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Drifting Apart

by Alexandra Yeboah

They used to be best friends, but then everything changed

It wasn’t that long ago when we were friends. We would giggle with each other and pass notes in class. We would sleep over at each other’s house and watch movies, talk about boys, and give each other makeup tips. Deidre was my best friend, but things have changed. 
One of the two seats we used to occupy in English class now remains empty. I grew tired of trying to read the waves of silence Deidre kept sending my way, so I started sitting with someone else.
I didn’t understand what caused her to turn against me, but she suddenly began shooting me steely glares and frosty words. 
One day after class, I saw Deidre in the hall with my friend Amy. I said hi to Amy and walked the other way. 
“What’s up with her?” Amy asked Deidre, as I disappeared around a hallway corner. 
“She said you were mocking and insulting her,” Amy told me later that day.  
I vaguely recalled the day before in English class when I had grown adamant about a point I was making to Deidre. She may have decided that my voice was a little too loud and my expression too serious. Perhaps some of my past jokes had also offended her. It all cycled through my head as I listened, half-attentively, to Amy. For the first time, I had begun to realize what had gone wrong between Deidre and me.
Hate grows
I knew that I might have hurt Deidre, but I  refused to apologize until she came up to me personally and told me what I had done to upset her.
Throughout the next few months, Deidre stoked the fire by calling me names and revealing things to others that I had told her in confidence. She then tried to turn what remaining friends I had against me.
As time passed I grew more bitter toward Deidre and blew up at friends who were not totally loyal to me. They couldn’t be my true friends if they were also Deidre’s friends. 
I told anyone who would listen about how much I disliked Deidre. In my mind I actually thought this would make me feel better. But I only felt emptier inside, and I realized that I had stooped to her level. 
When I couldn’t handle the hurt any longer, I turned to God and asked, “Why is she doing this to me? I thought she was supposed to be my best friend! How can she claim to share my Adventist beliefs and then turn against me in this way? Why did You put her in my life, Lord, if You were only going to take her away?”
From time to time I’d recall the fun times we had had together, and wonder how things had gotten so messed up. It was hard for me to believe that we’d never again be friends like we were before.
Graduation time soon came, and we ended our high school matriculation without saying a word to each other. I saw Deidre for the last time in the school’s hallway as I headed to the main office to take care of some things. I was going in and she was coming out. 
We looked at each other briefly and kept on walking. She had a university pamphlet in her hand, with a girl jumping up in excitement on the cover. Deidre’s twisted braids were swept up in a bun off her face, and she was wearing a pink sweater over blue denim jeans. She looked the way she did when we were friends, and I momentarily forgot we weren’t on speaking terms anymore. But then her eyes flickered over to mine, she gave me a scowl, and she went on her way.
A lot in common
Our friendship wasn’t supposed to end this way. After all, we were both Seventh-day Adventist Christians. When I first heard that she was a Seventh-day Adventist, I was shocked. There were hardly any Adventists in our public school.
We automatically launched into a discussion of churches we had been to in the area and other Adventists we had met—things that were hard to discuss with others who attended our school. 
I found that we had a lot in common. She was a fan of CeCe Winans, loved to read and write, and was very serious about her schoolwork.
We borrowed each other’s gospel CDs and recommended songs to each other. She had piqued my interest in ZOEgirl, a girl group I had not been too fond of until then.
I had never felt closer to anyone in my whole life. 
Sometimes I go back and wonder what would have happened if I had only talked to her and asked her what I had done to upset her, instead of hearing it from someone else. Maybe we would have still been friends.
For the longest time after her mistreatment of me, I refused to forgive her. But with God’s help I eventually let go. I hope that she forgave me for what I did to upset her.
I know God is displeased when we bear grudges toward one another and when we store anger in our hearts (see Matthew 5:21-25).
He wants us to forgive, not just for the sake of others but for ourselves too. It’s God’s way of helping us to let go of our past mistakes and to move forward to the dazzling future He has in store for us. When we forgive, we demonstrate true Christian behavior and exert a positive influence on others. In doing so, we become more like Jesus each day. 
Through this experience I learned to never put my friends before God. I also learned that everyone makes mistakes. We are going to fail our friends, and they will fail us. But one thing’s for sure: God is the friend who never fails! 
Alexandra Yeboah is majoring in journalism at a university in Canada. Her interests include writing, reading, public speaking, and tennis.

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