In an ealier post I mentioned a friend that I had, who hurt my feelings pretty badly. I think it's finally time that I write about the whole event from start to finish. My junior high school was arranged in such a way that you had a 'team' who went to all the same classes and teachers as you did. This team was determined, more or less by which math class you were in. In sixth grade I had been placed in the 'regular' math class, after about a week, my teacher realized that I should have been put in the advanced math class, and had me moved. This meant that I was put into a new group of people who had already been somewhat established. I had all the 'perks' of being a 'new kid'(no friends to hang out with) with none of the benefits of actually being a new kid (being from another state or something).
One day my science teacher put us into groups so we could start a science project. Because the person who sat next to me was absent that day, I got paired up with Nancy(name obviously changed), whose neighbor was also absent. We got along alright, and by the time we had finished the project we were good friends.
Over time, even though I made a few other friends in my classes (especially orchestra) Nancy became my best friend. I always hung out with her, and really enjoyed her company. She had friends other than me, but I always assumed I was her best friend. I never really noticed them that much.
More time passed and not much changed to me. She became a lot more interested in clothes, and boys, and pop culture. I wasn't uninterested in these things per se, but my interest didn't increase the way her's did. I assumed that she found most of those sorts of things as silly as I found them.
Finally it happened. She got a boyfriend. He went to a different school, but she met him through some of her extracurricular activities. She talked about him a lot. She told me how great he was, and cute, and how she liked him so much. We were about 14 when this happened. We had grown out of "coming over to play," and spent our time being friends at school, and writing emails to eachother. The summer before we started high school her boyfriend moved away. To England. She often talked about how sad she was, and how tough it would be to maintain their relationship.
One night she called me. She was crying. She told me her boyfriend had died. I somehow knew that this was exactly what she was going to tell me. I don't know how I knew, but it felt obvious. The obviousness of it made it feel wrong somehow. She said he died in a surfing accident. She told me not to tell my parents, because she couldn't bear to hear them telling her how it would all be alright. This made no sense to me, since my parents never really ever talked to her anyways. I told my parents, and also told them that she had asked me not to. I bought her flowers and a card.
Later she told me that her boyfriend had appeared to her in a dream, and told her not to worry about him. I brushed it off as her dreaming about him. Then she told me he rearranged her room. Then she told me he wrote me a note. Thats right. She handed me a long note written by her dead boyfriend. After reading the note I was really creeped out.
I finally realized that this boyfriend was largely fictional. I had never met him, but she had always had such convincing excuses for why he coud never meet me. I had never seen a picture of him. She said he hated cameras, and had religious objections to being photographed. His handwriting looked suspiciously like hers, though obviously different. I looked up his name in phonebooks, and places where she said he was mentioned. I thought he died surfing in England because trying to that would be dangerous. I was naive and trusting. I thought I had failed my friend by missing her cries for attention. To me she needed help, and was crying out for it in an unconventional way. I decided to talk to her other friends, and see what they might have noticed that I didn't.
Her other friends, one in particular was eager to talk to me about it through email. She too, was worried about Nancy. She too had seen many warning signs, like not sleeping, not eating well. Her friend said that she thought Nancy wasn't taking her boyfriends death well. She focused on it, until I finally confided in her that I didn't think the boyfriend was ever real. The next day at school just before lunch I was alone in the hallway at my locker. My friend came walking towards me, She didn't say anything, but threw a folded piece of paper at me, and walked off. I was flabbergasted. When I opened the paper and read what was on it I was heartbroken. Her other friend had told her that I thought her boyfriend never existed. In the note she cussed at me, and threatened to kill me if I ever spoke to her again.
Through later conversations with people who knew her, I found out that I was right about her boyfriend, and very little else. Her boyfriend didn't exist, or at least never in the way she claimed. Someone who had been in her other circle of friends came to me one day to apologize for the part she had played in what Nancy did. She told me that I hadn't been Nancy's best friend for years, and maybe never was. I learned that she regularly told me lies just to see what she could get me to believe. I learned that she and her other friends thought up plans of how to trick me, and laughed together when they pulled it off. I learned that Nancy was probably sitting there with her other 'concerned' friend as I wrote emails to her about how worried I was about Nancy.
My other friends had moved on without me while I was being friends with Nancy. I was left with no-one to talk to, or sit with or anything. I can look back and see myself and the sterotypical nerdy looser girl. Glasses, chubby, doesn't wear makeup, wears lame clothes, sits by herself, gets really good grades, and barely whispers when she talks.
As I mentioned before, I haven't really made new friends since then. It bothers me that if I remember too much I still cry about it. It bothers me that my husband and others play down how important that event was in my life, and how deeply it affected me.
I trusted her, and loved her. She lied to me, and made a fool out of me with a whole group of her 'real' friends. As I look back on it, I was probably the person who cared the most about her, and I believe she did herself a disservice in treating me that way. I'm curious what she thinks about when she remembers me. I wonder if she's grown up enough to feel bad about it. I wonder if she is callous enough to think that it didn't really matter.
I really wonder what she would think if she read this.