First off, apologies for getting this up late. An unexpected migraine derailed my progress yesterday. I didn't even make an appearance at the day job. Just stayed hydrated, rested, and dimmed the lights because apparently lights aggravate the heck out of me when I'm having my migraines.
But without further delay....I present Day 7.
Day 7: The Day I found my 1st best friend.
Wow, this is a bit of a toughy! Simply because my friendships then didn’t really last that long. Like, I don’t have that person who I’m still great friends with during my childhood.
However, the friend back in 5th grade was the first one I really called a best friend. Her name was Veronica. She had long straight brown hair, short, and very outspoken. I think we were drawn to each other because we were both different and because we both got picked on.
I got picked on because of my weight and wearing glasses. She mainly got picked on for being short and wearing glasses. The teasing got worse for me once I got braces, which was in the 6th grade.
However, my mechanism for dealing with things switched from letting the pain show to directing everything inward. Plus, it was around that time I started getting involved with writing. I let the pain drip upon the page. I didn't even tell my grandparents what was going on with me anymore.
Communication between my mom and they had gotten worse; they were having a hard time. I ended up being their sounding board, and I just felt it was stupid for me to talk about my being teased with them when it seemed they had heavier problems on their plates.
Veronica’s method was different. She would speak out. She would fight. Many times, she would end up having detention, in school suspension, or suspension out of school. She never let the bullies see how they affected her.
She was the same way when our friendship still lasted in the 7th grade. Seventh grade she really solidified her place as someone who had my back.
During this time, I worked as a library aide. The librarian came up to me and told me there was this new girl but that things had been hard for her. She asked me to get familiar with her and form a friendship with her of sorts.
I knew how it was to not fit in, so I didn't see anything wrong with the request.
The new girl’s name was Amanda. She, too, was fighting an issue with her weight. She also had a really nasty bout of red acne. She got called "pepperoni pizza face" a lot. Amanda and I loved to read; we shared that in common. We liked to read the same type of books, so we started hanging out a lot.
I introduced her to Veronica, and I didn't think there would be a problem. Other people had more than one friend all the time. A few times, we all would eat together at lunch, but along the way, tension started to build.
After a while, Amanda became a bit more demanding of my time.
you get the point...
At first, when I got home, we would take turns calling each other either before we started on our homework or after we had finished. Soon, this wasn't enough for Amanda. She either wanted us to stay on the phone for longer periods of time or she would call multiple times during the evening if she didn't hear from me first. At that time, I didn't have caller ID or call waiting, so there would be times when Veronica would call to talk to me, but she would get a busy signal because I was on the phone with Amanda.
To try and tone down the tension, I tried to set aside time to spend with Veronica and time to spend with Amanda. However, Amanda became so starved for attention; she would interfere in the time I set aside for Veronica. It really started to get to Veronica how needy Amanda had been getting; she believed she was a bit extreme and something needed to be done.
Things were at a fever pitch during the reading competition. The librarian was holding a competition to where she would award a book to the person who read the most books during the school year. Amanda and I were in the contest. I didn't realize how important winning the contest would be to her until the day the winner was announced.
That day, it was announced that I was the winner. Everyone was happy I had won. All except for the person I thought was supposed to be my friend-Amanda. She chose that perfect time to reveal the reason why my mom and dad were never around for anything I did. She blurted in front of everyone that I was unwanted—that my dad didn't even claim me and my mom ran away to get away from me.
Everything got quiet. The librarian pulled Amanda over, I guess, to chastise her for what she did. I sat, inside broken, outside stony. Veronica could tell I was hurting, and she was brimming with anger.
After school, Veronica was still fuming.
“You can’t let her get away with this! You told her that in secret, and she tells the world!”
I just wanted to let it go. This showed to me that my friendship with Amanda was over with, and I didn't want to milk out the whole situation. Veronica wasn't willing to let it rest.
“Look, if you’re not going to give her what for, I’ll do it. I’m sick and tired of her pathetic, needy ass anyway. She was always jealous of you!”
I didn't quite know what Veronica meant, but I would find out the next day. The next day, Amanda’s locker had been broken into and redecorated. She wanted the locker to be an accurate reflection of how trifling and ugly Amanda’s soul was. The locker also smelled very foul—as if rotten eggs had been placed in there.
Of course, Amanda thought I had done it, but Veronica went to the principal and admitted that she was the one who had vandalized the locker. Veronica got three days suspension, but she did call to let me know it was “well worth it to defend a friend’s honor.”
Despite Veronica’s confession, Amanda still believed I had done it, and what happened next would release an anger I thought I had successfully suppressed, but that story is for another day.
Day 7--that's a wrap!