The Power of a Second Chance

By , Wheeling, IL
I'm just fifteen. A girl mustering through adolescence. I don't know much about the world or
philosophy or human nature. I don't know much about a lot, but I have learned one powerful lesson
in my time. I have come to know a power greater than hate, resentment, grudges, or jealousy; I have
come to know the power of a second chance. I felt Lisa's breath warm my face as she spoke. Her
sad eyes inches away held mine, tight, an unforgettable grip. She swallowed and told me something
that would forever change me. She told me that, in a moment of utter weakness, she gave up hope. She
fastened a belt to her closet door. She slipped her head through the loop and kicked the chair from
under her feet. Her mom found her. Hanging. God. My heart slowed, even stopping completely for a
moment. Her breath suddenly seemed colder. There was noticeable stillness in the room after she had
spoken. I hugged her, cherishing touch, touch that very well could have been impossible if she was
not given another chance. One more shot at love and happiness and at success and greatness. I
pressed my head to her chest and cried. The steady beat of her heart comforted me as I sat up to
look at her. I held her face in my hands and looked. Something was different. It was her eyes. They
were like chestnut windows into her soul, and I saw something new. Looking into her eyes, I saw the
power of a second chance. I saw transformation. I saw drive and determination. I saw a twinkle in
her eye that day that said, "Now I'm ready. I'm ready to change. I'm ready to face the world
and all it throws at me. I am ready." Even though my friend was breaths from death just days ago,
I had never seen her more alive. My best friend's attempted suicide rocked me to the core, but my
belief upheld me. My belief that the second time around can and will be better; the second time
around not only is convenient, but powerful. It is powerful enough to offer something intangible yet
priceless. Hope. So I do believe in the power to change. I believe that there are good people in a
world of speculation and pessimism. I believe in one's ability to persevere and get back up after
a treacherous fall. I believe in learning from your mistakes. I believe in mercy. I don't think
second chances are about forgetting the past. It's about embracing your mistakes for their value
instead of resenting them. It's about giving good people a chance to make good choices. It takes
love and forgiveness but is possible. I know I'm only fifteen, but I still know an undeniable
truth. I know that in order to reach the sky, you must first start on the ground. I know in order to
be happy, you must know sadness. I know everyone makes mistakes. And, I believe, everyone deserves a
second chance.





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