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Andi.

When my cousin, Andi, and I were younger, we did everything together. We were inseparable. Everything from the way we were dressed to the things we found interest in were the same. It was one of those relationships you think will never change. But then it does, and not for the better.
By the time we were twelve, we weren’t spending hardly any time together. We just fell out. We had our friends at school and our families didn’t get together like they used to. As you can imagine, we just weren’t like we used to be.
When we were both the age of fourteen, we rekindled our bond. It was the summer after eighth grade and I thought we were really getting close again. Now Andi had changed and I could tell, but it was expected. We were pretty opposite in how we behaved. I still liked to do things with my friends and family and play outside, while she was becoming more and more into boys. We were just growing in different directions. I didn’t think it was really a problem, we had always been pretty different from each other, but it just seemed like an even bigger wedge by this time.
She was declining, and I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening to her because she was at a different stage than I was in her life. My mom tried to help me understand but I couldn’t grasp it. Andi wasn’t herself anymore, and she was experiencing things that girls her age aren’t ready for. She got so wrapped up in the life of boys and boys wanting her that she lost all connections with those around her and rapidly decreased.
We got a call at around four o’clock in the morning one weekend. Andi had run away. It was a period of four days that we couldn’t find her. I was scared out of skin. This wasn’t something I would have imagined that would have happened when we were seven and playing in my front yard.
Over the next two years, Andi went in and out of a sort of rehab for teens called Tanager. Every time she would be released, she would seem better, but it would only take her a few months to fall back into this same pattern as before.
It was hard on everyone around her, but I think it hurt me more than most. I can imagine being a little kid and the only person I wanted to spend my time with was my cousin, Andi. We are only six weeks apart in age. It was just natural that we would be best friends. Then she started to manipulate me, and I wasn’t on her level of conniving and thinking.
I hadn’t talked to her for probably two months because of this and then we started to be good friends again. I really thought she was getting better. I really did. Then she did it again. Around six at night, we got a call saying Andi ran away again. It was in October of last year and we spent all night driving around looking for her. She finally showed up, four days later.
This time I wasn’t talking to her until she talked to me. Five months went by, and she had called everyone in the family to apologize except me. I knew she would be scared to tell me because last time she did it I told her I couldn’t handle this again. She called me one night, and I told her what I thought and that sorry stops meaning something after so many times. I cried and she cried. It was so hard because I wanted to forgive, her but I couldn’t because I know that she needed to hear that especially from me. I wanted her to know that this has been extremely hard because she has been my best friend throughout my entire life. We’ve been there for each other since we were born. I told her this time I couldn’t just get over it because I couldn’t go back to the same relationship we had before.
We basically have to get to know each other again. I’m willing to get to know her again and try to understand, but she has to make the effort to change herself before our relationship can grow to something more than just casual cousins again.





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