She doesn't want to feel this way – doesn't want to begrudge them their happiness (even if it is their last year in high school, and even if she isn't there, and even if that was her choice) – because it's unrealistic to expect everyone to put their lives on hold just for her.
She's not even that special, after all. What does she have, that they don't already?
And she knows it's not fair to feel jealous, because it'll just make them feel guilty, and you're supposed to want your friends to be happy, right?
Sometimes she wonders what's wrong with her.
Besides, what does she want? Them to sit alone in their rooms, doing nothing but pining for her, online every second (never mind the stupid nine-hour time difference; who needs sleep?) so that they can be at her beck and call, whenever she needs them?
(In the deepest darkest guiltiest corner of her mind, she's afraid the answer is yes)
But – no. They're her friends, and she wants them to be happy, and her situation is in no way their fault.
It's not their fault that she decided to leave. It's not their fault that she decided on a year and not a semester. It's not their fault that she seems utterly incapable of making friends over here, incapable of being the right thing for enough people, and is forced to simply sit in her room, yearning, wishing –
It's not their fault.
It's just hitting her how little time she has left with them. June, July, August – perhaps a bit of September, but she's not sure –
One more summer, and then –
Most of her friends, now, are a year above her. When she comes back, she'll have to start over again.
At least she'll have Anthony still in her grade, at her school. But who else? Who will she have when she wants to gossip about or stalk him? Who will girlishly squeal with her and overanalyze his every move?
The people with whom she's done that best will be gone.
Even Vanessa – she's an hour away, and they'll only get to see each other on weekends.
It'll be like starting all over again, and with how well she's doing here – over eight months here as an exchange student, and still nothing, nothing to do that satisfies anyone – she won't be too good at that.
It's not fair to be jealous. It's not fair to be bitter.
But that doesn't stop the feelings from welling up inside, acidic, eating away at her.
Four more months – less, now – and she'll go home.
But they won't be there for much longer.