When I read the first of Essin' Em's 30 Days Of Letters (Done before her by other bloggers whom I keep intending to read in length), I was intrigued. And now I'm giving it a go myself.
A former friend of mine were friends for years. The last couple years of our friendship, we drifted significantly. I don't wish to reconnect at all, but she seemed the natural choice for this post.
While our friendship ultimately ended with a small bang, rather than a whimper, it had whimpered out for two years at that point. We both kept of the pretense of some kind of friendship; you for reasons I cannot fathom, me, because I was used to being used and knew nothing else from ‘friends’. I would like to say it started when you used me as a scapegoat when you ran away from home, but it probably started earlier.
Probably when you started giving a shit about what the popular kids thought. Never mind that, looking back, they liked me more than you. And that’s saying a lot, really, considering that I was the loser, the loner, the weirdo.
Remember the time, only a couple months after you tried running away, that you insisted we switch bikes in the ravine? And how your breaks didn’t work right and I had to ride into a clump of trees and bushes to avoid a ten foot drop into the creek? And how you, knowing I was pretty badly roughed up, still attempted to make me take both our bikes home - a half hour walk pushing two bikes. So that you could attempt to brown-nose to the popular kids.
That was probably the first time anyone other than my parents ever saw me yell out of anger. I remember the very words I said, pointing out that you said you were my best friend, but best friends didn’t treat each other like this. They agreed with me.
We walked home together, you chastised, me seething. I knew then that we were heading down a collision course, but even my outburst that proved there was a feisty girl under all the shy was not enough to gain me any real friends, and so I was left still with just you. You didn’t use me much after that, this is true, largely because you went to high school and moved to a different neighborhood, but we still talked regularly. I visited you a couple times, lying to my parents as they had disliked you and your influence on me for quite a while. I never did tell you about my suicide attempts.
In grade ten, when I lost my virginity, having nobody else to call in a panic when the fact we hadn’t used a condom hit me between the eyes, I called you. And you provided a wonderful tidbit of idiocy - you insisted that I could only get pregnant if I had an orgasm. Strangely enough, you’d already had to end two pregnancies at that point. I wonder if you ever got a clue. I did my best to tell you the facts, I doubt you listened.
At the end of grade ten, I had friends. Real friends. Friends who treated me like their equal, who didn’t use me. And you wouldn’t stop calling.
Finally, I got fed up. I didn’t call you, I didn’t feel like having to say anything directly to you. Instead, I changed my answering machine - to the breakup message of an eight year friendship. You left a scathing message in return, calling me the token ugly friend. I never took that to heart from you. Yes, I have issues with my confidence, but they are wholly from other influences - and I have, for six years now, been surrounded by people who tell me day in day out that I. Am. Beautiful.
I may not have had curves, or the attention from the boys we both knew, but I wasn’t the one with an ugly personality.
We may have drifted, but I am eternally glad for it.