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Sexting request ruins friendship

Dear Abby: Two years ago, when I was in 10th grade, I had a best friend, "Ben." We talked all the time, shared secrets and always hung out together. I never regarded him as someone I'd like to date, so I never took his attention very seriously.

That summer, he texted me and asked me to send him a picture of my breasts. When I said no, he became pushy. I told him I didn't know what he was going to do with the picture, and I didn't want to get in trouble. He was upset that I didn't "trust" him. I tried to explain that I couldn't assume he wouldn't do anything to hurt me. We didn't talk the rest of the summer.

The following year we had a chemistry class together, and Ben acted like he didn't know me. He deleted my phone number and dropped me as a friend on Facebook. Now, in our final year of high school, he's in another class with me. He still won't acknowledge me and is always flirting with my best friend.

I have cried so much over Ben. I miss him a lot. I don't understand why he's treating me this way. What did I do that was so awful? Is something wrong with me?

-- Bewildered in Pennsylvania

Dear Bewildered: You did nothing wrong. You considered Ben to be a friend, and I assume that you aren't in the habit of showing your male friends your breasts. It seems only logical that you wouldn't send a picture that could wind up heaven knows where.

Ben is acting this way because he is trying to punish you for not giving him what he wanted. He's flirting with your friend to hurt you and/or make you jealous. These are not the actions of a friend, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you will be. Ben strikes me as immature and a user, so be glad you didn't do what he wanted. It was good common sense.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.