January 15, 2008
By Mariana Gomez, Culver, IN

Seeing her leave was difficult, but I knew that it was only fair for the offense she had committed. When I realized that $120 was missing from my wallet, I could not think of anyone that would steal from me. I contemplated about the possibilities, but did not want to accept that my good friend, the only person that knew I had the money, would be the perpetrator. I did not want to point any fingers, instead I did the right thing, I notified my resident director about the missing money, and she did her part in reporting it to the honor council.

When confronted about the situation, my friend denied being involved; however her debit card records, the student cashier, and her change of stories proved that the $120 in her possession was mine. Unaware of the intensity of the situation, I forgot about the problem until my resident director called me into her office and suggested the possibility of my friend being the thief. I immediately spoke on her behalf, explaining that stealing was not in her character, and she was incapable of doing that to me because we had been friends for three years. My resident director looked at me with a forced smile and her eyes full of tears. I realized that by her suggestion my good friend was guilty of stealing the money.

Heartbroken; I could not believe that a person whom I had shared so much with would betray me. She knew everything about me, and she had my absolute trust; a trust that she took advantage of. I was not mad, I was disappointed. She was going to receive corrective action; however, I decided to drop the case. My resident director attempted to persuade my decision, but I enforced it because I would not gain anything by having her punished. I knew that God would take care of it and that she probably needed the money more than I did.

This situation allowed me to learn a lot about myself, I was congratulated by adults for my maturity and compassion in dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, she was later dismissed from school because of credit card fraud, and although she never apologized to me, the night before she left I expressed my appreciation for her friendship and told her that I forgave her and regardless of her actions she would always have a special place in my heart. I hated her actions, but loved her. When I am asked what is my passion and what makes me unique, my answer is my friends, my unconditional love, and forgiveness.

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