One day, when I was a fresh man in high school, | saw a kid from my class was walking home fmm school.
His fearne was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "hhy would anyone
bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and
a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon}, so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As Iwas walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of
his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass
about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him.
So, I jagged over ta him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives? He looked at me and
said, ''Hey thankss There was a big smile on his face. It was one ofthose smiles that showed real gratitude. I
helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, sol asked
him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have
never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He
turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my
friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my
friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said,
Boy, you are gonna really build same serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed
and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were
seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew
that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor,
and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being nerd. He had to prepare a speech
for graduation. I was so glad it wasn' t me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great He was one ofthose guys that really found himself ring high
school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls
loved him. Bay, sometimes I . Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous
about his speech. Sp, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy. you' ll be great?' He looked at me
with one of those looks (the really grateful one} and smiled. 'Than ks," he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "G radiation is a time to who
helped you make it rough those tough years. Your parents, headteachers, pour siblings, maybe a
coach... but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift
you can give them. I am going to tell you a story"
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill
himself over the weekend. He talked of haw he had cleaned out his locker so his Mam wouldn' t have to do
it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was
saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. "I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this
handsome, popular bay told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and
smiling that same grateful smile. Nat until that moment did I realize it' s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person' s life. For
better or for worse.