Keeping a Secret

A couple years ago a friend entrusted me with a secret about some family issues she had been facing. It was in my first year of high school and this girl, whose name I wish not to disclose so I shall refer to her as Kim. Kim and I had just recently met, since we shared the same science class and quickly friends. Kim was a reserved person that usually kept to herself and always wore long clothing. I had been very observant of her habits, which were: refusing to eat lunch and refusing to take off her sweater, even when it was too hot for her to withstand.

After a couple of months of being friends, I asked Kim about her strange habits because I began to worry for her well-being since she seemed to become more fragile every day at school. Upon asking, Kim got very nervous and began to get a little shaky when she tried to speak. I told her it was alright if she wished not to reveal it to me, but if she needed someone to speak to I volunteered to be an open ear. Kim then calmed down a little bit with that response and a couple days later approached me saying, “I want to talk to you about something. Something I can no longer keep to myself and I wish to tell you as long as you can keep it a secret.”

With that I got worried, but was open ears to listen to her secret. Kim then told me about her family issues, being that her father abused her and her mother at home. She then explained that the reason she never takes off her sweater was so that no one could see the bruises that her step-father had left on her. I was shocked by her courage to show me the bruises, as well as, to tell me about the situation. In her eyes, there was pain from thinking back from the memories from home. I proceeded to ask her why she didn’t tell an adult or call the authorities on her step-father.

Kim couldn’t call the authorities on her step-dad because he was their only source of income since her Mother could not support herself nor her daughter. Her mother tried to bare the pain for her Daughter to live a better life that her Step dad promised her Mom that he would give to her. Learning this secret and having to keep it to myself was awful since I wanted to help her, but I know it could have worsened the situation. A couple of weeks after she confessed to me about her secret, Kim fainted in the spill out area due to heat stroke.

She was taken to the infirmary to be treated and when they took off her sweater her bruises were revealed to the staff who instantaneously got worried and began to investigate. However, she made excuses saying it was due to a sport she played after school. The teachers didn’t believe it so they began to ask her friends, which happened to be me, to see if they knew anything. I knew and it tore me apart keeping this secret, but I knew I had to keep it for her till she could confront and resolve it on her own.



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