--Split Decision--

Do you ever wonder if you might be bipolar and you just don't know it yet?

It's been four days since Emily dropped the bombshell about her pregnancy, and I think I've calmed down a little bit. Or maybe I'm just numb now, so I don't know the difference. I'm still not happy for her, and she wants me to be happy for her so badly, but I just can't do that yet. Maybe that makes me the Worst Friend in the World, but there's nothing I can do about the way I feel – or at least nothing that I can do without heavy medication, and I'm not going to become a pharmaceutical zombie over this.

We're all talking again, at least – and there hasn't been any more screaming or crying since that first night. I talked to Vanessa first, and she's taking this news a lot better than I am. I don't know why, because Nessa has more plans and a better idea of what she wants to do with her life than I do, and there's no room in her plans for a baby or a husband any time soon. Maybe not ever. Nessa is really strong, and she doesn't take shit from anyone, and she just knows where she's going and what she's going to do when she gets there. There's no question about it, either. It's going to happen, because Nessa says so, and that's that.

So after that first day, Vanessa got really pissed that I was ignoring her texts, and she showed up at my house in the middle of the night. She woke everyone up (except for me – it's not like I was sleeping at that point). When Mom answered the door, Nessa told her about Emily, and then walked up to my room like it was nothing out of the ordinary for her to show up at two-thirty in the morning because Emily is a teen pregnancy statistic. Mom and Nessa are a little bit alike, and Mom has always liked her better than Emily, so even though I'm sure that Mom was dying to barge in and find out what we were talking about and what the hell was going on, she just went back to bed and left us alone. There were a zillion questions the next morning, but she's my mom – what else could I expect?

Vanessa pretty much told me that I was being a horrible bitch and the Worst Friend in the World, and that I needed to get my head out of my ass and be there for Emily because she really needed us right now. There was a lot more to it than just that, but that's the important part. When I see it like that – just a simple sentence that lays it out there – it makes perfect sense, and I understand that's what I'm supposed to be doing. But there's still all this stuff in my head that's trying to make this be about me and what I want and how I feel and what I'm going through… But I guess the truth is that it doesn't really matter much what I think or what I feel. This really is all about Emily and her birth control accident, and I need to understand that better. I want to understand that better, but I also still want this to be about me, because I want someone to understand how upset I am about all of this.

Hell, I want someone to explain to me why I'm so upset about all of this.

Vanessa thinks that Em is making a huge mistake, too, and she said that she wonders if we'll even be friends anymore in a year or two, but she didn't seem all that upset about it. I've thought about that, too, and that's one of the things that has me most upset. Shouldn't I be upset when I think that one of my two best friends might not be one of my two best friends anymore? Maybe everyone loses some of their friends after high school when everyone goes out to do whatever they're doing and moves out and leaves for college and starts working full-time. Maybe that's supposed to happen, and maybe it's not as big a deal as I think it is when the best friends that you've ever known start to grow apart from you and you don't talk and hang out like you used to. But maybe I didn't want that to happen to us. Maybe I wanted us to stay together and stay close and still be friends no matter where we went or what we did or how much things changed. Maybe I thought that we could do that, and maybe I don't understand why everyone thinks it's so selfish of me to want that to happen.

How can I be the Worst Friend in the World when all I want is for my friends to stay friends and stay happy?

Nessa pisses me off sometimes, anyway. Just because she has it all figured out doesn't really make her any better than the rest of us, but she acts that way sometimes. She's always had a superiority complex, but it was always the charming kind, until it got a lot worse during senior year when she was the only one who knew for sure what she was going to do after graduation and Em and I were all up in the air and trying to decide what was going to happen next. I'm not really mad at Nessa about it – she can't help that she's got it figured out and we don't – but sometimes I wish she was just a little bit less sure about everything. It would be nice to see a little bit of weakness or insecurity every once in a while. The first rule of literature is that every hero needs a fatal flaw – but Nessa doesn't want an Achilles' heel, so she doesn't have one.

