Contest Winner Blog: The Importance of Friendship by Sofia Guevara
Our summer writing contest has come to an end, and we are so excited to share our final winning entry! The runner up in our 10-12 age group is Sofia Guevara! Her story was inspired by hearing about the way other kids treated her uncle when he was younger. She felt strongly that it was worth speaking up about, and she did so through her writing.
To all those who had daughters enter a story, we hope that this was a great experience for you both. Thank you for helping her use her creativity in this way! We saw some absolutely fantastic entries, and it was so difficult to narrow it down to our winners. We hope that this contest encouraged the next generation of writers to create stories with a purpose, because what we read matters!
About the Author:
Sofia Guevara is 11 years old and just finished 5th grade. She has been writing for about two years, which pairs well with her love for reading. Her creativity extends into her free time where she enjoys performing in musicals and practicing ballet! Sofia also loves spending time with her family, chasing her little brother Zion, baby sister Josie, and hanging out with her big sister Isabel.
The Importance of Friendship
BBBRRRRIIIINNNNGGGGG!!! Wesley walked away, laughing, with what seemed to be her only friend, Tessa. They had just witnessed Josh, another middle-school boy, fall in the mud. They were just about to tease him, but the bell announced that school had officially started. Josh was different. He had special needs. Down-Syndrome to be exact. Anyway, Wesley was sitting in class, across from her bestie Tessa, the most perfect, prissiest, bully you have ever met. Everything about her was perfect. Tessa had long auburn hair that just, I don’t know, cascaded. Where as Wesley had long wavy blonde hair, that she always wore in a loose bun.
Wesley felt like she was carrying 1,000,000 rocks. What is it? She thought. No, no. It couldn’t be that. Could it? Wesley knew it was. She was used to teasing Josh. But she was also used to hiding her feelings about teasing him. She came off as cool, but inside she felt awful. But Tessa is my only friend! She thought. She looked over her shoulder to see Josh in the corner of the class. Alone. Deep, deep down inside of her, she knew something was wrong.
“Hey Wes! Come sit over here!” Tessa called at lunch.
“Sure!” Wesley called back with less enthusiasm than expected. “Hey, umm, Tess. Don’t you think that maybe we should, I don’t know. Lay off Josh for a while?” Wesley asked Tessa. Number 1 rule of being Tessa’s friend was, before you did anything, you had to run it by her. Tessa burst into laughter.
“You’re kidding right! That’s hilarious!” her face suddenly turned as solemn as a statue. “Listen here. If you want to turn into Miss Softie, then go ahead. Be friendless. I picked you up from the start. Just remember that.” She magnificently flipped her hair. Lord, what do I do? Wesley was torn between following her friend, and doing the right thing.
“Josh! That is amazing piece of art! You should display it in the fair next week!” praised Miss Joanna, who was the art teacher. She had jet black long hair, and a kind smile. Her hands were always covered with paint from her latest creation.
“Thanks Miss Joanna!” Josh replied. Another thing about Josh, when he got his hands on a paintbrush, there was no stopping him. While he was in the art room, for that half-hour, nothing mattered. The days’ troubles were forgotten. As soon as he got home his parents showered him with questions. Just like always. He told them that everything went perfectly. Which was a lie, but he hated to get people in trouble. He went up to his room and started to paint on his new easel. He thought to himself I wish I was just like the other kids. Why me, God? Why me?
That Sunday, Wesley was in a daze all morning. “What’s up, Doc?” asked her dad, imitating Bugs Bunny. He was flipping dark chocolate chip pancakes – Wesley’s favorite. She had been glum all weekend. Wesley wanted to help Josh, but Tessa was holding her back.
“Ok! Time to go!” Mrs. Perkins, Wesley’s mother, called from upstairs. Because it was Sunday, Wesley and her family went to church.
“You smell,” muttered her brother Everett. She normally would say something rude back, but this time she wasn’t phased. She was too distracted to care.
“Why do you think people are mean to other people?” Wesley asked. Her dad gasped. “She speaks!”
“No, dad. Seriously. Why?” Wesley asked yet a second time.
“Well,” her mother pondered. “Some people are insecure. They might bully others because
they have something going on at home. Perhaps their parents are fighting, or a family member just passed away, or a sibling left to live somewhere else.” her mother suggested. “Why, is there something going on at school?” Wesley’s mom was just about the nosiest person alive. She wanted to know about everything about her daughter’s life at school, at church, and just about everywhere else she went.
All Wesley could say was “Yeah. There is.”
In Sunday-School, there are always two verses you can memorize to win a prize. Wesley felt like God had spoken directly to the people who had picked the verses. The verses were Galatians 5:22-23a. Or the Fruits of the Spirit. And Matthew 7:12, which said to “Treat others as you want to be treated” Wesley couldn’t have asked for a better sign. She knew what she had to do.
Ding-Dong!!! Josh’s doorbell rang 20 or so minutes after they got home from church.
“Josh, honey! Open the door! But look through the hole first!” his mom called.
“Ok, Mom!” Josh called. He was expecting to see the mailman bringing him a letter, but instead, he saw the nervous face of Wesley.
“Hey Josh,” she said, not really knowing what to say. “Can I come in?”
“Umm. Sure!” Josh always thought Wesley was pretty.
“I wanted to apologize for teasing you. I really do feel bad,” a picture on the mantel caught her
eye. “Hey. Is that me in that picture?” She asked. The picture was of her and Josh at their pre-school graduation.
“Yeah it is!” Josh and Wesley used to be very good friends. “I wish we could be friends again.” Josh replied sadly.
“Well. Can we?” Wesley asked.
“Of course! Wait, won’t your friend get in the way?” “I’ll take care of that.”
Ding-Dong!!! This time it was Tessa’s doorbell. She saw Wesley. She quickly wiped her eyes and answered the door.
“Wesley! Come in!” Tessa smiled. Her face was tear stained.
“What’s wrong?” Wesley asked. Tessa was not the type to hide her drama.
“My mom and dad got a divorce. They’ve been screaming at each other for eight months now. My dad finally got tired of all the screaming and left. It’s just me and my mom now.” Tessa said in a rush.
“That’s awful.” Wesley couldn’t imagine how hard that was on her friend. She would be so lonely. She had no siblings, and no pets. Just her and her mom. Just then Josh came in. Everybody stood in a cold silence for a while.
“How much did you hear?” asked Tessa finally.
“All of it. I’m so sorry.” replied Josh.
“Hey. Umm listen, Josh,” Tessa said nervously. “I’m really sorry for taking all my problems out
on you just because you’re different. I was just so insecure that I had no one to talk to so I needed someone to take the stress off my back and you were the first person I thought of.” The words flowed like a rushing waterfall.
“I forgive you,” was all Josh could say. “So are we friends now?” “Friends, always.” said Tessa.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
Dannah Gresh’s Secret Keeper Girl Tour is a faith-based mother-daughter connecting experience. This 2 1/2 hour event features two fun fashion shows that demonstrate modesty and true beauty, deep Bible teaching, live worship, and stories that help girls aged 7-12 embrace true beauty and modesty. Incredible balloon sculptures, bouncing beach ball competitions, mother/daughter conversation time & colorful confetti cannons make the night unforgettable. Click the video below for a sneak peak.