I met Megan when my family moved into our new house. She lived down the street, and we were both in Sister Crawford’s Primary class. We became friends and played together a lot. I watched Megan closely, trying to remember how she told a joke or how she fixed her hair or how she talked to other kids so easily. I thought Megan was perfect. I was shy. I wanted to be like Megan.
One day I called Megan to see if she wanted to play. She didn’t say anything at first.
“Caitlin is already over here,” she finally said.
Caitlin was in our Primary class too. I waited for Megan to invite me over, but she didn’t. Her end of the line was quiet.
“Oh. OK,” I stammered. Megan hung up without saying anything else.
That Sunday in Primary, Sister Crawford asked us, “What does it mean to be a good friend?”
I smiled at Megan, but she didn’t see me. She turned the other way and whispered to Caitlin. Suddenly Caitlin laughed out loud.
“Please quiet down, girls,” Sister Crawford said. They stopped whispering, but their shoulders trembled with giggles. Sister Crawford turned to me. “Angie, what do you think makes a good friend?”
“Well, someone who is nice and likes to play with you and—”
Megan and Caitlin giggled louder. My face got hot, and I looked at the floor. Were they laughing at me?
Sister Crawford frowned at them, then smiled at me. “That’s right, Angie,” she said. She looked around at the class. “How can you be a good friend?”
Adam raised his hand. “We can help people,” he said.
Sister Crawford nodded. “A good friend wants to help and serve others. Jesus Christ taught that when He lived on the earth. He also taught us that we should be kind to everyone.”
I looked at Megan and smiled at her. She didn’t smile back. I felt an empty spot in my chest. Didn’t Megan like me anymore?
At the end of the lesson, Sister Crawford held up a small basket. “I have something for you,” she said. She reached into the basket and showed us colorful strings that had been tied in small circles. “These are friendship bracelets. You wear it on your wrist, and whenever you look at it you can remember to be a good friend.”
Maybe friendship bracelets would help! Maybe Megan and I could get matching bracelets. As the basket went around the class, I leaned toward Megan. “What color are you going to get?” I asked her.
Megan shrugged. “Maybe a yellow one.”
“Me too,” I said.
Caitlin chose a blue bracelet. Then she passed the basket to Megan. Megan fingered a few bracelets, then pulled out a blue one too. I stared at her. Blue? She quickly handed me the basket. I stared into it, not knowing what to do. There were only yellow bracelets left. I slowly pulled one out.
Megan and Caitlin giggled and held out their arms side by side, admiring their matching blue bracelets. I felt a lump rise in my throat. Tears stung my eyes. I clenched my teeth together to keep from crying. I was not going to cry in front of them.
* * * *
I threw myself into Mom’s arms as soon as we got home from church. “What’s wrong, honey?” Mom asked as I started to cry. Through my tears I told her what had happened. She sat next to me on my bed and held me close. “I’m sorry, Angie,” she said.
“Doesn’t Megan want to be my friend anymore?” I asked.
Mom stroked my hair. “Sometimes we don’t know why people do certain things,” she said. “I’m sorry that happened.”
“Sister Crawford said today that we should try to be kind to everyone, like Jesus was. But I don’t want to be kind to Megan.”
“I understand,” Mom said. “But I also agree with Sister Crawford. It might be hard, but we should try to be kind even if someone hurts our feelings. Jesus taught us to forgive others.”
“How can I do that?” I asked. I thought of the way Megan and Caitlin had laughed, and I felt that empty feeling again.
Mom pointed to a figurine of a girl kneeling in prayer that I kept on my nightstand. “Whenever someone hurts my feelings, I ask Heavenly Father to help me forgive that person. I ask Him to soften my heart and the other person’s heart.”
“Does it work?” I asked.
Mom smiled and kissed the top of my head. “I always feel better when I’ve talked to Heavenly Father,” she said.
When I said my prayers that night I thanked Heavenly Father for the friendship I had with Megan. Then I asked Him to help me forgive her. I scrunched up my eyes and thought hard. “Please help Megan and me be friends again,” I said.
I prayed for those things for the next few days. On Saturday I was swinging on our swing set when Megan came up our walk. I stopped swinging. We looked at each other but didn’t say anything. Finally Megan reached out and put something in my hand.
“This is for you,” she said. I opened my hand and saw a blue friendship bracelet.
“Do you want to play?” Megan asked. “Caitlin is coming over to my house. We’re going to pretend we’re princesses, and Noodle is going to be the queen.”
Noodle was Megan’s gray-striped cat. I giggled, picturing Noodle wearing a crown. I felt the empty spot inside shrinking. “Yes, I’d like to come over,” I said. “Thanks.”
I smiled at her, and this time Megan smiled back.
“Each one of you can be a friend to someone, even if it is only by smiling. … Let the sunshine that is in your heart show in your face.”
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Your Light—a Standard to All Nations,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 113.