I do. On days like this, I think that I have about a thousand of them. Achilles' heels everywhere, and no matter what I do, it's only a matter of time before a spear hits one of them.

So is it better to be Nessa and keep driving toward the finish line regardless of what she might run over in the process and leave a trail of roadkill behind you, or is it better to slow down and get lost along the way with me and maybe have some new adventures that you didn't even know you wanted?

And when I think about it that way, I wonder if Emily is going to be okay after all. Maybe Em's little detour along the way is getting pregnant, and maybe having a baby and getting married is really what she wants. I've even wondered if maybe she did this on purpose, just to speed things along a little bit. Maybe I'll ask her that one of these days, but not today. I don't think I want to know that answer today.

We've talked on the phone exactly twice since all of this happened, and neither one of us has said the word 'pregnancy' or 'baby'. Like she won't really be pregnant as long as we don't talk about it. She called me after work last night, and it was just like talking to the same old Em – like nothing had ever happened and she hadn't told me that she was pregnant and we hadn't both yelled and cried the last time we saw each other. I think we both needed that – for everything to be normal, even if we knew that it was just pretend normalcy. Behold, the power of Denial. She sounds happy. I keep reminding myself of that. It's not helping yet, but I keep repeating it anyway.

So I'm bipolar about all of this. I want to be happy for Em, but I think she's ruining her life. Unless this is what she really wants, and then I'm a little bit jealous that she's got it figured out, and I'm the only one left without a clue. I want to be as strong as Nessa, but I don't want to be so cold-hearted that nothing bothers me unless it interferes with achieving my goals. I want to be a good friend, but I don't want to be all hurt and confused like this. I want to figure out my life, too, but I don't want to feel like my decisions have me trapped before I have the chance to really think about it and be sure that I'm making the right decision, but I also don't want to sit here worrying about making the right decision for such a long time that everyone else leaves me behind and I never make any decision at all.

So I'm just sort of drifting along right now, getting up, going to work, coming home, hiding in my room. It's all very exciting. I'm not sure if I'm freaking anyone else out yet, but I know that I'm starting to freak myself out. I think Macadamia is a little bit worried about me. She's been giving me the hairy eyeball lately, and it's hard for a lizard to give anyone the hairy eyeball, since they don't actually have any hair.

I know that I'm tired of having all this stuff in my head, and I'm ready for it to go away and leave me alone so that I can get on with my life. I feel like such a whiny little princess right now, and that's really not my thing at all. I know that much for sure. I don't ever want to be a whiny little princess who needs someone to take care of her and make her decisions for her and protect her from all of the scary stuff out there in the big, bad Real World.

But there's nothing wrong with being a whiny little princess every once in a while, is there?

Screw it. Screw it all. I've had enough of it already. Tomorrow is Saturday, and Mom has already told me that we're going to make oatmeal raisin cookies tomorrow since she doesn't have to work. I think that's her way of saying that she wants to listen if I want to talk, and maybe I will want to talk about this again tomorrow. She's been strangely good about leaving me alone and not making too big of a deal out of this, but I know it's got to be killing her to find out the details and to make sure that I'm not out there doing something stupid, too. If she tries to blame Em's pregnancy on Hollywood or the tabloids, I think I'll have to kill her, though. Of course, the cookies might kill us both first. Mom and I are not known for our domestic skills, and I don't think that Dad is going to be allowed to help (and he's the real cook in this family).

And after that, I'm going to get my lip pierced for real this time. I went to the tattoo studio after I got my first paycheck, but Joe was on vacation, and he's the only one that I want sticking needles in me. I didn't even know that piercers got to take vacations, but I guess it's a job, and most jobs have vacation time. Maybe I'll feel better after I get to spend some time hanging out in the back room with Joe. At least it should be enough to take my mind off of things for a while.

Oatmeal raisin cookies will be good for that, too. I don't think we'll be able to market them as a cure for bipolar disorder, but maybe it will be enough to fix me right now.