One day, I saw a boy from my class walking home from
school. He was rather new to our school and I hardly
knew him. He was one of those students who topped all
the tests. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was
carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why
would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday ? He
must really be a nerd." I shrugged my shoulders and went
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running
towards him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out
of his arms and tripping him, so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the
grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw a
terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him.
So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking
for his glasses. As I handed him his glasses, I said,
"Those guys are jerks. they really should learn some
He looked at me and said, "Hey, thanks !"
There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those
smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up
his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned
out, he lived near me, so we decided to walk home
We talked all the way home. I asked him if
he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my
friends. He said "Yes." Kyle hung out with my friends
and me all weekend and the more I got to know him, the
more I liked him; and so did my friends.
morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of
books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are
really going to build some big muscles with this pile of
books every day !" He just laughed.
Over the next four
years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were
seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided
on Georgetown University, and I was going to Duke. I
knew that we would always be friends, that the miles
apart would never be a problem.
On the morning of
Graduation Day, I met Kyle at the school entrance. He
looked great. He was one of those guys that really found
himself during high school. He had filled out and
actually looked good in glasses. He had become one of
the most popular students. sometimes, I even felt
jealous, and this was one of the times. But, he was
looking really nervous. As the top student, he had to
deliver the graduation speech. I was so glad it wasn't
me having to get up there and speak. So, I slapped him n
the back and said. "Hey, Big Guy, you'll be great !" He
looked at me with one of those looks (the really
grateful one) and smiled.
As he started his speech,
Kyle cleared his throat, and began: "Graduation is a
time to thank those who helped you make it through those
tough years -- your parents, your teachers, your
siblings, maybe a coach ... but mostly your friends. I
am here to tell all of you that being a friend to
someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going
to tell you a story ..."
I just stared at my friend
with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we
met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He
talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his
mother would not have to do it later and was carrying
his stuff home. He looked at me and gave me a little
smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from
doing the unspeakable."
I heard a gasp o through the
crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about
his weakest moment. I saw his mother and father looking
at me, smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that
moment id I realise its depth.