Trouble in Neverland

Trouble in Neverland

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be The Best You Can Be

Trouble in Neverland

An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything.

~Lynn Johnston

The clock struck twelve, and my third-grade classmates and I ran from our desks and out the door. It was time for recess, the only part of the day anyone really cared about. Jamie, my best friend, was also in my class, and as soon as we hit the playground, we ran to the farthest basketball court. No one played there. If they wanted to play basketball, they would usually play on the court closest to the water fountain. Kickball was also a popular sport, and if you weren’t playing kickball, you were probably on the swings and slides. Since no one played at the farthest basketball court, Jamie and I could play whatever we wanted and not have to worry about anyone complaining or interrupting our game.

We liked to pretend we were in different places, like the jungle, the desert, or off in some fairytale world. One day, we decided to play Peter Pan.

“All right, here is where Wendy lives,” I said, pointing to a four-square section of the court. “And Peter Pan will live near that basketball hoop.” Jamie liked my idea and started to make up our situation.

“Peter will be in trouble, so Wendy has to come in the middle of the night and save him,” Jamie told me.

“That sounds good…. I think I’m going to be Tinker Bell,” I said. Suddenly Jamie looked at me.

“But I want to be Tinker Bell….” she complained.

I told her that I’d thought of the idea first, but she still whined.

“Come on, Jamie… you can be Tinker Bell tomorrow,” I said, hoping she would drop it.

“No! I’m going to be Tinker Bell today. It’s only fair,” she yelled.

“How is it fair?” I asked.

“It just is!”

I sighed. This fight was going nowhere. “Okay,” I said, “either I get to be Tinker Bell, or we won’t play this game at all.”

“Wow!” Jamie yelled. “Not only is that a stupid idea, but its mean, too! I guess that’s how Jewish people are.” She walked away.

I stared at her back and watched her walk toward the swings. What happened? What does me being Jewish have to do with the both of us wanting to be Tinker Bell? I knew that it really didn’t mean anything, but it still wasn’t a right or nice thing to say. Just then, the teachers blew their whistles, and recess was over.

I told my teacher that Jamie and I had gotten into a fight, and she let us talk outside the classroom. The talk was useless. Jamie didn’t seem to care that she had hurt my feelings. I didn’t know how much it had hurt until I realized I was yelling at her. I stopped and told her I was sorry.

“It’s okay. What I said was really rude. I shouldn’t have said it. I guess I’m the one that’s sorry,” she said.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

“No problem. And I promise never to say anything mean about your religion again. Do you forgive me?” she asked.

“Of course, I forgive you!” I laughed, taking her hand and walking back into the classroom.

Jamie and I stayed best friends until middle school, when we went to different schools and eventually drifted apart. But I’ll never forget her or the fact that she never did insult my religion again, just as she promised.

~Carly Hurwitz

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