You had broken down again.
You didn't break down often, because you were so concerned about your school work and other work-related activities, and you dealt with all your stress that way.
It was your last year in high school and the social pressure was getting to you. Despite five years in the same environment, things just didn't seem to get better.
The noise levels, the yelling by teachers at disrespectful students, the disrespect in the environment… you just didn't understand it.
You were a good student. You made good grades, treated the teachers like people, and in return, you were allowed certain privileges by the school. It was easy, and you often wondered why other students just didn't listen, follow directions, and show respect…. Then all the stress would just melt away, you were living proof of that.
The stress of waiting on the school to change was like a heavy weight on your body. Everything could be settled easily if students just worked a little harder, talked less, and smiled more. The yelling and the noise would become obsolete, and the disrespect would be gone, if only they could see it the way you did.
Sometimes you shattered under that weight, and today was one of those too loud too crazy days. The first period had started with the teacher yelling at the class over failed homework assignments, and it got worse from there.
You tried to block the yelling and the anger out. You told yourself that the anger wasn't meant for you because you did the homework, you took deep breaths and squeezed the stress ball you always carried, and that was it… the rant was over and you survived.
2nd period was complete with students who just wouldn't shut up and then the teacher yelled more to quiet them down. Those students didn't listen, so more yelling and loud side conversations took precedence over learning what you needed too.
You were a bit less successful in blocking out the noise level this time and the stress started gnawing at your nerves… it was supposed to be quiet, what about that didn't people get?
Anger mixed with rapidly fraying worries formed a nervous pool in your gut, and you found yourself taking deeper breaths to remain calm and professional. You pitied your stress ball at that moment because it was squeezed between an almost white knuckled fist. Your brain was a revolving door of anxiety as you forced yourself to find the inner peace that you knew was there… cursing as it eluded you again and again.
By the time 3rd period rolled around, your ears had become speakers, capable of amplifying any sound, from a footstep to a light whisper… and it bothered you to no end.
The 3rd period was almost the breaking point, even though the noise level was the level of a normal classroom. To you, it was much louder, much louder… and you were going to lose your mind.
4th period came, and you shattered, one more yell from the teacher and you broke.
You just couldn't understand why everyone was so disrespectful, and why people didn't just shut up when it was supposed to be quiet! It was a simple solution, but no one seemed to follow it, or care.
So you left the room and broke down in the hallway, trying in vain to hold yourself together. Thankfully it was almost time to end the school day, so you just waited for the bell.
Then you gathered your things and walk to the spot, the spot where you knew she'll be.
She was your best friend and someone who always gave you a shoulder to cry on. She knew exactly how to comfort you and how to make you feel better, and every single time you said you were crazy for letting something as trivial as the noise level of a room bother you, she'd rub your back and say that you weren't crazy.
You just weren't okay.
Then she'd do everything in her power to put you back together, and it always worked.
So you left and walked to the front of the school, she always sat under the trees near the parking lot while she waited for her younger brother, and that's where you were headed.
You'd bring up your bad day, she'd listen and help you, and you'd be fine.
The warm day soothed your nerves like an embrace as you walked towards the trees, hoping to catch a glimpse of her through the crowd of students already outside.
She wasn't in her spot, so you sat down beside it and waited. You didn't know of any afterschool activities she had, apart from a bake sale she was hosting… but that was a month away. Still, you waited, watching the door like a loyal puppy waiting for a master to come home. She'd been late before but had always come here, so you didn't panic.
A few minutes passed before she came out, her eyes lighting with recognition as she saw you.
She was organized, prepared for everything, and nothing about her was ever out of place. You could see the color coded and perfectly alphabetized notes in her open shoulder bag, resting in their proper place. Her black hair was tied up in a perfect ponytail, and she walked towards you with a purposeful stride.
You smiled at her, knowing how she was… she was organized, able to see every problem and stuff it into its own little box, and you knew she could do the same for you.
She'd take the stress of noise, life, having to be social, and compartmentalize it. She'd make it easy to understand and digest, she'd put you back together, and then you'd be okay.
You smile as she walked towards you, giving you a hug.
A hug that was noticeably much shorter and rushed than usual, unlike the longer embraces you were used too.
She fiddled with her glasses as she pulled away "Sorry to hug and run, I just need to go check on some things for the Bake Sale."
"Really?" You said, "I thought the Bake Sale was a month away?"
"A lot more people decided to sign up, so I need to set things up earlier." She then turned and walked away, without even a goodbye.
You swallow the pain of her abrupt entrance and exit, cursing the circumstances that kept her away from you when you needed her the most.
Still, you internalize the pain and take a deep breath, walking to your car and driving home without another thought.
That night you call other your friends and talk with them, and they help you out. It's not the same, though, not the same…
The feeling of being alone covers you like an itchy warm blanket, a feeling that you can't shake. You hated how she wasn't there for you and those emotions danced uncomfortably across your skin. You could tell yourself she was busy and make a thousand other excuses, but the itch didn't go away.
You closed your eyes, letting the excuses pile up in your mind. No matter how many times you attempted to salve the wounds she unknowingly left on your emotions, the painful longing still festered in the back of your mind.
The next day you manage to find her alone at the lunch table, and joy fills your heart as you sit down beside her. After a quick look around, the glee intensifies as you see no other friends of hers around.
The realization that you finally have her alone and all to yourself brings back memories of a happier time. The time where you spent almost always spent time together and could sit for hours and talk about nothing. It was always perfect when you spoke with her, never having to fear someone else butting into your conversation and stealing her attention away from you.
