Finding Myself This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     I couldn't see because my eyes were so swollen from crying. I couldn't breathe because my throat was filled with sobs. It was the worst day of my life. It felt as if someone had torn out my heart and ripped it into a million pieces. I was betrayed by everyone I trusted, by people I thought were my best friends.

Why are they doing this? I wondered in anguish. I thought they were friends. I never did anything to them!

It was supposed to be a good weekend, since it was the start of summer. Instead it turned out to be the worst days of my life. My best friend, along with all my other "friends," told me they hated me. They called me a liar and b***h. These were people I had been friends with my entire life. They knew everything about me, and I thought I knew them, but I had no idea they felt this way.

My best friend was actually the leader. She screamed at me while my mother stood there horrified. She had trusted this girl and so had I. She was almost part of our family, and I was practically part of hers, or so I'd thought. I even went with her to New York for Thanksgiving. Since second grade she had been my best friend, but it turned out I didn't know her. A top student, she always seemed nice, but I found out that was all an act.

The words she screamed at me are still etched in my mind. I remember each one, every movement, every expression on her face. The scene keeps replaying in my mind like a movie that won't stop. "I hate you! I don't ever EVER want to be your friend again, you b***h!" I was dumfounded and didn't know what I had done to make her feel this way. I still don't know.

My "friends" and I sat down and I asked each of them why they didn't want to be my friend anymore. One by one they all restated that I was a b***h and that I was being "mean." None had any real reason for not wanting to be my friend. It was clear that my best friend had told them what to say and after an hour I realized I wasn't getting anywhere. I was feeling more like a rejected loser by the second. In one hour I had lost all my friends and my dignity. I went home and cried myself to sleep.

My family had planned to leave for a trip to England and France the following day, but wanted to cancel because of what had happened. "It will be better for you to stay home, honey," they said.

"No! It will be worse to sit home doing nothing and having to think about it," I argued. "Staying busy will keep my mind off the pain." The trip did help me forget for a while, but the pain didn't go away and only got worse.

When I returned, I had signed up to volunteer at a golf tournament with my "friends." I obviously didn't want to go but my mom reminded me, "You have made a commitment," one of her favorite sayings.

When I saw my "friends," I burst into tears. I couldn't control myself. All the hurt came back. I felt like I had just fallen through a sheet of glass and cut myself in a million places. The worst part was that they showed no remorse. I had hoped it was all just a mistake and they would apologize. Instead they whispered and pointed at me every chance they got. They made sure to whisper loud enough so that I - but only I - could hear. "Oh my gosh, can you even believe she actually showed up? Did she actually think we were going to be friends?" That hurt. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I felt so small, and I had no one to confide in.

The first day of school they used every opportunity to spread rumors about me. They told people I had spent the summer getting drunk and sleeping around with a bunch of guys. I denied the rumors, but things kept getting worse. In one class discussion I commented on a guy's answers. When he didn't respond, the teacher told him to. He said loud enough so everyone could hear, "I'm sorry, I couldn't understand her. You see, I don't associate with sluts." I heard comments like that every day. Soon no one would talk to me.

I began to realize that I had relied too much on these friends. I thought I needed friends to be happy. I thought I needed to hang out with friends to have fun. Before, I wouldn't be friends with or talk to some because they weren't "cool" enough and I would reject guys who asked me out because my so-called "friends" didn't approve of them. The idea that I didn't need to rely on them was a revelation to me. It was life-changing. I realized I had always been trying to gain their approval.

As the months passed, I became more independent, and the rumors slowed. I began to make new friends with people who actually cared about me. Unfortunately, when my old friends realized I was starting to be happy again, they tried to stop it.

"They are going to shoot you!"

"What!"

"They said they were going to get a gun and kill you."

These were the words that passed through my friend's lips as she ran frantically down the hallway toward me.

"But why?" I said.

"I have no idea," she responded, barely audible. My head began to spin and I felt myself falling. I awoke with my friend shaking me.

"Are you all right?'

"No, what am I going to do?"

I decided to stay home from school for the next week without explaining. I finally broke down and told the one adult I trusted the most, and she took care of it. To this day I am grateful to her.

As for my so-called "friends," I haven't spoken to them in years. I have learned to be careful about who I choose as friends, and will never forget how I found myself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

GiSELA said...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm
Wow what a story! Well i'm glad that everything turned out alright. But hey life is changing as we grow up and maybe in ten years or never will you not know the reasons these so called friends betrayed you and they were dumb enough to have stupid reasons. They were not your true friends and trust me you are not alone. There a tons of people who feell the same way. Betrayed, heart broken, small, unworthy i have felt that way but it's all part of growing up. These things are just obsticles you had... (more »)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback