Cheating is an experience most people go through. Even if not in a relationship, in other types of relations with others in life and so on. I shouldn’t have to explain, but I will.
After going to the restroom after a quiz, I returned to see my friend staring at me with wide eyes and the others at my table very quiet. The teacher, Ms. Bruno, called me over and I stood in front of her, sure that I hadn’t messed up the quiz.
She looked at me and then, she demanded, “Did you let Gina copy your quiz?”
I was shocked and replied, “No.”
Ms. Bruno turned to point at Gina and asked, “You didn’t let her copy your paper?” I shook my head and she asked, again, “So you didn’t, then?”
I swallowed, seeing my friend plead with her eyes for something I didn’t understand. So, feeling bad and wanting to stay friends with her, I answered, very questionably, “Yes?”
Ms. Bruno took that yes and demanded, “So, you let her copy your paper?” I was too scared at answer at that point, having never been asked to choose between friendship and a quiz grade. She took my quiz and marked a bit red “0” on it.
When I took my seat, Gina didn’t talk to me. The others at my table shook their head and Ryan, the boy who sat in front of me, stated, “You should have told the truth.”
Gina and I never spoke again, and I was hurt by the entire situation. I had feared losing a friend, or getting her in trouble, and so, I sacrificed my grade for her. She was wrong to have copied off my quiz. But, I was wrong to not have stood firmer to tell Ms. Bruno I didn’t let her do it. After that, I never went to the restroom during a quiz EVER again. She cheated off me while my guard was down, and though I trusted her, she broke that trust. Also, she showed me just how worthless friendship and loyalty was at that age (12).
More than that, it changed my perspective on friendship in general. My trust issues, having already started to warp, changed even more. But, through this experience, my friends I hold dearer and closer. Those who are expendable are out in the wind. No friend is worth your grade. Most friends who would respect and see you as a real friend would care about your grades and respect. It’s not the other way around. I had allowed others to copy off my homework because I believed friends shared and cared for each other. But, this only harmed them in the long run. I’m still coming to terms with this lesson.
I understand better now. Having had enough real friends to show me how to be a better friend, person, and impart wisdom through discernment and tact, I find that it’s still difficult. But, life is just that. So, let your life lessons become experience that you can share with others. And never be afraid of your past. The more open you are to it, the more you can see and learn. Which ends up being more wisdom you can pass on to others you care about.