She was an enigma wrapped in a riddle, but you had all the time in the world to attempt to solve her… that was until reality set in.
You were an introvert, only having a small group of friends that you trusted, and you hated change. She was one of the few who had earned the right to your trust.
She, however, was an extrovert. She had dozens of friends that she spoke with on a regular basis, she was very popular, and she always spoke her mind… regardless of who was around to hear it. She organized school events, went to parties, and seemed to be comfortable with any situation that came her way.
Maybe that's why you clicked so well… and why it hurt so much when she wasn't there. She was a part of your life that you didn't understand, but craved and coveted all the same.
As your mind snaps back to the present, she smiles at you.
"You okay?" She asks, reaching across the table to squeeze your hand.
You squeeze back with a simple "I'm fine" and she instantly knows something is wrong. That's one of the things you loved about her.
She draws out your name with a playful grin, and you giggle despite yourself. "I had a bad day yesterday." You finally admit, and her smile softens.
"Well we can't have that, can we? Tell me all about it, please." She says, and by the way she says it you know you have no choice.
So you take a deep breath and lay your heart on the table. You complain about the noise level, the anger you feel towards the environment of disrespect in the school, the social stress, and everything else that messed with you yesterday.
You leave yourself broken and vulnerable at her feet, and you wait for her to help put you back together.
She squeezes your hand sympathetically, and just as she opens her mouth her eyes wander. "I'm sorry, but I need to go check something for the Bake Sale. I'll be right back I promise."
Then she stood up and left the table, leaving you feeling more alone than when you started. Your eyes follow her as she sits down by one of her friends, pulling out her organized notes and chatting about something you couldn't hear.
You force yourself to remain calm, she was very passionate about the Bake Sale, so it was only natural that she would want to check every last thing off. You knew she would always keep her promises, especially to you.
Five minutes tick slowly by, then ten, then twenty, and with each passing minute you feel more anxiety, slowly clawing up your throat, fighting the attempts to keep it down.
You watch her like a hawk watches prey, analyzing her for any sign or symbol that she is leaving the conversation… coming back to help you.
Finally, the lunch bell rings and she stands up, walking back to you as if nothing was wrong.
As her eyes meet your own, you see them flash and fill suddenly with regret. "Oh shoot… I'm so sorry!" She exclaimed, smacking her forehead
She hugs you tightly, but you don't hug back, instead choosing to watch her trip over herself as her mouth babbles a mix of apologies and excuses.
"I'm sorry I just got all caught up in the planning and one thing led to another and I know you need me and…"
You cut her off with a raised hand "Don't. It's okay"
Turning away, you try in vain to stuff all the broken pieces back into yourself, you try to make it all okay. The bitter pain of her just up and leaving you was slapped onto your heart, making everything hurt more.
You walk away, madder at the situation than you were at her, but still, your mind screams with one thought.
For a girl who prides herself on being organized… she sucks at managing her time.
Getting through the day was tough, but manageable. Last period was super easy, so you just went through the motions until you headed home.
You didn't bother to find her or head to your regular spot, you just drove away.
Then you go home and drown your sorrows in memories of a happier time. The time where you could talk to her about anything, and the stress of work, of jobs, of college, was just a distant threat on the horizon.
She was your best friend and it hurt that you could just be dropped at your weakest for something as trivial as a bake sale.
Recently it seemed as if the world was growing up around you, while you didn't want to be an adult just yet. The responsibility loomed large in your eyes, and it was a burden to take it on.
Everyone else, even your closest friends, had jobs, scholarships, were planning on moving out of state to start a new life. They all had plans while you had no idea where to go, or what to do.
Everybody seemed ready to grow up and move on, and you were the only one who wanted things to slow down and take a breath.
You missed the good old days, where you could have her all to yourself, where you were the most important thing on her agenda, where conversations could be held about video games and music performances… not college applications and what they entailed.
Sadly, you knew you would never get those days back… the world wouldn't slow down just because you wished it would. She wouldn't change from being, at her core, a person who needed to get things done just because you wanted her too.
The world would never be the way it used to be.
Your phone rings and you see her number light up the screen, for a brief second your finger hovers over the 'end call' button, before you curse yourself and accept the call. Regardless of anything else, you needed her to fix you.
"Are you busy?" She asks, and once again you think of lying, she hadn't been there when you had needed her. Could she simply just crawl back to you now?
The answer was yes.
"No, I'm not, what do you need?" You ask with a hint of bitterness in your voice.
"I need to help you." She responded softly, the sound of an apology already on her lips.
For the next thirty minutes she takes your pain and anger and insecurity in her capable hands, categorizing it and making them so small you know those feelings will never have power over you again. She coaxes and helps you through everything, making you feel valued, and by the end of the call you are smiling.
"Thanks for this, I needed you"
You hear her chuckle on her end "I know, and I'll always be here."
As you hang up, you take a deep soothing breath. Was the pain of her leaving you when you needed her, the pain of growing up and staying still in a rapidly moving world, and all the stress and anxiety you dealt with daily… was it all fixed by one simple phone call?
It wasn't and probably never would be, but you knew one thing for certain.
Having her there all to yourself was enough like the old days to feel good.
Well, that was an angst fic based on something that happened a few days ago, so not fun :( It's a bit more of an emotional dump than a story because a bad day coupled with the fear of growing up... it really stinks.
Anyway, it had a bit of a happy ending so that's good right?
As always please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!