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Friend Story

In the sixth grade, J liked crocheting. She taught herself by watching videos. She stayed up to learn it and cried when she could not make it right at the beginning. And finally she got it and she made two gifts for both her teachers. Each teacher put the gift on her desk and the whole class could see it all the time. One boy was amazed and asked J to teach him crocheting. 

So on some days J told me she would have an appointment with the boy and help him in crocheting after school. The boy also asked her a lot of questions in their group chat. As they got close, they started joking around. They would kick each other’s shin for fun. But later, J felt hurt. 

I told J my story in my 2nd grade. I shared a desk with a boy. At that time, teacher usually assigned a good student and a naughty one at one desk, hoping the good one could help the one lagging behind the class.  For a while, the boy was watching some kungfu movies and liked practicing his iron palms by chopping on the edge of the desk. Then he tried it on me. He thought it was fun, but I felt hurt so much. I asked him to stop, he replied he did not feel hurt. Then I had to tell my parents. Then my parents told the teacher. The teacher said she thought we got along very well. Anyway, she moved that boy’s seat. 

So I suggested J two plans. The better one, talking to the boy seriously to make him stop. The last resort, kicking him back so hard as to make him feel the pain and understand what she means. Most important, I told her that she needed to set her boundary and to let the boy know of her boundary by talking to the boy seriously, if he hurt her again, she would not be his friend. Indeed, in every relationship, each party is checking the other’s boundary. With good communication, this relationship can nourish both parties. With bad communication, any good relationship can rot away. 

She did tell the boy that his kick hurt her. The boy joked, it meant to hurt. So J decided not to talk with him any more. 

In the meanwhile, the boy hurt J’s girl friends. These two friends were good at drawing. The boy asked each one to draw a cover for his genius project. So the girls helped him. Then he criticized and even compared their works. His behavior pissed the girls off and they kicked him out of their group chat. I commented you should not bite somebody who fed you, you should not belittle others, and you should not use others without appreciation. 

However, the boy could not understand why the girls were mad at him and kept bothering them. So the girls told on him to their teacher. He also complained to the teacher, “It is very difficult to make friends with the opposite sex.”  

One day J and her two girl friends were getting their bikes, the teacher came out of nowhere asking them how they had gone with the boy. They answered he just avoided us. 

J told me the boy was trying to approach her during the so-called  game and help her all the time. One time in class, she looked at the boy and found he was staring at her. It took him a few seconds to look away when he realized she was looking back at him. 

J told me that she would still like to be his friend but she would like to take time to go back as normal so that she did not hurt her girl friends feelings and would not give the boy wrong signal to go back as before. 

Many days went by and only two weeks were left before their graduation. I checked J how things had gone so far. J said she just inched forward. She would not feel regret if she had lost this friendship and if they could not mend together before the school was over. “Yeah, let it be.” I said to myself. so 

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