Luisa closed her math book when the bell rang. She hadn’t been able to focus on the problems for the last hour anyway.
All the other students rushed out. It was the last class on Friday. Normally Luisa felt excited about the weekend too. But today she couldn’t feel anything but worried. Not since lunch. That was when her best friend, Carlotta, had asked her a question: “Can you keep a secret?”
At the time, Luisa had leaned in and nodded eagerly. She was good at keeping secrets. She thought for sure Carlotta was going to tell her about some cute boy she had a crush on.
But Carlotta’s secret wasn’t fun at all.
A voice interrupted Luisa’s thoughts. She blinked and looked up from her desk. “Did you have a question about your homework, Luisa?” her teacher asked. All the other students had already left the room.
“No,” Luisa answered. She met her teacher’s eyes. She just had to tell somebody! But Carlotta had made her promise not to.
“I’ve gotta catch the bus,” Luisa said quickly. She put on her coat and hurried out into the cold winter air.
The whole bus ride home, Luisa felt so nervous inside she could hardly stand it. Her chest felt tight, like it was hard to breathe.
Luisa couldn’t stop thinking about Carlotta’s secret. At lunch Carlotta said she had been doing something that was dangerous. Luisa could still hardly believe what she’d heard. She thought she knew her best friend! She couldn’t imagine Carlotta doing something scary like that. When lunch ended, Carlotta had made Luisa promise never to tell anyone.
But what if Carlotta got hurt?
Luisa tried to block out the laughing and talking around her in the bus as she closed her eyes and prayed in her heart.
Please, Heavenly Father, help me know what to do. I don’t want my friend to be mad at me. But I don’t want anything bad to happen to her either. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The walk home from the bus stop felt longer than usual. Wouldn’t Mom be able to tell something was wrong when Luisa got home? What should she say?
Looking at the snow on the ground, Luisa remembered the snowball fight she and Carlotta had started with some other kids at the park last week. That was so much fun! She thought about the other things she and Carlotta loved doing together. Hanging out. Hiking. Doing homework. Playing sports.
What would it be like if Luisa told her secret and Carlotta didn’t want to be her friend anymore? The thought made Luisa’s stomach twist into an even tighter knot.
Then she had another thought. Right now the most important thing was what was best for Carlotta—not what Carlotta might think about her. Carlotta needed a true friend, a friend who would help her be safe. Luisa knew Jesus always did what was best for others, even if some people didn’t like Him.
Luisa knew what she needed to do. She had to talk to Mom about it. She would also call Carlotta and tell her how worried she was and that a grown-up needed to help. Maybe then Carlotta would talk to her mom too.
Luisa’s heart felt lighter as she walked up to her front door.
“Mom?” she called as she went inside. “Can we talk?”
Carlotta might end up being mad, but Luisa knew this was the right thing to do. She would be a true friend.
Some secrets are too important to keep.
A True Friend
“A friend cares. A friend loves. A friend listens. And a friend reaches out.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “To the Rescue,” Ensign, May 2001, 50.