The Price of Admission

Should I, or shouldn’t I?

The question had been mulling in my mind for a while. I looked at Mandy, my best friend for over a decade. We had done so much together: ventured out parent-free for a night out on the town; cried in tandem when our first romance did not work out; struggled as room mates when our rent increased beyond our means. Our friendship had seemed solid and unbreakable; a friendship that would overcome yet more obstacles that life would throw at us.

And yet my best friend had become what we had promised ourselves we would never be. She clung to his every word; and would not do anything without his approval. She constantly looked at him when he was in the room; and had him in her thoughts when he was not. My free-spirited friend had gone and the person in front of me was a stranger. I missed her spontaneous laughter, her devil-may-care attitude, her independence.

It was so rare to see her alone. Just her and me. Like it was before. Maybe, just maybe, she would react the way the old Mandy would.

“Mandy, there is something I feel I should tell you. I need to say this because we are best friends, and because we made a pact to be honest with each other.”

“What is it? You look so serious. Can’t be that bad surely?”

Should I, or shouldn’t I?

My heart pounding, I took the plunge. I should. We had made a promise to one another. Surely she would see that I said these words because I loved her, because we had been through so much together.

“Remember last month when Max said he would be out of town?”

“How can I not. He brought me back such a romantic gift. He is so thoughtful and loving. I am so lucky that he has chosen me. You know what he told me yesterday? He said …”

I interrupted her. I could not bear to listen to her go on and on about this man whom I despised.

“Well this romantic man who loves you so much was with another woman last month. I saw them kissing and groping one another …”

“How dare you Anne! I knew you were jealous of Max and me but how dare you make up this story!”

“I know what I saw Mandy. They were getting really intimate and ….”

“I am not going to listen to this. Max was right. I never believed him when he said you would try to separate us. Your jealousy has changed you – I thought you would be happy for me.”

“But Mandy. He is no good for you! He is the one who is changing you, can you not see? He is not to be trusted.”

“I am sorry Anne. Max is the man for me. I have waited too long for this love. I am not going to throw it away because you think you saw something. I think we will have to go our separate ways.”

“But Mandy …”

“No Anne. I am leaving now; and I will not see you again.”

I watch her leave with a heavy heavy. Maybe I should not have. Maybe she would have eventually found out what I saw in some other way. The price of admission for what I had seen was too high: I had lost my best friend. My words had torn apart a friendship that I do not believe will ever be mended.

Would you have told what you saw?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

(This post was inspired by the weekly prompt suggested by Rebecca Tsaros Dickson. This week’s prompt is “That’s the price of admission”.) 

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20 thoughts on “The Price of Admission

  1. Tough one.

    But yes. If a friendship, a True Friendship is based on Truth, how can one lie?

    Besides, when he leaves her and/or she realizes the Truth, she will know who she can Really and Truly Count On 🙂

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  2. Best friends do not say these things. You know it is going to hurt so much that the friendship won’t survive. My best friends never told me because they cared too much.I heard the “story” from someone who wan’t a a friend , only one I knew who was working with me. (I am joking, I’ll also tell my best friend at the end)

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    1. Maybe the best would be to wait a little longer when the first flush of romance has dwindled. It is a difficult decision to make because, as you say, you do not want to hurt your friend.

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  3. I believe I would tell. My friend might end up, possibly, living with that scoundrel, and not living with me, so I would hope to get them out of a bad relationship before it’s too late. Then I’d find a new best friend – NOT!

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  4. I’m not sure, I had a friend going through this once, but I didn’t ever see anything, just suspected. I kind of hinted that maybe something more was going on, asked probing questions, but then left it. On my side.. I would definitely want to know. At some point, she will find out and your friendship will be salvaged. They never get away with this for too long I find.. good luck!

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    1. Unfortunately sometimes it takes decades after marriage and children. All a friend can really do, in the end, is to be there when the truth comes out; and be be supportive and yet non-judgemental.

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  5. Sometimes friends don’t want to hear the truth when they are in abusive relationships but it is best to speak the truth in a compassionate way…. Sadly, what Mandy did is fairly typical…

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  6. Years ago, my best friend started to act strange. When I called she would slur her words. She started to come unreliable. I could feel something was right with her. As I started to get more involved in the dog show world I had less time to call and check on her. On Oct 31, I came to visit her, she was taking fifteen minutes to fold one pair of pants. She was almost like the Walking Dead. I asked her husband what was going on. He showed me the paper and told me she had a drug problem. Due to the fact she wasn’t talking to her mother I knew she needed help. I remembered her brother was a recovering drug addict so that night I decided he needed to help her. So I called him then his mother called me. One day later, Linda send her aunts up. She knew it was me and was furious. I may have lost my best friend that day…but now she is alive and doing well. So if you believe that was the right thing to do and it was the cost of your friendship. Just know one day you changed the course of her life–knowing full well it was simply because you loved her.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your personal example of what it cost you to admit the truth. You have shown true love for your friend by doing what you did and I hope that some day she may appreciate your words and actions.

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