January 3, 2010
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When she got pregnant, I sat dumbfounded, not because I would be the father, but because I am the best friend. I wasn't the first she told, but I was probably the first to figure it out on my own, thanks to her mother. That's not exactly on my own, but that's not the story she was told either.

When I went into the attendance office at school and explained my deep concerns, the secretary pulled up the records and said my best friend was in the hospital (later I learned it was a mental hospital). I went back to my homeroom crying.
She was absent from school for three days. Prior to that, I was worried because she'd been grounded for several months and was forbidden to say why. I couldn't imagine what could warrant such a harsh punishment, let alone fathom pregnancy as the source.

My mother, in truth, was the first to tell me she was pregnant, and it was only through her own deduction. I explained to her all that had transpired - the grounding, the hospital - and she told me flat out what I refused to believe.
When I called my friend's house that night, I explained to her mother that I was very concerned. I remember her tone of voice, bewildered, surprised to say this aloud: “Well I don't know how to tell you this, but she's pregnant.”

All I could say in return was, “Oh… okay… she is alright?”

I gave her one of my favorite stuffed dogs named Happy. I dropped it off at her house before she came home from the hospital. He'd been a present to me when I was sad the summer before, and I wanted him to serve the same purpose for her. I didn't tell her I knew until a few weeks later, making it seem like I had pieced the puzzle together myself when I had known all along. I could only imagine how hard things would be for her now, and I didn't want her to think I didn't care.

But she was brave. She still came to school - it wasn't obvious at first, but after Thanksgiving break I mentally gave her the nickname “Balloon.” I never said it aloud, and I didn't mean it negatively or to hurt her. It was just a cute nickname.

Kids said in hushed tones, just loud enough for her to hear, “*She's* pregnant?!” Still she sat there, quiet, working on her assignments. I wanted to get up and punch them, but I couldn't. As I promised her, I didn't tell anybody the truth until it became too obvious to ignore. She was a quiet girl, so silent that avoiding the attention of others was easy for her in the beginning.

I spent the next nine months confused and bewildered. She was my best friend, but she had done something shocking. Though my parents frowned on, I knew she needed someone to be there. In Spanish class, I'd spend some days refusing to be her partner on projects, and on others sorry to see her working alone. I didn't know how to react or how to treat her. I kept my distance while staying close enough not to abandon her entirely. Often I asked her how she felt, and in winter, I'd wait by the school's entrance for her parents to arrive and help carry her stuff.
The day before she entered labor, I stopped by her house to give her another gift: a carrying pouch for the upcoming baby. She looked so much better now that late summer had blossomed. Her hair was down and she looked a lot happier than previous months. I knew she had traveled a long road, but the best and most difficult parts had yet to come: raising the baby boy from infancy to childhood and then, when the time comes, to adulthood.
Today I do what I can for the baby, and I assure her that I'm always there to help. Now married, she lives happily away from her old home. Often I feel bad for my tottering presence in the past, but as her best friend, I know it is my duty to do what I can to help her, regardless the situation. My allegiance may have wavered, but unlike her older, closer friends, I never left her for good. Though I thought about it, I couldn't leave her. I needed to be her best friend and to fulfill the duties that entailed.
Just last night we talked with one another, and after almost four years of knowing her, I still don't know how to say thank you.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

granttaylor715 said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm
awsome job alex
its realy good
u should try and wright more stories
DemonDog said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm
You took out the 'mirror' part. I sort of liked that and it gives some insight.
Other than that, it's still as good and shell-shocking as it originally was.
pris24 said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm
hey i think it's awesome that you're so willing to write about something difficult / am so proud of you for sticking with her throughout =)
cakyyy said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm
this article is awsome!
wow your are an amazing writer!
good job!
i really liked it!
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