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Image by Obie Fernandez

Jimmy B, Karen, and Me

“A Short Story of Forgiveness”


No one could have convinced me that my heart would ever hurt as much as it did. I was only a young girl and I was in love! Jimmy B, to me, was the cutest young man that ever walked the planet and I only had eyes for him. He was not our middle school’s star football player. As a matter of fact, he did not even play sports, but he was on the honor roll and played in the band. He would have been what we would call a nerd today. But there was just something about Jimmy B that made little butterflies flutter in my stomach every time I got near him or heard his voice.

My best friend’s name was Karen and I told her everything. We had known each other since kindergarten. I knew that I could trust her with my secrets, and she could trust me with hers. We were kindred spirits and I loved her like a sister! She was the one who first introduced me to Jimmy B and for a long time we were like the Three Musketeers.

Living only a block or two from each other was great. We were always at each other’s houses. We would climb on the leveled-out part of Karen’s roof and use her telescope to watch the stars. We would fix sandwiches in my kitchen after school before studying for what seemed like hours. We would sit in the old wooden swing in Jimmy B’s backyard that was just big enough for the three of us and talk about whatever happened to cross our minds. Yes, the three of us were as thick as thieves.

I remember reading in my bible that a three-strand cord is not easily broken and that brought me hope. To me it meant that the bond that the three of us had would never be broken! Oh, how wrong I was. It never occurred to me that Jimmy B might not feel the same way about me. It never crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe he did not love me. I had no idea, at the time, how fickle boys could be and how insensitive they could become. I had no idea that I was about to be faced with the greatest heart break of my life and that my other best friend would be the cause of it.

The three of us had planned to meet at Jimmy B’s house after school. I received a text from Karen that she could not make it. A little later I received another text from Jimmy B saying that he had band practice, so he had to cancel too. I had no idea at the time that Jimmy B’s parents were out of town and that there was no band practice that day. I went home and suddenly alarm bells started going off inside of me. You know how you know that something is wrong, but you just cannot put your finger on it? I called Karen-no answer. I texted Karen-no text back. I called Jimmy B-no answer. I texted him too and got no text back. Hmmm, something was going on. Something was not quite right.

I quickly threw on my jacket and headed toward Karen’s house first. Her mom told me that she had gone to the mall and that she thought that she was with me. I played it off and told her that we must have missed each other and that my phone had died. Lord, “Forgive me for that lie.” Real panic started to set in now as this was not like Karen. We always knew where the other one was, and always covered for each other. I almost ran to Jimmy B’s house. I knocked on the door, no answer. I went to the back door, still no answer. I was about to leave when I heard this voice inside telling me to climb up the tree to where Jimmy B’s bedroom window was. I began to feel a sense of urgency that seemed to surge through my entire being. Thank God the window was open and then I saw them. My two best friends sitting on the floor eating banana splits, giggling like two five-year olds and they had not invited me! It was as if my whole world had come crashing down. They had not included me. They had purposely shut me out and I was livid. I was hurt. I wanted some answers and I wanted them now. They were both startled to say the least to see me and immediately started making excuses. Karen, “Oh we knew that you were allergic to bananas.” Jimmy B, “Karen said that you wouldn’t wanna come.” I told Karen that I blamed her for this because Jimmy B was too stupid to know how to plan something like this. I said a lot of things in the moment that no Christian would even entertain!

That day it felt as if my whole world had come crashing down. Some will probably laugh when they read my story; thinking that it was nothing but to a young, overweight, pimply faced, low self esteem teenager it was a BIG deal. Karen was always the thin one with the smooth skin and beautiful straight teeth. Jimmy B was the smart one who rarely had to study and was easy on the eyes too. They always seemed to breeze through any situation, and I was the one who had to struggle. As a matter of fact, climbing that tree to get up to his window was no small feat. By the time I made it up that tree I was so out of breath that I thought I might need an inhaler.

So many questions plummeted my mind. I wondered why they had not included me. I wondered if it was because I was not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough. My heart hurt so bad that I thought that I did not want to live. My two besties had shut me out. We were no longer like the Three Musketeers. They were a couple and I was just not. I felt so alone and had no idea what to do about it. I remember crying for a long time after going home. I felt too embarrassed to even go to school. And to add insult to injury they never texted me nor called me. It was the end of the school year, so I did not have a lot of time left to have to deal with them. I avoided them the best I could keeping my head down whenever I saw either of them.

Mama used to say that time heals all wounds. Not! It was the Lord who healed my broken heart. As I got older, I came to see the situation differently. To think that I almost lost two besties over a banana split is a laughing matter now. It has been years now and all three of us since have learned much about love, loyalty, and relationships. These are lessons that I have taught our daughters. Did you catch that? Did you catch…almost lost two besties and our daughters? You see, the three of us made up and Jimmy B and I got married. We now have three beautiful daughters and Karen is still my best friend who married Jimmy B’s oldest brother. I am still allergic to bananas and we are still like the Three Musketeers. I am still not thin. Who knew that Jimmy B liked girls with a little meat on their bones? He now looks like my dad. He has a bald spot now but is still the cutest guy on the planet. Karen is still thin and gorgeous, and I still trust her with all my secrets. Forgiveness is one of those treasures that helps us heal.

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