a series of inevitable events.
June 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
In my head, twelfth grade was something that was over when it began. I can explain this phenomenon using my name. Before twelfth grade, my name was of little significance to the general population. Then I made something of it. I put it on the back of my rugby jersey. It was on the programme at every band concert next to the star that indicated section leader. It was honorably mentioned in the newspaper, on certificates. It was engraved on plaques and medals and who knows what else. My name was something so that meant I was something. Until the end when it wasn’t and I wasn’t and my name faded into something of little significance once again.
Sometimes I wish high school didn’t happen. That my name wasn’t associated with so many sensational words. Then people wouldn’t expect so much of a sad little girl like me. Then people would leave me alone. Then I wouldn’t feel so sad. Then I can figure out what I really want.
Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have a name.
Just as twelfth grade was over when it began, so was our friendship. It didn’t feel that way in the beginning because high school makes something of people behind its whitewashed walls. There we were, isolated in this little building in the suburbs seeing the same friendly faces every single day. We drank bubble tea, played video games, and watched horror movies. We Skype called each other until we fell blissfully asleep. It was hard not to form bonds. It was impossible not to love what we had.
The summer after we graduated, our lives picked up. I could see exactly where the seams would tear when we would inevitably fall apart. And I was right.
Maybe it was simply a coincidence that I was right. Maybe – and this used to be a horrifying thought for me – I was the reason we fell apart. Maybe I should have been more present. Maybe I was selfish for wishing for something more. Maybe if I hadn’t wanted more than small talk and casual banter and stupid, stupid laughter, we would still be a single unit.
(But maybe you shouldn’t have pretended that nothing was wrong when I locked myself away and didn’t see daylight for hours and hours.)
At first, it was scary. I was part of a whole and then I wasn’t. We used to walk side by side. We used to do everything together. Then “we” became “I”. I am wandering aimlessly looking for my class. I am pushing my own way past a large group of people waiting outside the lecture hall in one of the science buildings. I am waiting in line at Tim Horton’s to buy coffee to drink while I smoke. I am small. I am lost. I am terrified.
I don’t know when I stopped being scared, but it happened at some point in January. I had predicted exactly where the seams would tear and so I knew this would happen. Like my name in twelfth grade, my place in this unit was of little significance anyway. Maybe I wasn’t the first to be cut away, but I was probably the second. Or the third. That made me angry. I didn’t need you like I thought I did and you didn’t need me either so that made me angry for some vapid, inexplicable reason. Now I see that I became distant and that was my fault. But it was yours too until the moment when I decided that you didn’t really matter to me all that much anyway. So just as you cut me out, I cut you all out as well.
That anger eventually dissipated. But I was still kind of lost.
I became really good friends with another group of people. That was inevitable. We were forced to spend a great deal of time in each other’s company so we made the best of it. They are good people and I grew to love these new memories just as I grew to resent the older ones. It wasn’t until I formed bonds with these people that I realized how much I hated you for cutting me out. I blamed you for taking something really good – something that made me feel so not dead – away from me. My words were cruel, even if they were only spoken in my head. I put my mistakes on the spot and I was forced to confront them to change a lot of things about myself so that I can feel happier. I don’t need any of the negative feelings I feel when I think of you, so I expunged them. And I do feel happier now.
Granted, sometimes some of that anger comes back. Tears spring to my eyes. I feel shame, guilt, and other irrational emotions. It makes me sad to think about what was, but I am determined to let that make me sad for only a little while longer. What makes me happy is the thought that I don’t hate you anymore. If you call, I won’t hang up. If you text, I won’t ignore you. It was inevitable that we grow apart – it’s part of the life process.
It’s time to start making those memories good again.