Friendship Essay

In elementary school, every student had to write a persuasive five paragraph essay about why their best friend was literally the "best" friend. One of my friends, we'll call him Ronald, wrote his essay about me.

I wouldn't have known I was the subject of his essay except that Ronald's mother mailed my family a copy. She thought it would be nice for my parents to see all the nice things Ronald had to say about me. While I found it flattering, it also put me in an awkward position because I couldn't exactly return the favor seeing as I hadn't written my essay about him.

I hadn't written my essay about anyone in particular, actually. I made up a phony friend for the purpose of the essay. I had friends, I just didn't think of any of them were going to seem awesome enough on paper to earn a good score on the essay. It was much easier to persuade the graders that my friend was the "best" when I could make up any attributes I wanted. I fully acknowledge that this says a lot of sad things about me, but I maintain that I wasn't entirely awful… and I have Ronald's essay to prove it! 

Nevertheless, I've always felt a little guilty about that situation. That guilt is only compounded by the fact that last I knew, Ronald was in a halfway house.

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