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Turbulence

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I met her in second grade. We had a mutual friend who introduced us. She was nice and smart, but didn’t talk too much. She constantly crushed on boys, blabbering to friends about her fantasies. I got on the plane, sat in my seat, excited to start a new journey. The plane was getting ready for takeoff, patiently waiting; then she hit me. Her confidence grew, pushing, shoving, walking all over me. She'd slap my arm, dig her nails into my skin, and puncture me with her cruel words. I casually thought this is how friends should act, so I let it slide.
She never understood what she was doing wrong:
“Stop hitting me.”
“Sorry.”
She didn't mean it.
I continued being friends with the pushy girl. No one else seemed to want to be her friend. The plane took off. We were drifting into the sky, smooth sailing. Sleepovers all the time, practically every night. I realized soon enough that she isn’t a morning person. She was the obnoxious kid behind me on the plane. Constantly kicking the back of my seat but I didn’t do anything about it because she’s only a kid; kids don’t know any better. She kicked and yelled and I couldn’t wait for the longest ride of my life to be over.
She then drifted into a peaceful sleep. The plane ride was suddenly not so bad. Everything remained calm throughout middle school. Around each other twenty-four seven, we could set aside our differences. People began to realize us two were inseparable. Spending time at one house and moving to the others. Individuals often mistaked us for sisters. My name associated with hers, her name associated with mine. Continually talking every single day, sharing the latest gossip.
But we hit a rough patch of turbulence. I struggled with breathing while keeping up with my surroundings. She screamed. I could tell her mom couldn’t even keep up with her. Threatening to run away if her mom didn’t make me brush my teeth while she did when I spent the night. Her mom couldn’t tell her no. She held her breath just like everyone else that was in her daughter’s presence. Holding back everything building up inside, I couldn’t handle it, I wanted the night to be over. I dreaded the mornings. She wasn’t a morning person. She wasn’t a good host, only getting breakfast for herself, not asking what I wanted. She wasn’t the friend I needed. She was holding me back. Over and over she made me feel like I shouldn’t make new friends.
“Who is that?” She made a disgusted face.
“My friend.”
“I don’t like her.” She crossed her arms, making it known that she was not okay with me having any other friends besides her.
The turbulence made me nauseous and my only wish was for the plane to land.
I turned around and told her to stop screaming. I’d finally had enough. ‘I’m sorry’ she’d say. She said that a lot, trying to patch holes in a bike tire with duct tape. It didn’t work.
I’m sorry.
No. I’m sorry this friendship can’t work. She saw the pain she caused. She tried being more energetic. She toned down the rude comments about everyone she sees. Only once a day did she state how ugly someone's clothing choices were instead of ten times a day. She had a permanent frown stamped across her face. Constantly negative. She was the unhappy, anxious child that wanted to get off the plane and run around. Everyone around her also wanted off that plane, just to escape the relentless whining.
The plane landed and we could finally part our ways. Of course, maybe I’ll see this girl again some day in the future but I’ll only remember the bad parts of the ride. The memories of her kicking and screaming, forever imprinted in my mind. I stepped off the plane and took in a breath of fresh air. A wave of relief consumed me as I moved forward. Time for new beginnings.




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