Fast Friends

By Amanda Michaelis

(Based on a true story)

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Could a bad video game cost Diego his new friend?

“Choose the right when a choice is placed before you” (Hymns, no. 239).

Fast Friends

Diego trudged up the hill on his way home from school. Recess was usually the best part of the day. But all week it had been terrible! No one wanted to play soccer with him, so he just walked around the playground by himself until the bell rang.

“Mom, I’m home!” Diego yelled as he slid through the door and sat down in the kitchen.

“How was school?” Mom asked.

“Not so good.” Diego grabbed an apple. “No one wanted to play with me at recess.” He could feel tears coming, so he squeezed his eyes shut.

“It’s hard feeling lonely or left out,” Mom said. She put her hand on Diego’s shoulder. “Maybe you could say a prayer for help.”

Diego rubbed his eyes. “Thanks,” he said and ran to his room. Did Heavenly Father really care if he had friends at recess? Diego knelt down and prayed that he could find a friend. When he finished, he felt a little better, but he still had no idea what to do.

After school the next day, there was a knock on the door. Diego ran to answer it.

“Hi, I’m Ruben,” the boy at the door said. He had just moved into an apartment downstairs. Diego had seen him on the playground today. “Do you want to play?”

Diego grinned. A friend to play with? It was an answer to his prayer!

They walked to Ruben’s place and sat down on the couch. Ruben’s older brother was playing a video game. Diego didn’t know what to think at first. The game was really violent and had gross pictures, but Ruben and his brother seemed to like it. “Get him!” Ruben shouted as they watched.

Diego felt his stomach squirm, and he stared down at his feet. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be watching video games like this one.

But what could he do?

He didn’t want his new friend to think he was too boring to play exciting video games. Would Ruben think he was weird if he spoke up?

He looked around the room and tried to think of other things they could do.

Diego took a deep breath. “Hey, umm … can you show me your room? Or maybe we can play somewhere else?” he said.

Ruben looked at Diego for a second. Diego bit his lip. Would Ruben say he didn’t want to play anymore?

Then Ruben’s eyes lit up. “Wait, do you like cars? I have the fastest cars in my room. Want to race them?”

Diego smiled and nodded. He followed Ruben out of the room. The heavy feeling lifted—he felt like he was floating down the hall! He was glad he had a new friend, and he was glad he hadn’t watched something bad.

“The red car is mine,” Ruben said, “but you can use the blue one or the green one. Which one do you want?”

Diego reached for the green car—his favorite color. This was an easy choice to make.