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 »
Friendship Always HurtsI don’t remember much about the following seventeen days but they were horrible. It was the last week of school. One of the seniors handed me my yearbook. I immediately thought to myself that the only signature that mattered was James. Years from now, his would be the only one that mattered. All week, I tried to talk to him. I stopped by each of his classes and waited on him. Each time, he would brush past me and ignore my attempts. Finally, I lost my temper and when he was headed to his World History class, I stood right in front of him and blocked him from moving. I stopped and said, “Hey! James, can you sign my yearbook after school? Your signature is the only one left that I want.” He replied with a “Yeah, sure.” Then, he kept walking towards his next class. Defeated, I moped off to my lunch table to cry. I tried to explain it to him. We had several rehearsals before the performance. I was so sure that I was going to be able to get him to talk. I brought a huge bag of his favorite candy to one of our last rehearsals.
Knowing that I didn’t have the guts to walk straight up and talk to him after everything that had been going on for the past couple of weeks, I open the bag and started snacking on it, hoping that he would see it. Looking back, he probably did see, because he couldn’t have not seen it. Our chorus director placed us side by side for rehearsals. That was when I heard him sing for the first time. I almost broke down crying right then. His voice was perfect. He was perfect. He was my friend, and I lost him. It was my entire fault.
When I walked out of the school that day after rehearsal, I sat in my car and broke down into tears. Over this time, my mom had noticed that I hadn’t been talking to James a lot lately and knew that we were fighting. The only way she knew why we had fought was because she snooped through my texts and saw the text I had sent to one of my teen pastors about being sent to the guidance for suicidal thoughts. My mom tried to comfort me and told me that he probably was busy; but I knew better. I was so stupid for screwing our friendship up. From that day, I cried myself to sleep every single night. Every single night. There was not one night where I was strong enough to not think about him. Every single thought of mine was consumed with him. I wouldn’t last much longer this way.
As the days slowly blurred together, I just existed. I no longer lived, I just existed. In fact, I went to my friend’s end of the year party and met this girl. This girl, I owe almost everything about my present to. Her name was Everlyse. Everlyse went to our school but I didn’t have any classes with her, so we had never met before. She started talking to me at the party and asked if she could come over and hang out. I figured that I had nothing better to do, so I said yes. The following day, she showed up on my front door like a lost puppy. She was happy. Her happiness was contagious. I became happy for a moment.
We stayed up all night. She poured out her heart to me, a total stranger. She told me her life story. She talked about her past, her hurts, and her struggles; and in light of her life, everything I was going through didn’t seem as bad. Eventually, she coaxed my story out of me. I told her everything. I told her about James, about my brain, and about my life. She gasped in the right places, cried in the perfect moments, and smiled at the happy moments. She was a perfect friend.
Soon, Lysa came over again. While she was over, we went shopping. I found a game that I had wanted to get because James had it. Even though it hurt, I found it at a good deal and figured that I could at least have it as a reminder of our friendship. When I bought it, I went home and we texted James, just to see if he would reply for once. Since our fight began, we never texted or talked. Predictably, he didn’t answer. I didn’t expect him to reply. Everlyse left early that day, because I had rehearsals for my upcoming trip with my chorale group.
Rehearsals. I dreaded them because HE was always there. He had to be. He was in the highest chorus level at my school. I saw him and inside, my heart dropped. He looked amazing in his sapphire blue t-shirt and jeans. He was like a perfect angel, molded from God’s hands. I shook the feeling when he glanced at me and walked off. I fought off the tears as I sang through the rehearsal. I was supposed to be going to my girlfriends’ house that night, but all I felt like doing was crying. I didn’t want to bum them out, so I walked over to my mom. She grabbed me in a big hug as the tears streamed down my cheeks, because I saw James glance my way. He was never going to go away. My life was forever destroyed with no hope of repair. I was a butterfly with an injured wing, a wing that would never heal.
As I cried in my mother’s arms, he started walking over towards us. Out of habit, I turned around to not have to look at him. He came up closer and looked at my mother and said, “Mrs. Lopez, may I talk to Ari in private for a minute?” She immediately replied with a “yes” and he grabbed my arm and walked me off into a private room. Frantic thoughts ran through my head. What does he want? Is he finally going to tell me that he hates my guts and never wants to see me again? What does he want? He grabbed my arm and pulled me close. He got down low enough to gain eye contact with me and said, “Ari, will you please explain what happened that night? Tell me exactly what everything meant” I sighed and figured that I would have to explain it eventually.
I started out by saying “I just want to let you know that I never meant it. It was just my way of venting.” He nodded, and I kept going. I said, “James, I was upset in math class, and you were on my mind. I was upset, so instead of doing something harsh and irreversible, I scribbled that note, because I knew that nobody would see it. It was never meant to make it out of my backpack. It accidentally slipped…” By that time, I was sobbing uncontrollably as he took me in his arms. He whispered in my ears, “I understand. I understand. You could have just told me.” I told him that I had been planning on it that day. I cried some more, as I told him that I missed having him as a friend. He told me, “Ari, I thought I was really the reason you were upset. I figured that if I removed myself from your life, you would be happy. I thought you were one of those friendships that I could just turn my back on and never look back on them again, but you’re not. You’re more than that; and I miss you.” I whispered back, “I miss you too!” Then, we hugged, and he hooked his arm in mine as we walked back out into public. He asked me about the game I had texted him about earlier that day, right before, his mom cut him off. He apologized and told me to text him.
Directly following, I went home with my girlfriends from school for our planned slumber party that I was all of a sudden so excited about. I could barely pay attention to the movie that we watched that night. I did not even go to sleep until three o’clock in the morning. Even then, my thoughts were consumed with the euphoria of knowing that we were friends again. The minute I was dropped off at my house, I ran in and called Everlyse. I don’t know when she became so important to me or why, but she did. I immediately relayed the events that had occurred since we had talked last, and then quickly excused myself to prepare for that night’s concert.
I don’t remember much about that concert, except that I had some strange kid ask me for some mints, and I refused to give him some. I sang with full passion that night. Oh, and when I walked in, James started laughing because my music notebook had a big huge sticker on the back of it. He walked over to me and said, “Ha! You and I are really alike. I had that same sticker on my notebook in the same place.” Sure enough, I glanced at his, and you could see it on his notebook. The performance went very well, and afterwards, my grandmother took me out to eat my favorite chocolate chip waffles at a restaurant with my mom, sister, aunt, and uncle.