Sia was a girl who was easily loved by everyone when you first met her. But she was also a person who you would start teasing or picking on later. She was weak, as most people would say and was absolutely against violence. Because of this, people judged Sia for her fragility. She was also quite mysterious, so people wondered whatever was on her mind.
She hated it when people were fighting. Just a simple insult would make her cry. The insults, unkind words, and mean sayings were enough to drive her mad. One day, she just broke down crying. No one even bothered to ask her if she was OK. She just wanted to give up on everything right there.
Suddenly, she looked up to see someone else crying. Like her, no one was paying attention to the boy. Sia walked up to that person to ask what was wrong when he just started bawling louder. “I can’t take this anymore!” he cried. “I don’t deserve to live!”
Sia was shocked to hear his words, but also felt sad. This is exactly what violence can do to you. “It’s all right,” she reassured him. “Everything’s going to be just fine.”
And surprisingly, he believed her.
The boy was named Ted. The two became close friends soon after that. Now that they had each other to spend time with, the two friends ignored the whole world completely. And nobody paid attention to any of them either. They told each other secrets, but not all of them in general. Sia never told Ted about how she used to be someone like him before. She wanted to be strong for him.
Ted, however, was a crybaby. The fact about being scared of almost everything made him a weakling as Sia used to be. Unlike him, Sia grew stronger as she intended to. She protected Ted from everything, and was just happy to be by his side.
“Why do you stay with me?” Ted asked her one day. “I’m nothing but a nuisance. Why do you still want to be my friend?”
Sia was hurt to hear him say that. “Because you are my friend. I could never find anyone else like you.”
To this, Ted smiled gratefully.
They continued to be the best of friends until graduation. After that, it was time for Sia to move on and go to college. She’d been accepted into a famous university in Paris. On the day of her departure, the two friends hugged and shared their exchange of speeches. “Will I ever see you again?” Ted asked her as she was about to leave.
This time, Sia just chuckled. “I’ll think about needing to see you everyday.”
With that, Ted was happy.
A few months after Sia left, Ted never forgot about Sia. But it must’ve been better if he had. One day, he received a phone call telling him that Sia got run over a truck in back in France. He didn’t want to believe it, but the invitation to write a eulogy for her funeral that he received in the mail deflated his heart when he decided to accept the truth.
No one was sadder than Ted that day. As he spoke words in Sia’s honor and valuable friendship, he choked out his last words saying, “I’ll never find another friend like her.”
Weeks after that event, Ted was invited by Sia’s mother to go to her house. “She left some things for you to keep,” she explained. “You must come over to pick them up.” Ted didn’t want to refuse so he went.
Being in Sia’s room just made him feel sad all over again. As he looted through the boxes on Sia’s bed, he was surprised to find a picture of Sia on the sidewalk, crying. He went to ask her mother about it, and her shoulders slumped at it.
“Oh,” she said. “I remember someone took a picture of her one day there on the floor instead of helping her out. Poor Sia.” She told him the date of this event. Ted was shocked to find it was the same day he met Sia.
“What ever happened to her?” Ted asked.
Sia’s mother sighed. “Sia was always a victim of violence. People teased her, made fun of her, and would get annoyed about her consciousness about fighting. My Sia was just about to give up on life altogether.”
Ted seemed to be interested in the floor. He never knew Sia used to be like that. If only he had known…
“But something stopped her,” the mother continued. “One day, I found her happier than she usually is and when I asked her what happened, she told me, ‘I found a friend’. I’m thinking you’re that friend, Ted. I must thank you. You helped my daughter change. You helped her choose.”
He didn’t know what she meant at that last part, but Ted scratched his head at what Sia’s mother said. How did he help Sia? He barely did anything. It was Sia who helped him most of the time.
When she saw his look, the mother chuckled. “I mean to say that when Sia saw you, she decided that she wanted to be your friend because you reminded her of herself. And because of that, she decided to help you. Your presence made her stronger. And that was a really brave act. She chose to be your friend. And you chose to be hers.”
Her words started to make sense. Finally, Ted understood. Slowly, tears started to drop from his eyes and he quickly wiped them. “I get it now.”
He thanked her for the stuff and started to head home. He couldn’t get all this new information out of his head. On the way to his house, he passed by a playground. He was surprised to find a little girl on the swings, no one else with her, as she was quietly crying in her hands.
Ted stopped by to kneel in front of the girl. “Hey, there, what’s wrong?” he asked.
“The kids are all making fun of me!” she wailed. “They bully me and try to fight me! I don’t want to! I want to end this all!”
Ted blinked at her words and gave her a small smile. The girl was here to help him now. And he was going to do just the same.
“It’s all right. Everything’s going to be just fine.”
Choose to be brave by keeping a friend to save.