Apologizing Isnt a Weakness
Lyubov Manzheeva, 15, Elista



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Sveta didnt know what to do. Her best friends, Sasha and Masha, had gotten into an argument. How could that happen? And Sasha wanted her to choose between them!

It was unbelievable to Sveta. The friendship of the three girls had been an example for other students. Most of the girls in class envied their friendship.

But that day something happened to change all that. Sasha and Masha were sitting in the classroom, talking with enthusiasm. Sveta was reading her history book and at the same time listening to her friends. Soon Sveta noticed they had started to argue.

Why are you always complaining? Sasha said in an irritated voice.

What? I am not complaining! You are wrong! If you dont like what I say, just tell me. I wont feel hurt.

The quarrel went on for a long time. The rest of the day Sasha and Masha wouldnt talk to each other. Then something more awful happened. Sasha came to Sveta and said, As you know, Masha and I had an argument. She was so terrible. I cant stay friends with her because she doesnt understand me. You cant be friends with both of us. You must choose: me or her.

Sveta was shocked. Sasha, you cant ask me to choose between my two best friends.

Well you have to; I cant be friends with you if you stay friends with Masha, Sasha said. She turned into the classroom.

When Sveta got home, she went straight to her mother.Mom, I need your advice. Im in a difficult situation.

What happened?

Today Sasha and Masha quarreled. And now Sasha wants me to choose between Masha and her. What should I do?

That is a strange thing for Sasha to ask you to do. You are all best friends. You cant break off your friendship that way. What do you think you could do?

Maybe I could help them compromise.

Thats good. Explain to both of them how important it is to be friends. You are right. Sometimes friends must compromise. It isnt a weakness. Maybe someone will have to apologize. Only a strong person is capable of understanding a mistake and knowing when to admit this to another person.

Mother, you are so wise.

The next day Sveta knew exactly what to do.

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She found Sasha and Masha in the classroom sitting on opposite sides of the room. Sveta asked Sasha to go into the hall to talk. I thought a lot about your quarrel. A wise person told me to make a compromise doesnt mean to be weak. Remember that Masha and you are friends, best friends. After all this time, you dont want to destroy it in one moment, do you?

Sasha looked down, Youre right. What should I do?

Make up with her.

I guess I should apologize, but it is hard after all I said.

Sasha kept her promise and the three of them saved their friendship. They learned that sometimes we just have to give in to someone else.


I. Understanding the story
Discuss this storys main idea with a partner.

II. Vocabulary
Match the words with their definitions.

A. compromise
1. to have a disagreement with someone
B. apologize
2. to have great interest and excitement
C. complain
3. to voice a negative opinion, express discontent
D. advice
4. two people giving in/up to solve a problem
E. quarrel
5. suggestions on how to do something
F. enthusiasm
6. to say that you were wrong

III. Now you Talk
1. Share a time when you had to apologize for something.
2. What advice would you give to the girls?
3. What was the argument between Sasha and Masha? Was it important?

IV. Now you Write
1. The dialogue when Sasha apologizes to Masha.
2. The main idea/s of this story in 3 to 5 sentences.
3. Sveta writes an email about this to a friend in another city.

V. Role Play
1. Masha, Sasha, and Sveta: They are talking about going to the movies.
2. Sasha and Masha: They have a big argument about a boy they both like.
3. Sasha and her mother: They talk about her argument with Masha.
4. Sasha and Masha: Sasha is apologizing; Mashas reaction.