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A Friend in Need
By Ali Robertson
As soon as I heard the faint sound of my parents’ door
close, I hopped out of bed and opened my closet
door. In the corner was my friend, Ilisa. She had been
living in my closet for a week now. She ran away
from home about three weeks ago. She says after her
parents’ divorce, all her mom and her do is fight. One
time, it turned into violence. That’s when she left.
Since then, this is her fourth home. After three or four
days, all of her other friends shooed her out the door.
I opened up a cabinet and handed her a bowl of soup.
She sipped it with peace, but knowing only more
terror was on its way.
“Um, Ilisa?” I whispered. “When are you planning on
“Never,” she replied. I sighed. I didn’t know how much
longer I could keep doing this.
I went back to sleep, though.
Over the next few days, Ilisa got very whiny and
demanding. She got so annoying, I finally yelled at
“Ilisa, I can’t keep doing this! You’re invading my
space, my privacy and my life!”
“So… you’re kicking me out?” she asked softly.
I let out a big sigh, and started to breathe a bit.
“No. But I wish you’d at least think about what you’re doing
– to your friends, to you, to your mom.”
“Look, you don’t understand. You get along with your
mom fine. I’m doing what I have to do!” she cried.
“Maybe if you just swallow your stupid pride, accept
fate how it is and move along, you’d be going
somewhere!” I huffed and ran outside. I decided to
take a long, long walk. I thought and I thought. After
a while I started to realize Ilisa’s situation. I decided to
go back and apologize for my outrage.
When I arrived back, Ilisa was gone. I searched the
whole house. I started to panic. What if she had done
something to herself? Because of me!
After more searching, I finally told my mom everything.
We called Ilisa’s house but no one answered. We called
all of my friends and all of Ilisa’s friends. She wasn’t
anywhere. Finally, we called the police.
After two days of intense fright, the police called
back. They said Ilisa was fine. I ran up to my room
to call her again when I heard a distant ‘bing’ on my
computer. It was a message from Ilisa.
I just wanted to thank you for the hospitality you gave
Also, thank you for making me realize I had to do
something. My mom and I are in therapy and we’re
working out all our problems. You’re the only one that
has actually treated me like a person over the past
few weeks. Thanks again. — Ilisa”