The Silent Treatment

May 14, 2008
By Courtney Dziewit, Clarkston, MI

I felt their eyes strike me as if I rammed into a brick wall. I felt a lightning bolt of anger, confusion, and frustration zing through me. I never thought that girls would be talking about me. But I guess we can never be too cautious about the things we do, even if they didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I for one was never talked about. No one would ever mess with me. Well, there are only two solutions to this problem: let it go or get even.

The seventh graders at Sashabaw Middle School were all about gossip. As soon as the bell rang, students crammed the hallways in a mad rush to reach the fresh air, the broken silence and what new gossip has been found. Girls are generally the sole source of it, guys don’t usually get involved. Girls are very cautious about who they tell what and that no one else hears. Their eyes pierce the hallways looking for their next victim like a hawk circles the sky searching for its prey. This is regular passing time between classes. There are six of them a day and they are 5 minutes each. This is enough time for gossip to spread throughout the school like a virus takes over a body. And it can almost kill you.
My friends and I were usually never involved in drama like the rest of the school. We liked to be more mature than that. Let me rephrase that, some of us were more mature than our grade. We tried to stay out of it as much as possible. Plus when we told each other something, it was a secret that stayed simply in our circle. There were five of us girls who were best friends: Veronica, Britney, Samantha, Stephanie and I. I was better friends with Samantha than the rest. And there were other bonds that were closer than others. Like Veronica and Britney were always hanging out together and Stephanie hung out with everyone, but I’d say was better friends with Samantha also. We hung out with each other on the weekends, we did everything together.

So we were up in my room. The windows were ajar; a pleasant breeze was wandering in and blowing Stephanie’s blonde hair out of her face. It was rather peaceful; all of us were lying on the floor reading the most recent teen magazines, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl and Elle. My bed was a mess, my bright orange and pink striped blankets were lying off to one side onto the floor. Britney took a drink of her Diet Coke and Veronica took a handful of Doritos. Samantha was intently reading an article and was twisting her long, straight brown hair around her finger. I was reading an article about my horoscope and realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my afternoon doing this. “Do you guys want to go see a movie?”
“How about The Wedding Planner?” Veronica asked.
“Yea I’d love to!” I said, “Let me go ask my mom if she’ll take us.”

I came back and told them, “My mom really wants to see that movie with me, so do you want to go see How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days?” They settled and we went but I could tell the next day at school they were not pleased about it.

That Monday at school, is when I had received those piercing eyes that every girl dreaded, but by no means thought it would be regarding me. The girl’s eyes must have landed on me by mistake. So I forgot about it. Then, when I went to lunch, I noticed something was unusual about my friends. My seat that was between Samantha and Veronica was now taken over by Veronica. “What happened to my seat?” I questioned.

“First of all it’s not your seat and I just wanted to sit somewhere different today,” she rolled her eyes at me.

“Um, alright?”
I went up to à la carte with Samantha and asked, “Is everyone mad at me, or what’s going on?”

“Huh? Uh, I don’t think so, I’m not. I don’t think anything is wrong,” She replied hesitantly. But I accepted the answer and just thought it was a one day thing- whatever it was.

The next day at school, those piercing eyes landed on me again. I knew it couldn’t be coincidental and that they were definitely talking about me. But about what, I hadn’t done anything wrong. Who started whatever it was they were talking about? I had so many questions and all I wanted were answers.

At lunch that day there wasn’t a seat for me and no one offered to share. I had to sit by myself. I walked past Samantha and we met eyes “Samantha what’s going on?” I asked. I got the cold shoulder. From then on and throughout the day, I noticed none of my friends would speak to me. They wouldn’t even acknowledge me in the hallways. I wanted to just shriek “WHAT DID I DO WRONG?”

When I got home, I was so frustrated. I went on-line. Veronica was on, so I tired to talk to her.

Ajla5867: hi

Veronica45: what do you want?

Ajla5867: I just said hi, are you guys mad at me?

