From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul IV

Watch Out for That Tree!

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Oscar Wilde

Missy was absolutely my best friend in the whole world. We had known each other since first grade, and we literally did everything together. We frequently visited each other’s homes, we knew each other’s families like they were our own, we shopped, we went to parties together, and on and on and on. The interesting thing about our relationship, however, was the fact that the older we got, the more our values seemed to differ. We still enjoyed a lot of the same things, but I was a bit more settled while Missy seemed to enjoy pursuing the world of pretense. She loved being associated with popular people and things, and although she was basically a good person, she had no problem with forcing things to go her way. Perhaps this is why it seemed that her family actually trusted me more than they trusted her. So, on the day that Missy showed up at my house with a huge dent in her father’s car, I knew that we were in for an interesting time.

She had banged the car while out that day, and she knew her father was going to have a literal fit. So she stopped by my house in order to concoct a story that would lessen her father’s rage. Missy decided to tell him that while in a parking garage, someone must have backed into the car and dented it. My role was to corroborate. Now keep in mind that I had strong objections to lying, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the situation. I loved her parents just like my own, and I did not want to be a party to this fallacy that Missy was creating. Nevertheless, after much prodding and a general questioning of my loyalty, I decided that the least I could do was to act as a silent witness. That way, I wasn’t actually lying; I just wasn’t divulging the full truth.

So an hour or so later, we presented Missy’s father with the car and the inquisition began. He wanted to know exactly what had happened, when and how. Missy recapped her concocted story, and I stood there in silent agreement. Then Missy’s father decided to do a closer inspection. He walked over to the dented area and started to pull and pound the dent until it gave away. It was at that point that pieces of bark from the tree that Missy had hit fell out. We were both stunned. That was so not part of the plan.

Needless to say, Missy was caught in her fabricated story, and I was proclaimed as the “guilty” bystander. I actually think that her parents were more disappointed with me than they were with her. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if they ever fully trusted me again. It was at that time that I realized how incredibly fragile trust actually is.

Cady Carrington

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