We met in grade five. You were the girl who showed up in a dress and perfectly waved hair and little Mary Janes on the first day, and on the second day, you showed up with a scowl, hair tied back and baggy shorts. I met you on the second day, for real. I don't know when we happened. We just became. You were me, and I was you. We were inseparable, and there was no other replacement for either you for me, or me for you. We were a tight-knit group of four. There was my other best friend (whom you now cannot stand because she frightens you, but you don't know that you piss her off with your close-mindedness) and there is the friend who is rich, who keeps herself locked up, who looks on as we parade into ashes.
I remember when we were at the swings in winter, blowing white breath into the air. You and another were on the swings as another four of us waited patiently. And when it finally came, you fell off the swing and skidded on the ice, and I laughed because you looked ridiculous. But you cried. Not because it hurt, but because I laughed. So I told myself never to make you cry again.
I don't know what happened afterwards. Maybe grade seven happened. You and I were separated for the first time in two years. You met other people, and I met other people, and while we may have been content knowing that the other was in the classroom just next door, it really just wasn't the same. But we built up our walls. You stopped becoming my best friend four months into the school year. You constantly left in the middle of our hanging out, just so you could go talk to someone else. I guess I stopped becoming your best friend when you found better candidates.
And then we fought, explosively. Those two unbreakable friends, whom you never thought could cuss and scratch at each other, they fought. We fought. And afterwards, we made up. We patched up that wounded hurt in our pride and in our friendship, and it slowly began to heal, and we marched onwards to those ashes.
In grade eight, we were reunited. We, along with a dozen of our other friends. And we remained best friends that year. I didn't mind when you mourned over our other friend, who had moved out of the country back to Texas. I didn't mind when you asked me to help you with your homework when I was still in the middle of completeing mine. I didn't mind because I knew that I had other close friends that I could laugh with, when you were gone away from my world. And I was happy with that. For a little while.
And we suddenly reached our last year of middle school. You became so much girlier, so much prettier, fangs still bared, but friendlier. And I was the same. The same kind of nearly pretty I had been for the past two years, advancing slowly on from cute. And you were outgoing. You were so outgoing that you managed to wriggle your way into the ring of the three prettiest, most outgoing girls in the ninth grade.
It was as if just because they made nice at the camera, were so cheerful and not so quiet as I was that you loved them so much. Not a day would go by where you would not tell me, She's so pretty! They're cute. I love her hair today, don't you? They're amazing dancers. They're funny. At the beginning, neither our one of few shared friends, nor I really minded. When you became so single-mindedly driven to patch yourself a permanent place in their circle, we were irritated. Secretly, because we were girls, and girls are bitches by nature, we hoped you would fall off your pedestal. Because you had them, you no longer wanted us. That friend, she didn't really care for you. You'd managed to insult her, tease her, abuse her, for the entire eighth grade, all while you thought you were best buds. But she didn't think so. She was getting tired, and I was getting tired.
When we were in the eighth grade, she made me cry one art class. When I silently entered the classroom next period, eyes bloodshot and sniffling, you did not bat an eyelash. You didn't notice. Or you didn't care. I wasn't sure which. Where was I, when you were having each of your crises, each of your breakdowns? Beside you, letting your head fall onto my shoulder and dampen my shirt. Where were you, when I was having my one dramatic moment of the year? Sitting and laughing with others. I was stung, but time heals all wounds.
You continued under the pretense that you were everyone's friend. Truly, I guess you could be called that, but you hid underneath what you would call a fake smile, but I would call trying to steal pity. And still, we pranced on, over the hills and through the mountains onto and onto and onto the ashes.
You told me that you could not live without me. Of course not. I was the one who helped you with your homework, who edited all your shit, who did everything because I was the only one trying to keep our friendship going. And I know that is pathetic, to try to salvage a broken friendship. You took advantage of it. You milked it for all it was worth. That wound in our friendship opened, and blood gashed out. Because you would turn to me in your time of need, at 2am when you could not figure out what to do for your life, and I was there. And when we were done, you would whip right around and talk to them instead. Them, those pretty barbie dolls you call best friends. If they were barbie dolls, I was the old ragdoll, once trusted best friend and confidant, but tossed away as soon as pretty stick-thin sparkling dolls caught your eye.
And so we continue onto the ashes, where we will fall and burn into there's nothing left. Because that's the only way it can end.
this story is done, but the real one is not.
for nostalgia's worth.
Characters used: nameless, but real. sorry if i confused you with the whole unspecified huge amount of friends.