There’s this girl, Valerie, at my school. We’ve always been enemies, but… well, something really awful happened at our school… and she sort of saved my life that day.
The problem is, I never liked Valerie before. We never got along. And now I kind of owe her. Plus, I have a feeling she’s not as bad as everyone thinks she is. I’ve changed a lot since that day, and I think maybe she has, too.
Everyone pretty much hates Valerie now, and she knows it. She hangs around like a ghost at school, all by herself, never talking to anyone. I can tell she’s really lonely and sad.
I think maybe we could be friends, if she’d just let me in. I’m trying to get through to her, but I’m having a really hard time getting her to trust me. How do I get her to see that I’m not out to hurt her? Should I just leave her alone?
Trust is a hard thing to give. I know because I totally didn’t trust my sister, Roz, until recently. She didn’t deserve it. She chased after every boy I ever broke up with. Plus she had/has a serious blabbing problem.
It sounds like Valerie could use a friend right now. Sometimes the best way to earn someone’s trust is to show that you’ve changed. That’s what Roz did. Actions speak louder than a whole bunch of hot air, if you know what I mean :D.
There are risks of reaching out to her, of course. Fwooosh! Yes, that’s the sound of your rep going down the toilet. But you said you owed her. The course of true friendship never did run smooth. *
Best of luck!
*Apologies to Shakespeare (who is dead, but you never know)
Note: This letter comes courtesy of Jennifer Brown, author of the amazing and intense debut novel HATE LIST. For more about Jennifer and her novel, visit her website at http://www.jenniferbrownya.com.
If you have any other advice for Jessica, please leave a comment.
* please email Ask My Sister letters to firstname.lastname@example.org