I’ve begun to realize that true friends are the greatest things of all because a true friend will be there for you waiting in the rain when everyone else ran inside without you. A true friend will not sit around and watch you burn. No, they will fight for you until their last breath. If only I had fought for her.
Regret pecks at my mind once again as I recall the day I let her down, and even though my age has caught up making the edges of times past blurry, I remember it quite well. I told myself she wasn’t truly my friend, the Colored Girl. At least that is what I called her. She was one of my father’s first slaves, and I knew he would not let me get close to her.
But when she saved me after I nearly drowned in the pond, it became harder to ignore her. Rebecca was her name, at least, that was the one we had given her, and she came to our farm when she was five. I was the same age.
Her mother was sold to another owner.
No one really knew why she saved me. She always proclaimed loud and clear how much she hated me, something father never knew about, but I never told him. She talked about how white I was and how terrible I was to her people. She was a leader to the core. Even the adults looked up to her sometimes, though she was at least a fourth their age.
When I turned ten I started to sneak out to visit her in the night. I would bring the slaves leftover food that the dog was supposed to get. I helped her learn to read, even though it was forbidden for her to know.
My father caught me once. I told him not to hurt her, that it was my fault, but he insisted that she get punished. They beat her. I had seen them do it before, but it still brought tears to my eyes. I tried to run away, but the neighbors found me in their fields and dragged me back. I hated every second I had to spend with my father from then on.
He tried to be good to me, he really did. But I could never get the picture of Rebecca’s torn skin out of my mind. And as years past, we got more and more rebellious.
When I was fifteen I tried to burn down the farmhouse. Father was infuriated. Rebecca told him to stop yelling at me. Instead he yelled at her.
I should have done something. I should have taken the beating or something. He beat her so hard she died from her injuries. I let her down, and she stood up for me.
My regret for Rebecca shrouded me my entire life. I’m just so glad to finally let go of it. Because of Rebecca I am still here thinking away the last moments of my life.