Glenda Reilley met her best friend who had betrayed her forty years before and realized that she couldn’t blame her, only thank her.
Glenda Reilley and Dina Muscovich were best friends from grade one and all through middle school and high school. They shared everything, except Hank — he was Glenda’s boyfriend from the time they were 13.
The idea that Glenda and Dina would ever be anything but best friends was unthinkable until they went to college, different colleges, and a man came between them.
Glenda never imagined that a trip back home would bring her face to face with her betrayer. It had been forty years since she had seen Dina for the last time, and as far as she was concerned, ‘never’ would have been soon enough.
But one look at Dina produced the opposite reaction to what she had imagined. There was no wave of hate, anger, and resentment, instead, she felt pity for the woman standing before her, a woman she remembered as bubbly, beautiful, and energetic.
Glenda had walked into the hairdresser and there was Dina, forty years older, of course, but looking decades older, and worse of all, looking defeated.
The moment Dina saw Glenda her face lit up and for a moment she looked like the old pretty, hopeful Dina. “Glenda!” she cried, jumping up from her chair in the waiting area. “Oh Glenda! You look beautiful!”
Glenda stood frozen, staring at her former friend. Had Dina forgotten what she had done to Glenda? Had she forgotten how she had shattered her trust, broken her heart?
Betrayal by a friend is more hurtful than the treachery of a lover.
It had all started when Glenda had been accepted to a prestigious Ivy League college, while Dina and Hank had remained to attend their local state college. Even though they would be thousands of miles apart, Glenda and Hank had promised each other they would be faithful.
Glenda had thought Dina would be around to keep an eye on her handsome boyfriend. She never imagined how close Dina and Hank would become. At the end of Glenda’s first year in college, she’d come home excited by the thought that she’d be with her boyfriend and her best friend.
Glenda was in for a huge surprise. She immediately noticed that Dina and Hank seemed to be a lot closer, and exchanged meaningful glances over her head… Something was going on.
Glenda found out exactly what when she walked in on Hank and Dina having sex in her own kitchen during her birthday party. Glenda had exploded with rage and pain. Betrayed not only by her boyfriend but also by her best friend, the girl she loved like a sister.
The next day Glenda had taken a plane to the East Coast and she had never come back again. Her parents and her siblings had visited her in Boston, and Glenda vowed never to return.
Now, forty years later, after meeting and marrying a wonderful man, mothering three amazing kids and a hugely successful career as an editor, Glenda had returned for the wedding of one of her nieces.
That she would be facing the heartbreak she’d left behind at 19 had never occurred to her, yet here she was, looking at a smiling Dina who didn’t seem to remember what she’d done.
“Do you remember what you did to me, Dina?” Glenda asked. “I believed in you, I trusted you. It took me years to trust anyone again, do you know that?”
Dina squared her shoulders and looked Glenda in the eye. “I remember,” she said softly. “There hasn’t been a day in the last forty years that I haven’t thought about what I did Glenda, and believe me, I’ve paid for it over and over again.
“Hank… I married Hank, you know, and it was the biggest mistake of my life. He started drinking, then he started beating me… There were no babies, and when I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago he left me.
“He said he should have stuck with you, and that I was the biggest mistake of his life.”
Glenda stepped forward impulsively and took Dina’s hands. “Oh no!” she gasped. “I had no idea! Are you OK now?”
Dina smiled through her tears. “I’m in the clear, no cancer — and no Hank either which is good news too, but I always felt that everything that happened was God’s punishment for having betrayed you.”
Dina regretted what she’d done to Glenda for the rest of her life | Source: Pexels
“No,” cried Glenda. “You mustn’t think that, ever! In a way you saved me! Do you think Hank would have treated me any better? I don’t!”
“Maybe not,” Dina whispered. “I’ve missed you so much, Glenda!”
The two women held each other and wept for the wasted years and the pain that had divided them for so long. Now they had a chance at a new beginning which started with forgiveness and promised many years of renewed friendship.
What can we learn from this story?
Betrayal by a friend is more hurtful than the treachery of a lover. Glenda was devastated because the person who she would have turned to for help and support was the woman her boyfriend had betrayed her with.
Stolen love never brings happiness. Dina took her best friend’s sweetheart, but it brought her no joy. He turned out to be a vicious drunk and a wife-beater who abandoned her as soon as she became ill.
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