I was in high school, it was after a football game, strike that a powder puff game. A game between the girls of the high school for ‘fun’. Anyway, my friend and I were walking to the parking lot, she had played in the game, I had not, I was in track and my coach didn’t want me to get ‘hurt’ which I quickly accepted as my excuse. I don’t even remember if we won the game or not, it doesn’t matter. We were freshmen or sophomores, the juniors and seniors approached us and started to circle around my friend. I backed out of the circle. My friend was popular, pretty and therefore not liked by the older girls because she was ‘stealing the boys’, which she wasn’t. She had also been competitive about the powder puff game, appropriately competitive, she supported her team, she cheered for her team, she heckled the other team, all in good taste, mostly. Anyway, they circled her and that’s where it gets fuzzy, I didn’t come in to help her, I got so scared my head started to spin and I couldn’t see straight. I think one of them slapped her. I don’t remember leaving. I only remember the sinking feeling I had that day, to this. That I didn’t step up. It breaks my heart. This is the first I’ve written about it. First I’ve admitted it to anyone or myself even. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen, but the heart knows. I tried to talk to her about it one time, she didn’t really seem to remember either, or she was so disappointed she couldn’t talk about it. We are still friends, amazingly, a testament to her. I guess I just had to own it. I was an asshole in high school.