Misjudgment

Rachel was one of those people that radiated a friendly persona; she frequently sported a dimpled smile, talked fast, and took an instant interest in everybody. She seemed like someone who was easy to befriend. This became more apparent when we talked the whole night during a friend’s sweet sixteen and started a group chat on Facebook. To assist the friendship even further, I employed a foolproof method—bonds are always instantly formed when crushes are discussed or, in my case, former crushes. 

Unfortunately, as I learned about two weeks into our official friendship is that Rachel loves secrets just as much as she likes telling them. Not for any blackmail purposes or anything wicked like that.  Rachel’s not a bad person, and I know she’s not a bad person.  Then why would she be so careless about my secret?  

I’m a fair secret-keeper.  Not as good as I used to be, but I’d still rate myself decently.  Here’s how most people treat a secret: they receive the fragile gift (I’m imagining a hollow glass bird decoration, for some reason) in softly cupped hands–they wrap the bird up, try not to move it a lot, for fear of shattering it and having the sharp pieces scatter.  Sharing the glassware to others also gives them ownership of the bird–more owners increases the likelihood of an accident.  This is an unspoken understanding that is usually established among friends in elementary school.  I mean, they probably wouldn’t invent a metaphor associating a secret with an avian shelf decoration, but you get the idea.  

The point is, when I placed my gleaming bird in Rachel’s hands, she didn’t recognize its value.  She thought the bird was for playing with, not for safekeeping and quiet admiration.  Perhaps she mistook the thin glass for plastic.  

After comparing notes with her peers, it was evident that this was a habit that she had had for quite a while.  And when I think about it that way, I can hardly hold what she did against her for very long.   Besides, even though her suggestive comments to the two former crushes put me in a rather awkward and uncomfortable position, the glass bird got through intact.

Still, it was a unique situation for me. Most of the time, when I tell a secret, I usually do not have to package it in “don’t tell!” wrapping paper, but I think a major facet of friendship is learning about another’s odd quirks and bad habits.

(Psst! Don’t tell!)

The prompt:

Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)?

 -M.L.

(P.S. I’ve just completed my first week of Junior Year!  How is everyone else doing?)

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