A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

The Note
by Tatyanna Neely (Nov 2008)

Do you ever ask yourself “what if?” I found myself asking that very question when my world was turned upside down. Okay, just a friendship was tested, and by “tested” I mean on the verge of not being on my friend’s list. But it felt upside down.

          You see, I found this note in my friend Kate’s pencil pouch. She saw that I found it and I was getting ready to read it, but she just looked away and kept talking to our other friend, Bell. While Bell and Kate were talking, I read the note. I didn’t really understand it very well, probably because the note was the middle of a conversation, but I did think it was about Kate’s brother.

At lunch, John found the note and asked if I had seen it. I said, “Yes.” He could tell I didn’t understand because he asked me if I knew who it was about. I said, “I think it’s about Kate’s brother.” He said, “No, it’s about Kate.” I felt my face drop. It meant that Kate might have been raped and was probably doing drugs. I felt like crying.

I decided I needed to talk to Kate. She seemed to be avoiding eye contact with me and kept trying to change the subject, but I wouldn’t let her.  She seemed to be off in “la la land.”

          You know that feeling you get when you know something, and you don’t know what to do with the information that you have? Well, it’s horrible; it eats you up ‘til all you can do is cry. You ask yourself, “What do I do?” That’s what I asked myself, God, my mom, my sister, and two of my best friends. The conclusion was obvious and painful. I would do what was best for Kate and live with the consequences.

I decided to tell the school’s resource officer. Bell and I made an appointment to speak to him.  Kate, Bell, and I all had our first class together, which is where we were when the resource officer called Bell and me out to talk to him. We were gone most of the hour. When we got back everyone looked at us strangely. We had to write witness statements, telling him everything we knew, and give names.

I knew the resource officer had spoken to her after third hour. Normally we walked to lunch together, but that day she didn’t walk with Jasmine and me. I figured Kate was mad; I knew she would be. I just kept telling myself that I did what was best for her in the long run.

A week went by without talking, at least face-to-face. We talked about it through e-mail, but she seemed to say something different each time. This created more problems. I could not allow her to continue to lie about what was going on, not to me, not to herself and not to the others involved. 

Finally, we were able to talk about it, and our friendship grew again. I struggle with trusting Kate now; it’s hard to tell if she is lying to me again. I know she can lie without me knowing because she did it for so long. Sometimes I try to pretend that none of this happened, but I can’t.

 There’s still that voice in me asking, “Did I do the right thing?” My head says, “You did what you could. You prayed about it, and it will all work out the way Heavenly Father wants it to.” So I go day by day, week by week, year by year, in hope that some day she will tell me the whole story with all her heart and all the truth.  I went into this knowing that I could lose one of my oldest friends, and I will go through it knowing that somewhere down the road I could still lose her. Part of our friendship was lost when the trust was lost, that’s what friendship is. Of course, I never want to lose her friendship, but she needs to see that this is hurting her and the people who love and care for her. Someone had to tell her; so I did. If it means losing her friendship then I will make that sacrifice for her. If I knew the moment I read that note that I was going to lose her as a friend, I would have done it all the same.

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