Sacrificing a Friend

June 26, 2011
By Anonymous

Friendships were not complex in elementary school; I could gain a friend in exchange for my chocolate milk or lose one because I took the last purple crayon. As time progressed, we traded in innocence for insight. I learned the true value of friendships and the cost of sacrifice.

Freshman year of high school was easily the most difficult of my life. I struggled with being away from my parents; 75 miles apart from home at a boarding school. I never really immersed myself in its atmosphere and consequently my schoolwork suffered. I did, however, have a friend who made life better for me. Lilie and I were practically inseparable; we went to breakfast in the morning together and she did her homework in my room. We had shower parties at night where we would blast the music and scream the lyrics. Lilie was my role model. She was a varsity athlete, an A student, and a very attractive young woman. From the outside, she had everything going for her.

The day I saw Lilie at her worst is an image permanently etched into my mind. I walked to her room to ask her a homework question, but before I reached for the knob, explosive music filled the cavities of my ears. Although I found this extremely out of character and peculiar, I opened the door to find a pale, stunned Lilie staring back at me, with eyes empty and unfamiliar. She was clenching her garbage can with white knuckles. Clearly she was making herself throw up. Lilie would also exercise an excessive amount. Like her confidence, her body began to thin at a fast pace.

Many of my nights were spent tossing and turning because I did not know how to handle the situation. I wrestled with the idea of ignoring the circumstances and letting Lilie be. She would have no reason to be angry with me and her secret would remain safe and locked away. But what if she hurt herself? Finally, one day I worked up the courage to approach a faculty member about Lilie’s eating disorder.

I will never forget the look of betrayal spread across my best friend’s face when she learned I had let her secret out. Her everlasting smile diminished and morphed into a scowl. Her eyes darted across my face, alive with anger and electricity. Her fiery words pierced through my heart when she said, “I thought you were my friend.” I immediately felt guilty for bringing the issue to light; after all, I felt I owed her something. She was the one who had altered my time at boarding school from miserable to enjoyable. Although my guilt was overwhelming, I was reminded I was only saving her from herself.

The day I spoke up about Lilie’s disorder sacrifices were made; physically, I lost my best friend. She no longer attends the same school as me and I don’t get to see her often. There were also emotional sacrifices involved. I thought because I spoke up Lilie would never forgive me and shut me out forever. Our lives are not the same as they once were, but I continue to support Lilie and talk to her frequently. Everyday I think about how willing I would be to give up my chocolate milk for Lilie if it could solve all her problems.

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