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Choose your friends

Zaida Marie A. Tambis (The Freeman) - January 24, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Joseph is my childhood friend. We share our toys with each other and whenever he comes to the house, he eats with us at mealtimes because Mama said he is like a son to her. Whenever his parents go out of town, he sleeps over. It has been like that since we were in the second grade. However, now that we are in grade six, he seems to have changed and it makes me so sad.

We were answering our modules together at his house one morning when Joseph told me he was going to the bathroom. He didn’t come back for about an hour so I started calling him, “Joe! Where are you?” He didn’t answer.

I then started going up the stairs to his bedroom when I heard some music coming from his brother’s room. “Joe, are you in there?” I called again.

“Sshh, come in here and close the door behind you,” he said. To my surprise, he was using his brother’s play station.

“Are we even allowed in here?” I asked.

“Ssshh, just don’t say anything.”

I was amused observing how his fingers quickly pressed the different buttons on the controller and how the characters in the game moved. A few minutes later, I heard some footsteps outside the room. Joseph must have heard them too because he suddenly stood up. He panicked and immediately unplugged everything from the electrical socket. He shoved the controller into my hands just in time when his brother opened the door.

Stephen was so furious when he saw what I was holding in my hands. He screamed so loud that sent Joseph and me running down the stairs. Their mother just came in through the front door and asked us what just happened. Without hesitation, Joseph pointed at me and said, “He played with Kuya’s play station. I told him we shouldn’t enter his room, but he forced me.” I was so shocked that the words “Liar! Liar!” couldn’t come out of my mouth.

Mrs. Lim called my mother on the phone and told her what happened. “Wait for your mother, so we can discuss this with her.”

Mother came with my older brother, Kuya Raul. “Marvin couldn’t have done it. I have my own play station. I’ve tried teaching him how to play but he hasn’t shown any interest, even if he enjoys watching me play,” Kuya Raul explained.

Joseph apologized and I forgave him because he promised he wouldn’t do anything like that again. But he broke his promise many times and I went home crying every time.

“I think it’s time to spend more time with your other friends, Marvin,” Kuya Raul said. He knew that Joseph was my best friend but still he told me, “We should choose our friends wisely, you know. Let us spend time with those who are good and those who love us the way we love them.”

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