Monday, July 16, 2012

Think Before You Speak

Did you ever get the feeling that you couldn’t hold something in and had to tell someone? Do you ever need to say something even though you shouldn’t? Can you never keep a secret? Well then, you might understand me. I am a blabber-mouth. I can’t keep what’s on my mind from slipping out of my big mouth. I have lost friends because of this, but they always came back. It never really affected me. At least, never before. Then it cost me the life of one of my greatest friends.

            It was the beginning of my 9th grade year. She was always an odd person, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but really sweet. I never expected that she would do what she did.  I had always wondered what was wrong with her. Anyone could see that she wasn’t normal, but I always just assumed she was shy. She would never read aloud in class or answer any questions out loud. She always seemed to do everything backwards.

            I decided to become her friend, and find out what was her problem. Over the next month, I tried to gain her trust, and I guess I succeeded, because one day she confided in me her secret. She had dyslexia.

            I know I probably should have tried harder to keep her secret, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. A lot of people have dyslexia. But, she was more sensitive than I realized. For a while, I really did try to keep the secret, but I guess I just got careless. Why else would I mention it to the school’s biggest gossip, Brittney? She ran the gossip column in the newspaper, so within a week, everyone in the school knew about her secret. Suddenly, she stopped coming to school. No one knew where she was, not even her parents! A month passed and still she hadn’t shown up. Her parents had called the police, and one night, I got a call from them. The good news was that they had found my friend. The bad news? She was at the bottom of a lake.

            I immediately rushed over there, even though it was nearly midnight. I wasn’t able to see my friend, but I’m not sure I would have wanted to. The police told me that there was a box in her pocket, and handed it to me. There was a note inside, protected from decay by the box. She had written that she had done this because she couldn’t bear the thought of anyone knowing about her secret. She chose to end her life rather than have people treat her like she was below them, because of her problem.

            Even to this day, many years later, I carry the guilt of being the one who had caused her to do such a thing. And I hope my story has taught you a lesson. Be careful about what you say or tell people, because you have no idea of how it can affect others.


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