Sometimes your best friend WILL stab you in the back

I learnt this the hard way. I was 21 when this lesson came upon me, and probably for the rest of time I will miss my ex-best friend.

We were finishing the first semester of our final year of university when she betrayed me.

I’ll start from the beginning…

I met her when I was just two years old, so young in fact I don’t actually recall really meeting her, she was just always there. We lived on the same street, we went to the same nursery school, the same infants, juniors, seniors and then the same university. We studied for the same degree and lived in the same house. We joked that we would be in the same nursing home together one day.

We even used to discuss how never once in the 19 years of friendship had we ever had a single fight.
Doing the same course meant that when it came to coursework we would always help the other one out by proof reading for the other. In this case we had two essays due at the same time, one in English History and one in German History. I decided to start well in advance and decided to do the German History essay first, being that it was my strongest subject and I wanted to get a rough draft in by the date given by our tutor. I wanted to really excel in this essay, get an amazing grade which would help me out with my final grade. I got my essay done really early in the semester, I handed in my rough draft in plenty of time and then made the necessary adjustments. I then submitted it about 2 weeks early, just as to get it out of the way. I submitted it before my best friend had even started hers. She started the English History one first.
She proof read mine before I handed it in and I had a copy in my room once it had been submitted, which I let her look over to see how I had structured things. I had no reason to worry, she was my best friend, and this was something we had done millions of times before (that being I let her look over my work, and me looking over hers).

Both my essays had been handed in by the time she started hers, like I said, I started mine early. When I was reading through her German History essay I noticed how like mine it sounded. Alarm bells should have gone off then and I should have done something about it. But I didn’t. I let it go, she handed hers in and then we all went home for Christmas break.

When we returned to university I had all but forgotten it, other things got in the way (we found out our landlord had made off with all our rent and had not been paying the mortgage on our house, meaning it was now being repossessed, and we were being evicted. We had to find somewhere to live by the time we were going back in January). Our first lecture back in German History and we received our essays back. I was excited because I knew that I had put so much effort into it, and I was really sure I would get a good grade. When I received my essay back I saw the grade ‘E’ and a note saying ‘This essay shows evidence of collusion with ***** *****. Please see me’.

I knew it. I knew when I proof read it. I looked up the row of our friends to where she was sitting, holding the same essay as I submitted, with the same comments on the front. She had the look of on her face of guilt, and I knew that because I had known her for so long, I really could read her like a book. I whispered to my friend, who I had told back around the hand-in date that I suspected this, so she wasn’t surprised. I rang my mum, who also knew, and she was fuming.

We had to go for a meeting with my tutor, and were to take our parents along. I went in first, and then her. I was told that either we would both take the penalty (collusion) or one of us would (plagiarism). I wasn’t worried, I had plenty on my side. The fact that the tutor had seen my submitted rough draft, and I had submitted it early. Emails from my so called best friend to another friend around 3 weeks after I submitted it stating that she hadn’t started it yet, MSN Messenger conversations in the same ilk, and the dates logged on my Microsoft word from the start of the document up until the last save. Every piece of evidence I had I printed off and presented it to them. My tutor remained frosty, but the other lady in there said it was clear I had done nothing wrong.

Now I must note at this point that for some reason that tutor didn’t like me. That’s not an excuse here, she just didn’t. I am not sure what I had done prior to this but she was always frosty with me, and didn’t really care for what I had to say. This was mighty clear some months later when she was my dissertation tutor. When I received that back her first mark had been 59%, the second marker gave me 79% and they had to agree somewhere inbetween. Twenty marks different.

Anyway, a few weeks passed and I received a letter thanking me and my parents for our attendance at the meeting, and that it was clear by my version of events and all the evidence I had presented that I had no case to answer and the case was closed. I was so happy, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong and then it being proved was a really big thing.

I presumed that this meant my now ex best friend had taken the penalty. (I should probably add at this point that the low marks in the essay was due to the plagiarism/collusion issue, and I was told that a real mark would be reinstated should I be found innocent).

Because our friendship group was so interwined by this point it was easy to find out what she had been told after the meeting. I couldn’t find out exactly, but a friend said all she said was that she was cleared too. And this must have been the case because she graduated, and if she had been found guilty she would have been one module down.

My mark was never reinstated, and therefore she graduated on my merit, and because my grade was never reinstated I drop a class boundary.

I used to be angry, I’m not anymore. I lost one of the greatest people in my life and for that I am sad, and probably always will miss her. However, I don’t think I could ever trust her or forgive her for what she did anyway. If she had come to me and admitted it and apologised it would have been ok. But she didn’t. Never once has she admitted it, and never once did she say sorry.

Sometimes the people you meet at uni become your lifelong friends but you can also loose lifelong friends there too.