The counselor was late for our appointment. I sat ion one of the hard plastic chairs in the office that, despite a few squirming attempts to arrange myself, continued to be uncomfortable. I glanced at the boy who sat beside me, my partner in crime. He looked upset and unsure, wounded by the decision that we had finally made out of desperation. Friends for many years, we now offered each other a little comfort as we sat lost in our own thoughts and doubt.
My tingling nerves heightened my scenes, and I took in everything around me. From the smell of freshly sharpened pencils to the sight of the overly organized desk, the room oozed with the aura of disciplined junior high school counselor and I found myself again questioning our judgment in choosing a complete stranger to help save our friend. .
She entered in a cloud of smiles and apologies for being late. Sitting down across from us, she looked at us expectantly. I felt as if she were waiting for us to announce that she had just won the lottery rather than tell the story of pain and frustration we had both been holding in so long.
I was overcome for a moment by the fear that had nested in my stomach. It was hard to imagine how my best friend Kenu would react when she found out that the two people she had trusted most in the world had betrayed her. But selfishly, I was also concerned about how this betrayal would affect me. Would she hate me? Would she even speak to me? As much as the pain that she would feel, I contemplated whether or not I would have a best friend the next day.
"Why don't you begin, Precious, by telling me why you"re here?" the counselor suggested. I cast one more glance at my friend; his sad eyes confirmed that we were doing the right thing.
As I began to tell Kenu's story, more uncertainty gave way to a feeling of relief. Carrying the emotional burden of a friend who is slowly killing herself was a lot for a fourteen-year-old girl to handle, and more than I could stand any longer.