Author's note: I was inspired to write the story of my life to help others who go through the same situations... Show full author's note »
Notes and ExcusesAs I approached the end of the school year, I began to make more “acquaintances.” I had three or four “friends” the last couple months of school. One thing about me, is that I can get sick and stay sick for a long time. I had spent this whole school year sick. My girlfriends promised me that when my sickness showed any promises of letting up, that we were going to have a group slumber party. I agreed to that, considering that I hadn’t spent the night at anyone’s house in over two years. Around the end of the school year, as James and I were spending most of our time at rehearsals for one of our performances at the end of the school year, my illness started letting enough to wear I could breathe. I called my buddies and we set up a date for the slumber party. It was the night before our performance. That was one month away. They were going to pick me up after rehearsals and we were going to watch movies all night long. I really couldn’t focus on that much though, because I still had finals that I had to deal with.
One day, I was at lunch, studying Chem for the thousandth time, when I saw James walking towards me. This was our time when we always talked. He came up, glanced at me, and kept walking. I figured he was kind of busy or something. Later on that day, he avoided me and again, later on. When I went home, I found out something tragic had happened in my family. I was upset from being blown-off by James and everything else that happened. In an attempt to control my feelings, I grabbed my final schedule out of my backpack and scribbled a note on it. I have to admit, that I wasn’t being nice in it, but I never planned on it being seen by anyone. Basically, it was a suicide note that I blamed all of my problems on James. I knew he would never see it so I figured it would be okay. I crumbled it up and threw it back into my backpack. My fury released from inside, I didn’t have to worry about anything else. I finished my homework, lay down, and fell asleep, hoping that I would be able to figure out what was up with James.
I got to school early, for once the next day. I ran up to J and talked to him. Apparently, he was just busy the day before, stressed about some tests and stuff. He apologized for blowing me off. I told him not to worry and that I completely understood. My mind was completely clear, I was happy, and my behavior the day before was completely excusable. The note slipped to the back of my mind, and I never gave it a second thought.
The night before, I had actually gone through this weird fascination with breaking bones. I stayed up researching how to break a bone and went outside I tried it. I drove my bike into a telephone pole, I fell on my arm multiple times, I beat my arm with a hammer, and then crossed my arms on top of each other and forced myself to land on them like that when I fell. The ending result was a bruise the length of my radius. It stretched from my wrist to my elbow on both arms.
Later on during the day, while I was in chorus, the guidance counselor interrupted and requested that I follow her to the office. I figured that she just had some questions for me about my family. They were always calling me into the office to dig into my family history. They always wanted to know what languages we spoke, where we were from, and how many siblings I had. This was just going to be some routine thing. As I followed her into my office, she had me sign in. I had never had to do that before. Hmmm… Okay, well, they must be trying to keep track of people in here better. I signed it and the guidance counselor took me into a room and shut the door behind us. She asked me to sit as she did the same. That is when the sheer blanket of cold panic settled on me. I knew that this wasn’t a routine visit. There were no “questions” for me about my family and its questionable background. This was about him. Right then and there, I knew I had to get out of there. I had too many secrets and there was no way she was ever going to find out about them. I instantly started mentally chastising myself for being so careless. I wondered how she found out. It didn’t matter. Knowing how it happened wasn’t going to get me out of there. I thought about the day before. I thought about the big huge blackish purple bruises that stretched across my arms. I thought about the multiple cuts, freshly cut and healed over, that decorated my arms in a random fashion. I knew that I had to make sure they were covered when the time was right. She held up the “note” and said, “Ari, do you recognize this?” As she began a cold, hard gaze into my eyes, I subtly covered my wrists to hide the scars and the bruises with my somber black long sleeves and started shaking, out of pure fear, fear for what was going to happen with all of this. I responded with a simple “Yes.” My throat was thick, my mouth so dry, my tongue was stuck to the roof of it. I don’t remember the clear details of how everything went down, but one thing I do know is that James knew about this. Since my name was not on the note, they went to the person whose name WAS on it. James told them that it was my handwriting but he didn’t understand. He said that I was one of the happiest people ever, now. He said that I couldn’t have meant it. He told them to not think anything of it. Well, they did. Everyday, I thank God for how James has been the best person in my life. I easily talked the guidance counselor out of calling my parents and telling them about this mishap by using my extreme acting. I scrunched up my face and released a flow of tears that had the potential to flood the room within a couple of minutes. I quickly thought of how to convince them to let me go. I quickly told them the story of how I met James. I told them about the butterfly that flew over us when we met. I told them about mine and Trini’s friendship. I let them know how perfect my life was. I didn’t let them see into the pure hell I was living. I let them believe the happy part and that was enough. They glanced at me and knew it was a mistake. They knew that I obviously didn’t mean the note. They could see the honesty in my face, even though it was completely feigned.
Later on that afternoon, I had to stay after school for some rehearsals for a big performance in the summer. James was going to be there. I needed to thank him for standing up for me. As I was walking to the room, he walked out, glanced at me, and said “Ari, can you tell me what was up with that?” Knowing that I would explain later, I said, “There’s nothing to tell.” With that, he grimaced and walked off towards the cafeteria. Little did I know, that he had decided to cancel this friendship right then and there.
The severing of my friendship with James is something that I would never ever want to experience again. But more recently, looking back on it, there is one detail that I have failed to mention that came out of this disaster, that would have changed how my life is today had it not been for my decisions made during that time. During those seventeen days, I made one decision that rocked my world and changed it for the better. I didn’t know it then, but then again, when do we ever know how a decision is going to affect us in the long run. About a year before this, Trini had mentioned in an off-hand comment about this guy she had noticed at one of her fiddle performances. I didn’t get much except a “Hey Ari, I saw this kid at my performance today. I think I kinda like him.” Typical me decided to just accept her comment and keep going, knowing that I would never hear about this kid with no name again. A couple of months later, she sent me another text. “I met that kid today. His name is Aaron. He’s pretty cool.” As time went on, I heard more and more about this random fiddle player named Aaron.
I knew that Trini liked him. There’s no lying in our friendship. She could try to avoid the topic as much as possible, but I knew better than to believe her. She completely liked him. Being the little sister I am at heart, I decided to try to bug her just a “little” bit and get to know him better, in case they were to date in the near future. On May 18th, I logged onto one of my social networks, feeling as depressed as usual, without James, and called Trini. I attempted as subtly as I could manage to inquire about her secret crush. What was his full name? His birthday? Where did he live? I soon acquired enough information for me to find him on the network. I didn’t mention to her exactly what I was doing. I knew she would not approve. I sent him a friend request along with a message that said, “Hey Aaron. I know you don’t know who I am, but I’m Trini’s younger sister.” I never exactly expected him to reply. I typically sent her crushes messages like that as a joke to bug them just a little. Not much later, I got a reply, saying, “Hi, lol, nice to meet you.” I replied once more and completely moved on, never expecting to talk to this mysterious boy anymore.