I wonder if you know that you ruined me for an entire year. Of course, you don’t know, because you never checked. You left me to rot once you were done with me. I still can’t believe it. We were so attached to each other. I really couldn’t imagine life without you. I didn’t want to imagine life without you. I remember the first day we met. Your foot had the door propped open before an assembly, and you smiled brightly at me. You drew me in that day, and there was this strong feeling in my gut that we were going to be friends. I didn’t know that we would eventually fall for each other. But, then again, neither did you.
Our friendship was different from any other friendship I’d ever had. Safety was found in your arms when I was upset, and your hand in mine made me feel like I could conquer the world. The words that left your lips when I was 15 made my heart flutter, “I love you.” We casually exchanged the phrase often after that. Something about hearing you say it made me feel better, even on the worst days. Naivety was the one weakness I had when it came to you. You made me think I was your world, and you were mine. You told me once that you just wanted to put me in a bubble and hide me from the “evil straight teenage boys”. That one night in the car that you sang softly to me as I lay crying, you pressed your lips to my forehead and told me, “Everything’s going to be okay, sweetheart.” Did you really mean it? Because after that, nothing was alright. You shook my world. Lying started coming easily to me after that night because I always had to tell my parents that I was somewhere else when I would stay over late at your house. Did you know that? Did you know that you turned the innocent girl that would never lie to anyone into a liar? Of course you don’t because you stopped talking to me long ago.
When you would come over, my parents didn’t care how long you stayed. It’s because they trusted you. They thought, like I did, that you were the best thing that ever happened to me. They thought you would protect me from everything. Little did they know that you were the one who introduced me to the very things they wanted you to shield me from. Do you remember the night you kissed me for the first time? It was cold. I was sleeping. I woke up, and there you were. You hovered for a while, and then you made your move. I quickly shoved you off of me and ran to throw up. Social situations aren’t my forte, and you knew that. That’s why you were so forgiving when I emerged from the bathroom crying. And that’s the reason I thought you cared about me. Doubts started emerging in my mind on New Year’s Eve. Do you remember texting me that night? That was the first night you shattered me. You told me that “it was a mistake” and that you “just wanted to be friends”. Disappointed as I was, I tried to shrug it off for you. In my warped mind, as long as you were happy, I could be happy. Then, at the thespian conference, you came into your hotel room triumphantly waving around a girl’s number. Colin had to hold me for two hours after that because you had crushed me. You sat outside in the hotel hallway for a while that night, and we briefly made eye contact before I retreated back into my room. I knew you felt guilty. It sounds sick to say, but I wanted you to feel guilty. I wanted you to know how much you had hurt me. Things were awkward after that, and I didn’t want anything to do with you for a while.
February rolled around and we started talking again. You got me Melanie Martinez tickets for my birthday and a cassette tape with all of the songs that reminded you of me. As much as you had reassured me that you didn’t like me, you kissed me again that night. Apologies rolled out of your mouth as you quickly composed yourself. You repeated the mantra you had been saying for the past month, “I just want to be friends”. Some time passed, and the situation kept repeating itself. In April, you stopped apologizing for it. I think you knew how it made me feel, but I don’t think you cared anymore. I was a toy for you to use whenever you pleased, and I was an easy target because you knew I would never say no. You had me wrapped around your finger, and every time you came around, I hated myself even more. You were my priority, and I was just an option for you. I wanted to talk to you about it one night, so I invited you over. Three feet separated us as we watched a movie in silence. It was different. Laying in your arms was the best part of watching movies usually. You didn’t want to cuddle that night. Once the movie was over, I tried to find the words to tell you how I felt, but all I could do was run to throw up. My anxiety had crushed my courage once again. You held me as I cried on the bathroom floor and just kept whispering “I love you”. But did you mean it? That was the last time you ever came over again. That was the last time we ever really talked. About 5 days after that, I found out you had a girlfriend, but not from you. From a friend. You didn’t bother to tell me. Do you know how much that hurt? I had thought that we were supposed to be best friends and that you could tell me anything. All you did was avoid me, and I could hardly stand it.
Part of that summer was spent with tears in my eyes, and the other part was spent thinking about how much I missed you. You were the first boy that had shown any interest in me whatsoever. Did you know that? You were also the first person I had told everything to. I poured my heart out to you, and you took advantage of that. Thinking back now, I realize I never knew anything about you. I had only heard stories of your past from other people. I invested all of my trust in you, and you invested none in me. Yet you still called me your best friend. Also, when I think about you, I remember your ex-girlfriend always standing quietly by your side. She never really talked when she was around you. You would also hug other girls, including me, in front of her. Did you think of how much that hurt her? I didn’t. I didn’t pay any attention to it until I realized how it felt. When you started dating another girl over the summer, we were at a summer camp together. As much as I had left you alone during that camp, it seemed like you were just wanting to make me upset. I would catch you staring at me, and when you saw me turn my head towards you, you’d kiss her. Do you know how much that hurt me? Of course, you don’t because you never asked. You didn’t care.
Once I had completely separated myself from you, I didn’t think I’d ever see you again. But I showed up to rehearsal after school one day, and there you were. Of course, you ignored me, and I tried to ignore you, but it was like putting salt on a wound. As soon as I had closed up the scars, you came back and opened them up again. Seeing you made me want to rip my hair out or run from the building screaming. But I tried to keep my cool. Friends kept checking on me and asking if I was okay or hugging me because they could tell I was upset. I was used to biting my lip when it came to my feelings, so I just smiled at them and nodded. You made it a point to ignore me, talking to everyone I was talking to and brushing over me. It was childish. I used to think you were the most mature person in this dumb, unfair world, but you were really just as immature as the rest of us.
I try my best now to not think about you, but sometimes the topic of conversation comes up. Someone will ask me, “How’s he doing?”. I smile politely and tell them we’re not friends anymore. They ask what happened, and I tell them. I have nothing to hide. It’s probably selfish of me, but I want people to know what you did. I want them to know that you’re not as you seem. I want them to know that behind that chivalrous facade, you’re just as bad as the “straight teenage boys” you say you hate. I know that if you’re reading this, you probably don’t think it’s about you. But hopefully, you realize now what you’ve done, and regret it. Sometimes, I wonder if when you hear my name, your chest aches the way mine does, or if you simply forgot what we were. Forgot who I was. I wish I could forget who you were. I wish I had never trusted you as much as I did. And I really wish I had never met you.