The tear is rolling down my cheek. It lands atop my lips. I lick my lips to remove the dryness and the saltiness soaks into my tongue. I take a long deep breath and begin to think. Why? How could she do that to me? We’re best friends. We’ve known each other practically since we were born. How could she go and do such a horrible thing?
You’re probably wondering what it is that she did to get me so mad. Well, it was absolutely horrible! She embarrassed me in front of my whole class! She just had to let the cat out of the bag. I know you’re probably wondering what the secret could’ve been. It doesn’t really matter what it is and I think enough people know already. We all have secrets and if our best friends know them, we get angry if they go and tell others those secrets – so you probably know what I’m going through. I trusted her with that secret and she just had to let it slip out. I don’t know if I could ever trust her again. We were the best of friends. We’ve always eaten lunch together, played games together, done just about everything together. She wanted to let that all go? Well, that’s her loss.
The rapping on the door interrupts my thoughts and I quickly go to open it.
“Hi Bracha, I am so sorry about what happened in school today. I didn’t mean to embarrass you by telling the class your secret, it’s just, I had nothing else to say,” says Miriam with eyes swelled up with tears.
“You had nothing else to say? What do you mean by that? Oh you mean you ran out of all of your juicy lashon harah stories so you decided to talk about me, is that it?” I reply with a harsh, unforgiving tone.
“No, that’s not it at all. I never wanted to speak lashon harah or embarrass you. You just don‘t understand.”
“We have always been the best of friends. We share so many memories and good times together. Help me to understand. Please, help me understand why you would do this to me, why you would do this to us.”
“I, I don’t know how to say this but I, I’m very sick. The doctor says that it doesn’t look well. I have a very scary disease and I’m, I’m just so afraid and nervous. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, I just didn’t know how. Please forgive me. I mistakenly said your secret because I couldn’t think of anything to answer when everyone started questioning me.”
Once again my uncontrollable tears fall from my eyes and I grab her in my arms. We stand there crying together and words are unable to escape my lips but I must comfort her. I must help her get through this.
“Miriam, you’re the nicest person I know. You will get through this. Hashem controls the world and He has a reason for everything that happens. Hashem loves you and wants what is best for you and all of us. We are all here for you.” I give her one last tight squeeze and then she, with all of her simchas hachaim, as if nothing is wrong, walks home smiling and waving until I can no longer see her.
“Good morning! Did you study for the science test? I’m so nervous because there’s so much information that we have to know. Do you want to get together after school to study for the Chumash test that’s tomorrow? Also, I thought that it would be nice if we could get together to go to the nursing home. You know how much Mrs. Green loves it when we come to visit her. She hasn’t been able to do much since she broke her arm and so it would be enjoyable to her to have someone to talk to,” says Miriam as I arrive at the corner that we meet at to walk together to school. This is how Miriam greets me each morning. She always has a big smile on her face and a kind word to say. She is always thinking of other people and she is always so giving. Though she is sick and she has her own life to worry about, she’s more concerned about how others feel. I don’t know where she finds the power to remain so strong. As the weeks go by, not that she really needs my help but I’m trying to be a loving friend through all of this, I try to distract her from this disease. I invite her to go for walks with me, bake, go shopping, and just have some fun. I want her to be happy and remove herself from her pains for a little bit. She shouldn’t have to be anxious and worried all the time. Beneath that mask of happiness and serenity, I know she’s thinking about her treatments and all of the dangers that she is in.