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Friendship and Loyalty by Russell Madden A number of years ago I found myself in a precarious position Months before I had quit an excruciatingly unpleasant job after years of struggling to find another more satisfying position A second college degree I had obtained while working had led nowhere The small business I had started as a means to improve my economic situation had instead left me with a large debt I could no longer handle With considerable trepidation I had decided to undergo the slow torture of bankruptcy Selling my house at a considerable loss I had moved into a small efficiency apartment for the summer while I regrouped and tried to decide how to proceed with the next phase of my disrupted life My money ran out along with my lease Believing my landlord wanted to inspect the apartment on the last day of the month I asked a friend if I could stay with him and his wife that night after I turned in my key His answer left me incredulous and angry We dont get many evenings alone together because of our work schedules he said so we dont want you to come over Standing in the phone booth from which I called I told him that if they refused I would have to sleep in my car which did not even work at the time My friend Ill call him Charley told me that according to my own philosophy I should realize that their personal selfish desire to spend the evening together had to take precedence over my own needs Rather than argue I hung up and called my landlord prepared to face a night sheltered in my aging automobile To my surprise the inspection was delayed until the morning Years passed before I could bring myself to deal with my friend again Like many people who are vaguely familiar with Objectivism and who only imperfectly grasp
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