The Story of Kyle
when I was a freshman in high school,
I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
His name was Kyle. It looked like he
was carrying all of his books. I
thought to myself, "Why 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 friend tomorrow afternoon),
so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was 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
jogged over to 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 thanks!"
There was a big smile on his face.
It was one of those 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, so I 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,
"Damn boy, you are gonna really build some
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
When we were seniors, 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 a 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 of
those guys that really found himself
during high school. He filled out and
actually looked good in glasses.
He had more dates than me and all the girls loved
him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous.
Today was one of those days. I could see
that he was nervous about his speech. So,
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. "Thanks," he said.
As he started his speech,
he cleared his throat, and began.
"Graduation is a time to thank those who
helped you make it through those tough years.
Your parents, your teachers,
your 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 how he had
cleaned out his locker so his
Mom 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 boy told us all about
his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and
dad looking at me and smiling that same
grateful smile. Not 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.
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