I remember well that summer day from my childhood when we played with Mike in the yard. It was hot, and the air was hard to breathe. We sat down under the tree to hide from the burning sun. The slight wind tenderly touched the leaves and they produced a charming melody. We did not talk to each other, just listened to those fascinating sounds.
Suddenly, Mike jumped up and pulled me by my sleeve. "Come on! I can't stand this heat. It's high time to eat an ice-cream!" he said enthusiastically. We rushed to his home, where his mother, a genial big-hearted woman with the sparkling eyes, kindly asked me to have dinner with their family. It seemed to me that she resembled my mother in some way. I have always admired her kindness and patience.
I was a frequent guest in Mike's house. His parents used to welcome me almost every day, as well as my parents used to welcome Mike. He was like a brother to me. We watched cartoons, ate different snacks hiding them from adults and did many other things that children do. We played chess and "Monopoly," but Mike never let me play with a wooden ship that stayed on the shelf.
Once I could not resist the desire to take the ship from the shelf to look at it closely. I always admired that wooden masterpiece, and it was a breath-taking moment when I held it in my hands. It amazed me by its heaviness, elegance, and majesty. Pleasant by touch lacquered surface gleamed and glittered in the sun and made the eyes squint by its shine. The well-proportioned curves created the sophisticated form of the ship. The ivory-colored sails looked clean, without any speck of dust.
Consumed by my thoughts, I did not notice Mike's cat that was hanging around me. All of a sudden, it jumped on the table and frightened me by its unexpected appearance. My arms became weak, and I dropped the ship on the floor. Mike nervously ran up to it. I kneeled down and was paralyzed by shock: magic ivory-colored sails that I admired a few seconds ago broke off with the crunch.
Mike looked at me his eyes full of tears: "What did you do?" he cried out furiously. Shuttering in the utter confusion I tried to make excuses, but he flight into a rage. He did not listen to my unintelligible words at all. He turned me out of the house, and I went away not able to gather my senses. I did it unintentionally and could not understand why he was so rude to me.
I could hardly plod home, but, totally depressed, I decided not to come in. I did not want my mother to see me in that state and had no intention of telling her about the incident. I dragged my feet to the yard and sat down under the apple tree, where we were sitting with Mike that morning. At that time, I thought that it was the darkest period of my life. I felt abandoned and lonely.
The next day I woke up with the thought about Mike. Being frustrated, I felt a little queasy thinking about the meal, so I refused to take breakfast. Sitting in my room and looking at the sun dapples through my window, I tried to understand why did my best friend was so angry with me. "It was just a wooden ship! Was it possible that Mike fell out with me because of that thing? Of course, that it was unusually amazing, but was it more significant than our friendship?" I thought. All those reflections led to even greater disappointment.
Offended by Mike's behavior, I decided that our friendship meant nothing for him and tried to calm myself, thinking that I did not need such a friend - a friend who could betray our friendship because of trifles. I was a vulnerable child, and my spiritual wounds did not disappear but became more painful, burning a hole in my soul.
It was unbearable for me to stay at home, alone with my gloomy thoughts. I went out hoping that the noise of the street would help me to distract my attention from those reflections and to ease my distress. Quite the contrary, the streets carried me back since we used to walk there every day. Together. But I was alone at that moment.
I thought about friendship in its general notion and wondered whether it was possible to be friends the whole life, whether it happened in reality or was it just a fiction, invented for movies. I wondered what was the meaning of that magic word and what should people do to stay friends. I wondered how to distinguish a real friend from a selfish person. However, no thinking helped me to answer what was wrong with our friendship. The string of thoughts in my little head resembled the swarming of bees in the hive.
In two days, Mike called me. I felt guilty for breaking his ship and wanted to excuse and become reconciled with him. However, my pride did not let to answer his call. It was impossible for me to forget about the offense. I thought that it would be better to stay lonely than be abandoned one more time. It seemed to me that I stopped to believe in friendship and that I would never be able to trust someone again.
Some days later, Mike came to my house. I could not but let him come in. He apologized for his behavior and explained that the ship was significant for him as it was a memorable present from his grandfather, who departed this life two years ago. His grandfather was a sailor, so he made that ship with the passion to give it to Mike as a keepsake.
"How could I think so badly about Mike?" - I thought to myself. I tried to smooth over the bad feeling and excused for doing harm to his memorable thing. I explained that it happened unintentionally. Of course, he knew that as it was. A sense of relief filled my exhausted mind.
Later, I found out that Mike's mother was that good fairy who saved our friendship. When she was told about the quarrel, she told Mike that it was possible to glue his significant present, but it was impossible to "glue" the friendship. She also told Mike that his grandfather always appreciated his friends and he would not approve Mike's behavior. She taught a good lesson for us. Thanks to her, our friendship survived then. It is still alive.
Due to that childhood incident, I learned to value the friendship, to be there for friends in any situation, to be able to understand and forgive, to calm and support when needed. No other feelings are more important than love and friendship. It is necessary to bring up these two major components of happiness from the very childhood. I am extremely grateful to Mike's mother for her wisdom and powerful kindness.