EDIE, my younger sister, has amazing friends. Not that my friends aren’t amazing, but hers feel more amazing than mine. And whenever I think about it, I get really mad. I get particularly mad at the sound of Jen, one of her closest of friends. Jen is a rich kid, who also happens to be very generous. Lucky are those who are close to her. She would shower you with gifts—pencils, erasers, markers, highlighters, all the cool kinds of stationery every kid wants.
Why don’t I have friends like Jen? Why Edie, and why not me?
One day, Edie came home with two mechanical pencils, one red and the other yellow. They were the expensive Japanese kind, the kind I liked. And when she showed them off to me with great excitement, all I saw was a smug look that drove me mad. If I couldn’t have those mechanical pencils, she needs to suffer! I contemplated cutting off Emmy’s hair, all that thick, long hair on her favorite brunette doll. But wait! Mommy had taken a long time to stitch and sew and put Emmy together, so I really shouldn’t, and I just couldn’t. Besides, I liked Emmy too.
So I went for the lesser evil. I took Edie’s new mechanical pencils, and tossed them into the bin—not the trash, but the recycle bin outside our front door. Even in my wickedness, I was kind. The rationale was this: if I had tossed the pencils in the garbage where all that end-of-dinner junk would go in—the unfinished chicken gravy, the chilli sauce, and the chewed up slices of orange—there would be no way Edie could retrieve them. In the recycle bin, at least there was some hope.
When Edie couldn’t find her pencils that very day, she was heartbroken. “Where are my pencils?” she cried. Guilt began to gnaw at my soul. To make things worse, I pretended to be a valuable member of her search team, which included poor Grandma and my innocent little brother, who is always the prime suspect when things get lost in the house. Knowing that I was the sorry, lousy culprit made me feel horrible.
By the time evening came, and all that after-dinner rubbish had gone into the trash can, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I owned up to my awful deed, a deed filled with jealousy, envy, spite, incomprehensible unkindness, all woven into Ugly Me. And to think that I had owned up in such a lame and rotten way: “I accidentally threw it in the bin.”
Edie broke into tears, without a single word of reproach. She looked so broken that I broke down too. I hugged her, and she hugged me back. But why, why wasn’t she angry with me?
Her heart was so much bigger than mine, yet it didn’t make mine any smaller, it just lifted it up.
Therese Lee, Primary Six
For more essays by Therese, visit Therese Writes.
This essay was written in response to the theme of “jealousy,” and two pictures: (1) a pair of scissors and (2) two girls bawling away, hugging each other