Sarah's Two Faces

'Bye!” Sarah and Sandy said to each other as Sandy got in the car. Tears filled Sarah's eyes, but Sandy just looked ahead as the car pulled away—like she was glad to go.

'It seems strange to think the Perkins won't be back,” Sarah's mom said with a big sigh. 'They have lived next door to us since you girls were babies! I'm going to miss them.”

'Me, too,” Sarah said, sniffling.

'I'm surprised that Sandy didn't seem sorry to go,” Mom said. 'She didn't even wave to you as they drove off.”

'I know,” Sarah said. More tears welled up in her eyes and spilled over. She brushed them away with the back of her hand.

Mom turned toward Sarah. 'Is there a problem, honey?”

'I don't really want to talk about it,” Sarah said with a catch in her voice.

'You'll feel better if you do, Sarah!” Mom said. 'Sit in the porch swing, and I'll bring us some lemonade.”

Sarah pushed the swing into motion with her toe. When Mom came out and handed her a frosty glass, Sarah kept looking at the porch floor and fiddling with the end of her braid.

Sipping lemonade, Mom studied her daughter for a moment. 'Okay,” she said, 'what's up?”

'Well, I fibbed to Gigi and Margo about Sandy. I said she wasn't my friend,” Sarah said. Fresh tears ran down her cheeks.

'Sarah!” Mom exclaimed. 'You've been friends with Sandy since you were tiny!”

'I know, Mom,” Sarah said, wiping tears on her t-shirt sleeve. 'I just wanted Gigi and Margo to be my friends, too, and they wouldn't if they thought I was friends with Sandy. They don't like her homemade clothes! I said I didn't like her clothes either.”

'Sandy has homemade clothes because Mr. Perkins has been ill, Sarah.”

'Oh, I know,” Sarah said. 'But Gigi and Margo wouldn't be my friends if I was friends with Sandy, so I said I wasn't.”

'So, to Gigi and Margo you pretended not to be friends with Sandy, and to Sandy you pretended not to be friends with Gigi and Margo,” Mom said. 'Is that right?”

'Yeah,” Sarah said with a sob.

'Well, I'm afraid you're being two-faced,” Mom said. 'You show one face to Gigi and Margo (that you don't like Sandy) and another face to Sandy (that you do). Being two-faced is lying, Sarah. How did Sandy find out?”

'I think Gigi and Margo told her what I said,” Sarah explained. 'I wanted to tell her I was sorry, but I just couldn't find the words.”

'It is not too hard to say, 'I'm sorry; I was wrong,'” Mom scolded gently.

'I know, but I couldn't find the right time,” Sarah said. 'I guess I was ashamed of myself . . . and now it is too late. She's gone!”

'Once words are said, we can never take them back,” Mom said, gently rubbing Sarah's shoulder. 'But the Perkins will soon have a phone, and you can talk to Sandy and apologize.”

'Do you think she'll forgive me?” Sarah said.

'Probably,” Mom replied. 'You've been friends for a long time. But, remember, I never again want to see the two faces of Sarah!”

Sarah nodded, leaned against her mother's shoulder, and took a sip of lemonade. 'Me neither!” she said.