Have you ever had a memory from your younger days that came at you from out of the blue? It happened to me today as I was driving home from getting groceries. I believe it was a defining moment in my life.
It happened about 30 years ago when I was 15 or 16 and my friend was 13 or 14. I walked to her house to get her so we could go hang out. When I arrived at her house, her father met me at the door and walked me back to her room. A bit unusual, but I had no idea what was coming. When we entered her room, her dad picked up a pack of cigarettes and said to me, "are these yours?". They weren't. I had a split second to make my decision whether I was going to throw my friend under the bus and let her get beat up by her abusive father, or if I was going to take the blame for her and take the chance that her father would tell my father and I could be beat up by my abusive father. I glanced at her face and knew I had to take my chances. When I saw the look of terror there, I saw myself. I said to him, "Yes, I asked her to hold them for me. I'm sorry.". He walked over to me, handed me her cigarettes, and walked out of the room.
I knew I did the right thing.
It was the moment I knew who I'd become.
And he never did tell my father...