Age 13, USA
I was a freshman in high school. You were a junior. Your bedroom door was closed, and I don’t know why I didn’t knock, but I didn’t.
I walked in on you and your boyfriend. I froze, too stunned to move as you moved over him under the covers. Then you saw me.
“Get out! Get out! How dare you! Get the eff out!”
You shouted more things at me, things you’d never said before. Filled with hate. At that moment, I knew you despised me.
Those words hurt so badly, so much so that I couldn’t see past them. I thought we were friends. I thought you loved me. But you told me you hated me and I believed it. I was crushed. Devastated, not by what you were doing with your boyfriend, but by your rage. At that moment, no apology from me was enough.
So I betrayed you. I told Mom.
And I knew, the second I opened my mouth, that it was a huge mistake.
We lived with an abuser. And boy did you suffer. You ran away from home, were dragged back, and so much more. You ran away again.
I know now that it wasn’t my fault you left, but it did seem to be the final straw. We had suffered so much. In so many ways, you had the courage to do what I so desperately wanted to do. And that made me angry, too. Because it had been you who had stopped me from running away only a year before.
I’m so grateful there were angels watching over you. Kind, wonderful people. Because we all know what can happen to runaways. And I’m grateful to the family who eventually took you in.
I’m so sorry I betrayed you. I’m sorry we were never able to be friends or sisters again. But know this: Despite the hell we grew up in, we have both thrived, and I am proud of you.