On my own

Who has had a profond influence on your life?

Cowardice surged through me as Emma sneered down at me. Her eyes pierced my own, seemingly oblivious to the glints of sunlight through the boughs of the shadowy trees.

“Apologize!” Emma demanded, and I trembled. Raising my hand to shield my eyes against the sunlight, as though saluting, I began to wish I had not challenged Emma in front of her friends. I stared dumbly down at the soil and wished vehemently that I could vanish from this scene with a girl I once looked upon with awe and fear. As I stood there, I forced myself to examine the chain of events that had led me to this confrontation.

My small, large-eyed best friend, Inseeia, had committed the crime of accidentally brushing past Emma in the lunch hall. ''You stupid idiot!'' Emma shouted at Inseeia, who stopped short in fear and looked to me for defense. And what did I do? Nothing. I thought Emma’s verbal attack was a mistake, but I tried like the rest of my peers to view her behavior as harmless fun. However, as the weeks progressed, Emma’s attempts to embarrass my friend only intensified – and still I chose to avoid confrontation than defend my friend. I wounded Inseeia more deeply than any nasty comment from Emma ever could; I betrayed our friendship...

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