I almost lost a friend to money.
She didn’t become addicted to it or anything, but it ripped our friendship to shreds. My friend and I were like family. When I came to FAMU, she made herself responsible for my well-being.
She always set me a plate aside when she cooked. She introduced me to her friends. She made my new situation feel like something I’ve known and cherished for years. She was like my sister, until I opened my pocketbook.
I saw my friend, my sister, was in a bind, I had to help. After all, I had the money to spare for the time being. She took it, somewhat hesitantly, and we went on like nothing had happened.
Then I needed the money back.
It was not paid back in the time we had agreed upon because of other situations that came up. It got to the point where I became paranoid, thinking I was being avoided for fear that the topic would come up. There were instigators, others in the circle who took time out of their lives to go back and forth with “he-said, she-said” talk and adding their two cents to make the situation worse.
Eventually, she repaid me, and I had my sister back.
She started nagging me about not making it to class again. She also started making my decisions for me. The fact that she was doing the things she used to do, the things I had longed for her to do, brought some normalcy back to our relationship.
But it may never be the same.
I am finally learning not to open my wallet for friends who find themselves in a jam. The topic of money, except for the famous “FAMU Net Check Waiting Game,” is now off topic for my friend and me.
And the next time I even think to pull the wallet from my pants pocket, I’ll think about the consequences. Especially when I think about the fact I almost missed out on having one of my best friends in my life.
Someone once said that you could not put a price on friendship. That person obviously never loaned a friend any money.
But I have and now I know to keep my pocketbook closed.
Marlon A. Walker, 21, is a senior newspaper journalism student from Detroit. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.