever be repaired?
Esther, Happy Birthday and A Freilichen Purim! A close friendship is a special gift. It requires skill, thoughtfulness, selflessness, and empathy. The fact that you and Baila were best friends for so long shows that you have the ability to initiate and sustain a meaningful and quality friendship. Most things in life do not stay the same forever, including relationships.
The two of you had a wonderful friendship with fun, mutual respect, shared interests and camaraderie. It sounds like you hit a snag. That does not mean the friendship is over. It just means you need to adjust, grow, and perhaps stretch yourself in order to maintain this beautiful relationship. How do you do that? One rule: V’ahavta l’reiacha kamocha. This does not mean love your friend exactly like you love yourself. If it did, then if you love to eat green jellybeans, you would need to buy her green jellybeans! Rather, it means to extend yourself for someone else as much as you would for yourself. How many stores would you walk into in order to find just the right green jellybeans? Find out what is important to your friend and push yourself to do that for her. In order to follow this one rule, you need to pay attention to what is important to your friend.
You also need to hone the important skill of empathy. Empathy means caring and feeling for another person. Even if you don’t care about marks, if your friend does, then you need to feel bad for her and sad with her when she gets a bad grade. Use this snag as an opportunity to grow as a person. Go over to Baila and apologize. If it’s too difficult to speak face to face, write her a letter. True friendship requires vulnerability. Tell her how you feel. Tell her that you never meant to hurt her, and you miss her. Commit to being more careful with guarding her secrets. This action takes strength, courage, and effort. A good friendship is worth it.
(Originally featured in Teen Pages, Issue 801)
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