Veronica45: you should know, you get everything you want, you’re a spoiled brat
Ajla5867: what are you talking about? No I’m not, why would you say that?
Veronica45: you should know…
Ajla5867: know what?
I didn’t receive an IM back. It was so annoying if that was the only reason they were mad at me. Veronica had logged off. I thought to myself, I help people all the time, I am part of the peer listening group at school, I do community service all the time, and I tutor the elementary school kids after school. I have never caused problems in the group. I didn’t get it! Veronica wasn’t being understandable at all. How does being a spoiled brat mean anything and where did she get that from because I am not one.
The next week at school was difficult. There was no talking between my friends and I. It was as if we had never seen or met each other before. I had to have some friends through this dilemma or else I would have never made it. The girl that I talked with in Western Global, Taylor, was very nice. “Taylor I have a problem and I was wondering if you could help me?”
“Sure what is it?”
“Well, my friends aren’t really talking to me at all, and they have sent me mean notes and on-line they talk to me but not very nicely…” I explained to her everything that was going on and all the terrible things they had done to me.
“Well maybe they just need a break from you, give it two or three days. You can hang out with me!”
She tried to help me with my problem and I could only hope that her advice would work.
Another girl in my chorus and drama class, Lauren, tried to help me with my problem too. “I don’t understand why they are acting that way but they are being really immature and I think that they are just jealous.”
Even though my new friends were very caring- my ex-friends were still getting to me. On-line they would leave me nasty e-mails saying things like: you’re stuck up; you get everything you want; you think you’re the best; you have no friends now and it is your fault. One time I got a note from Britney and thought it was an apology- but it wasn’t- it was a hate note. I was sitting in the hallway before school, doing my western global homework. I heard footsteps coming so I looked up. It was Britney. I didn’t know what to do. I felt my palms start to get sweaty and I just looked back down at my paper. I could hear her footsteps getting closer and closer. My mind was frantically searching for an answer of what to do. I don’t want to be in a fight with them but I don’t want to say anything to her either. She was about four feet away and she dropped a note on my book and said quite nicely, “I hope you enjoy this note!” then she walked away. I was contemplating what it could be. I was hoping for an apology due to the curly lettering she wrote my name in only to open it up and find the ugly- fast written note of hate and anger. Then I got to the bottom and noticed all of my friends names signed with a few extra that weren’t even involved but apparently agreed with what the note said. That note made me so mad; I never wanted to see any of those girls again. I couldn’t believe that all of my friends had turned against me like this, especially Samantha. We had been friends since kindergarten and now, to ruin our friendship like this? I couldn’t believe what was happening.
My new friends Lauren and Taylor were very helpful through the situation. They told me to just ignore them and eventually they would have to let it go. But two weeks had passed now and it seemed like forever. Not one of my old friends had said one nice word to me. Lauren and Taylor had noticed things weren’t getting easier but didn’t know what else to do. They told me to tell my mom about it. And even though I didn’t want to, I didn’t know what else to do.
When my mom found out she couldn’t believe what was happening. She had never heard of girls being so mean, especially my best friends- how they can just change like that? My mom didn’t tell me what she was going to do but she said she’ll think of something.
The next day at school I was pulled out at second hour and so was Veronica- we had the same class. Veronica gave me an evil glare as we left the room together. The tension walking to the office was enough to make me scream. I wanted to start crying- I was breaking down. Then I saw my mom there to pick me up along with Veronica’s, Samantha’s, Britney’s and Stephanie’s mom. I felt relived. We were all getting picked up and going to Veronica’s house to settle things.
When we got there it was them against me. It was the most awkward situation that anyone could be in. I told my side of the story and of course everything I said was wrong. I brought up the e-mails they sent me, the hate note- that I still had- how they didn’t let me sit with them at lunch, how everyone in the school thought I was stuck up and a brat. They said that none of it was true. Veronica and Britney were the main ones talking back. They had to of made up the rumors and said the most terrible things because Samantha and Stephanie didn’t say one word except “I’m sorry,” when we finally solved the problem. But before that there was a lot of bickering back and forth.
“I have done nothing wrong to any of you, and for some reason all of a sudden, you got super mad at me,” I explained to them.
“Yes you have! You have never been nice to us, you always have to have it your way or else we won’t do anything…” Veronica snapped back at me. I knew everything she said was a lie, and so did everyone else in the room,
“Veronica, give an example of when I haven’t gone along with the group or have not been nice to you,” I questioned her.
“Um…,” she looked a Britney to see if she had any input, “like that one time that we wanted to go to the movies and we wanted to see The Wedding Planner but you wanted to see How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days,” she said.
“I told you already, my mom wanted to go see that with me!” I replied.
“Okay girls, I think that is enough. You will someday realize that this fight is really immature so why don’t you just forget about it?” Samantha’s mom said. We agreed but I knew things were not over with, at least not with Veronica and Britney.
I was nervous for the next day at school. I didn’t know how things were going to be. Like are they really okay with everything or did they just agree to get things over with? I kept thinking about this all night, I tossed and I turned. I thought if things aren’t over with then at least I have new friends who will be by my side. But then again, all those good times that I had with those girls. We had so much fun. I couldn’t help to think that things were finally going to be back to normal.
The next day at school we all sat together at lunch but it was very awkward. I felt like I had no room in the conversation or to what was going on. I didn’t want to ruin how things were going. Samantha and Stephanie were the ones that talked to me most. They completely forgave me and I accepted their apology knowing that it was Veronica and Britney who had made them hate me.

Taylor and Lauren became my new best friends. I guess karma does happen because Veronica and Britney didn’t have very many friends after the situation. And it was their fault. Samantha and Stephanie would sit with me at lunch with my new friends. I was so glad that everyone got along and things were getting back to normal, at least a new normal. My new group of friends became closer and I realized that there are so many people out there that if some won’t appreciate you, there will always be others who will.

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