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The color drained from my face as I stared in horror at the computer screen. The all too familiar Facebook page I had once known as friendly and inviting now seemed to be reaching out of the screen and ripping my heart out. I stared at the “add as a friend” button on my friend Sabrina’s profile page, the same button that previously said “friends.” That cannot just magically change overnight. She had to have deliberately deleted me from her Facebook in order for that to happen. I couldn’t believe it. One of my best friends from high school had just decided that she no longer wanted to be my friend.
I flashed back to a crisp fall night with leaves crunching under my feet as I walked away from the house towards the fire pit where my friends, Allie, Sabrina and Jenna, sat on blankets around the fire. I can still hear the sizzling of the hotdogs as they were being roasted and the laughter that filled the air. Allie brought out her newly acquired guitar and we sang “Three Little Birds,” by Bob Marley, the only song she knew, over and over for about half an hour. Three little birds, four best friends, relaxing around an inviting fire.
That night, almost two years ago, we established ourselves as the Abbey Road Crew because we decided to be the cover of the Beatles album, “Abbey Road.” We ended up pulling off the concept really well and we won second place in our school’s costume contest at the annual “Hunt”, a Halloween scavenger hunt. We had many more fires after that, and as we sat there in a circle, a shape that never ends, we talked about our friendship that would never end.
We could hear the loud cackle of Allie’s mother coming from inside the house. She had just come back from vacationing with her friends in New Hampshire and they were having a few drinks inside. We heard bits and pieces of what she and her friends were shouting. We heard her mom say, “That sky looks mighty pretty tonight!” in the biggest southern accent one could imagine. She was born and raised in Rhode Island so as for the accent, we couldn’t really explain it. One of her friends replied, “Gotta eat them Brussels sprouts!” We weren’t quite sure exactly what any of that meant, but we sure had a good laugh. We talked about how that was going to be us one day. Old friends from high school, vacationing in New Hampshire, saying crazy things while drunk, it all sounded grand.
I still sat at the computer screen, hurt and confused. I couldn’t believe she did this. I admitted to myself that we had grown apart in the past year, but we were still friends. As far as I knew I had done nothing that would make her angry with me. Even if I had done something that upset her, she hadn’t confronted me at all so I was at a loss of what to think. I couldn’t assume that she had deliberately done this though. Perhaps it had been a glitch with Facebook. I had to go strait to the source of this and ask her what happened. I decided to text her. I said, “ Hey, Sabrina. I noticed that we aren’t friends on Facebook any longer and I was wondering why that is? I didn’t want to assume the worst so I figured I’d just ask you.” She replied, “Honestly I feel like we’ve grown apart this past year and I don’t respect the person you’ve become.”
That stung a little bit—actually, a lot a bit. I still didn’t know why she had done this or what specifically I had done to lose her respect. I didn’t want to give her a reason to hate me by replying to the message angrily. I decided to write, “I didn’t know you had a problem with me, and I wish you had confronted me about it. I’m sorry you feel that way. Best of luck in all that you do.” I never received a response to that message.
This conversation was all happening on my ride to Krispy Kreme with my new college friends from my dorm. I could feel the tears start to build up in my eyes and I tried the best I could to hold them back. As I stared out the window, my mind wandered back to a memory with someone I used to be friends with.
The day was hot and sticky. We sat in Ms. Plante’s English honors class in 10th grade ready to discuss our reading in Lord of the Flies and talk about the savagery among the children on the island. Everyone was so uncomfortable and sweating so we petitioned to move the class outside where we maybe could enjoy a breeze. Our school was notorious for heat that only worked in the summer and air conditioning that only worked in the winter.
Our teacher actually said yes to going outside which was a surprise so Sabrina and I wanted to push a little more. We wanted to climb out the window. For what reason I couldn’t tell you except that we wanted to. I raised my hand like a good little student does and said, ”Miss Plante, can Sabrina and I climb out the window?” She just looked at me funny and then said yes! We were so excited! So we giggled and struggled to climb out the window together. News of our random escapade out the window traveled around the school fast and other people in her classes also decided to climb out the window. We were trendsetters.
A single tear escaped from my eye and I was brought back to reality when my friend Sarah turned and asked which guy I thought was cute from our dorm. I tried to answer the question, I really did, but I just turned and the only thing that came out was the tears from my eyes. The girls were all very comforting and were asking what was wrong, but I just couldn’t stop the tears. I would have rather been alone because I hate when people see me cry, but I couldn’t have asked for better people to be there for me since I couldn’t.
While we were at Krispy Kreme, I got a chocolate cake doughnut. As I bit into it I had yet another memory pop into my head.
It was February 12, 2011, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. He would have been two hundred and two. Allie suggested a few days before that we should have a birthday celebration for Abe because we were all such big history buffs. Others might think that this is odd, but this was normal behavior for us. So we bought cake mix and frosting and made a cake. We frosted the top of the cake to look like his face, and it didn’t come out too horrible. We sang happy birthday to him rather badly, and ate the cake. We even printed a picture off the computer so we could take a picture with our good friend, Abe. This may have been one of the strangest things I have ever done, but it is a memory I hold dear to my heart.
The four of the girls from my floor were so comforting, telling me that I didn’t need her anymore, that she was stupid, even though they were only picking up bits and pieces between my sobs, they knew exactly what to say to make me feel better. I am so grateful for them even though I didn’t agree with them one hundred percent.
I didn’t think she was stupid and I wasn’t better off without her. We had been friends for so long and I cherish the memories we had together, and I wish there could’ve been more. I wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly and unexpectedly. I wish that we could’ve vacationed in New Hampshire, got drunk, and asked where the Brussels sprouts went. I wish we could’ve had more fires with more songs and more hot dogs. I wish all of these things even though I know it can never be. She has moved on and I should too. I will move on, but I will never forget, and I hope and pray that she does the same.