The room was dark, but over fifty candles lighted it with a great brilliance. Then, we all started to sing, and the excellent beauty of it caught me by surprise. I wanted to cry and laugh and sing and jump. Instead, I just stood there, mesmerized by the feeling I was given, when the boy I’d called my “secret friend” for the last three weeks of acting school walked up to me.
“Thank you,” He said, with a strong smile on his face. We embraced, and I would have cried if I could have.
“You’re welcome,” I murmured.
“You were a great secret friend,” He spoke sincerely and looked straight into my eyes. “You don’t know how encouraging those everyday verses were.”
Now I smiled. “I’m glad,” I said. “I really enjoyed being your secret friend. You are a wonderful person.”
Every word that I said was true. Right from the start of our “secret friendship,” this boy had been a great object on my mind. I don’t know what it was about the concept but it excited me so much that I started planning for it the first night, even before we’d drawn names. The next day, I remember staring at his name, then just a title to me, and wondering how I could encourage this stranger. But apparently, I did…
Through Smarties and verses, a notebook he needed and a poem I wrote, I wooed him. I sat beside him at lunch and tried to transfer every fibre of his being to my mind. In acting and dance and leadership, I encouraged him. I walked through Wal-Mart, staring at books and cookies and garden rakes, wondering what he would like. I listened intently when he talked. Every morning or evening, I stealthily handed his gifts to other people. I stayed up late reading my bible for the perfect verse, and prayed for him every morning. I smiled when he wore my necklace and carried my jaguar stuffy. I sacrificed, gave, and loved and the feeling it gave me was so beautifully excellent.
I went to bed with him on my heart. It was strange, but I missed being his secret friend. I wanted him back to encourage and buy gifts for. What has happened to me? I asked God in desperation.
“My child,” He said. “You have learned the most excellent way…to love.”
And indeed I had.