“THANKS FOR NOTHING” (A Lesson in Loyalty)
One day we were home from school and after having a boring catch outside, Alex invited Ray and me back to his house. No one was at his home. He opened the door and walked straight into the living room! The livingroom was decorated with hundreds of glass figurines and small statues.
"C’mon, don't be scared, you guys can sit in here" he cajoled. Reluctantly, we sat down, and looked around us, stunned by the massive collection of figurines that seemed to be staring at us. Alex removed the tennis ball from his pocket, and began tossing it in the air. "Hey Alex , not a good idea" we cautioned him. He laughed, and then tossed the ball over to Ray.."catch!" he said (implying a dare to drop the ball). Ray caught the ball, and then tossed it to me. Call it pre adolescent Bravado, but we began tossing that ball around...faster...and faster...till, my toss to Alex sailed over his outstretched hands and made a direct hit on the end table! The figurines were scattered about, and one slid off the table and onto the floor! We jumped up and ran over to asses the damage. Alex leaning over the figurine exclaimed, "My Mom is gonna kill me!....This is her favorite horse and its all busted up!"I tried to mitigate the circumstance with "favorite horse? There must be 100 little horses here, and THIS ONE is her favorite?" "You better believe it" said Alex..."She paid 200 bucks for this one...it's her favorite!"
My stomach collapsed, I broke a 200 dollar horse! My Mom was gonna kill me too!...... "Hold on" I said as I tried to gain control of a situation that was going out of control. I began rearranging the animals that were on the table, trying to compensate for the empty space . "There!, Now she will never know her horse is missing..the display looks the same as when we first walked in here." Ray nodded his head in agreement and we decided to bury the broken horse figurine in the backyard.
The next day at school, Ray and I met up with Alex. "Boy is my Mom mad!" He exclaimed. As soon as she walked into the living room she cried out, "who messed up my end table?....and then that is when she noticed her favorite horse was missing!" "What did you tell her?" I asked with panic in my heart. "I told her that I didn't know a thing...that maybe my sister and her friends did something to it". "You won't ever tell her that it was us, will you?" I asked. "Nope" said Alex..."I don't squeal on my friends"
"Alex" I said with a sigh of relief, "you are the best friend that someone could have" I saias I placed my arm around Alex..."I really owe you"......
Time passed, my gratefulness for Alex not exposing me played into our friendship. I would loan him nickels for candy and let him use my bike whenever he needed.
Several months passed, it was now Spring and just when that incident was as deeply buried as that horse, my Mother confronted me. "I just got off the phone with Alex's mom, and while she was working in her garden she found a broken horse figurine buried there. She says that you, Alex and Ray were playing one day and broke it....is that true?".......... I was caught! .... In shame and for Mercy I put my head down and put my best puppy dog eyes on...."yes Mom....we broke it".
"Well, you will be grounded for the next month and I told her that I would share in the cost of replacing that horse..so you will be losing 5 weeks of your allowance money." My head was spinning....I can't believe that Alex caved in and confessed...especially 5 months after we broke that horse!.....Grounded and no allowance for.... Five weeks? That's it? I got 75 cents a week.....how does that add up to 200 dollars?
The next day came and at first, I did not want to even look at Alex.. Over the past 5 months,I had thanked him a million times, bought him candy, loaned him my bike...all that "Thanks" and gratitude..and what does he do? Rat me out! But I was curious about why I was only losing 5 weeks of allowance...so.... "Hey Alex! Thanks for Nothing!...you couldn't deny it?"...... "No I couldn't" he said with his head in shame...."Besides, I'm the one that has to face her everyday...I am the one who hears her..I am one who is paying for this"... Then I asked about the cost of the horse...."oh, I made a mistake, the horse was only a few bucks..." He put out his hand to me..."still friends?" he asked.....I slowly put my hand out there.."yeah...we're still friends"
And so I learned....no matter how thankful you are and how grateful and loyal you might be to a friend, it is not a guarantee that they will always perform in a manner that is to your liking...there will be a time when they let you down.
A Loyal friendship is not one that is based on being grateful and thankful only as long as the "thanks" are being repaid.....
The years passed, and Alex and I remained loyal friends. As we entered adolesence we shared the gossip and secrets of who had a crush on who. He was the first to know about a girl I had a crush on, and like a good loyal friend, he made sure that she learned of this which had led me to a sweet kiss!