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This Is What Friendship Is

By , Goshen, OH
This is what friendship is.

She cried because she is alone. She cried because she is without a friend in this world. She cried because she was betrayed. She cried because of him.

He makes her feel this way. Not because he wants to hurt her, no that was never his intent. It is she that hurts herself. It’s Her hand that wields the knife that cuts her wrist. But of course it’s not her fault. She has pain inside, pain that is trapped, hysterical, building pressure until she will surely explode. Her only option at getting it out is to give it a physical exit point, which she does. Why? Well that’s because it’s what he would do. He would hurt himself, and thus does she.

But in all reality it’s probably not Jane’s fault. Jane is not her real name. For obvious reasons it cannot be disclosed. Nor is it his fault, well it might be. We shall call him Joe. So who then is to blame if not Jane or Joe?

There is a third player in this game of blood. We shall call her Kate.

Jane and Kate were friends. Although Kate had some desires that she kept a secret from Kate. All other secrets were shared.

Secrets such as Jane’s feelings for Joe were passed between these friends. Jane was very much in love with Joe. Joe, as that of the male variety, had feelings for Jane, and as a male was much too gutless to pronounce these feelings. Therefore Jane was not aware of her shared interest.

But Kate was very aware, as a mutual friend. Kate knew Joe liked Jane and Jane liked Joe, but did not tell either. And for what reason did Kate keep this quiet? Kate’s dirty little secret played a substantial part. Kate was in love with Jane. So building up nerve, and being of the female and gutted variety she proclaimed her love to Jane.

Jane was very much a straight individual. Thus in utter confusion she attempted to express these feelings to Kate, but rejection is rejection, and Kate was enangered. Kate was hurt, and thus she sought revenge. What better revenge than to throw herself at the boy who Jane was so very in love with, a boy who as of the male variety could simply not refuse her offer?

Of course this is all speculation. I was never there, only hearing of it from the mouth of the betrayed between sobs. Therefore it would be impossible to assess the validity of the story, as it is told from but one point of view. The validity of the story is of little importance. The story had to be told as a prequel to the devastation that I wish to relive.

I was here for this part.

In our class there were three cliques of girls. There were the popular/sport girls who are unimportant, there were the Emo/Goth/Scene girls, and there was my group of nerds and misfits.

Jane had always belonged in our group. Her best friend had always been (let’s say) Jackie. Kate was in the grade above us and already in high school, as was Joe, so there was seldom interaction between us during the day.

Now when Jane and Joe had started falling in love Jane was introduced to a whole new brand of people, namely, the Emo kids. Joe was Emo himself. Jane was never a goody-two-shoes and had no hard time fitting into his group. She began to even like them.

The treachery of Kate and abandonment of Joe had left Jane an emotional wreck. So instead of seeking help by those who had always stood by her, she turned instead to those who she believed shared the intensity of her pain. The only help they could provide was handing her a knife and a thick rubber bracelet.

***
Meanwhile as Jane spent less and less time with our group and more and more time with theirs, some discontent began to stir. Jackie was extremely furious that her best friend had “dumped her” for some “emotionally unstable freaks”. She said that her problems were just problems and that she was over reacting. She said that she just needed to get over Joe and forget the Emo Kids.

Oh and did she ever let Jane know it. Then to add insult to injury, she gave her the silent treatment.

Did this help Jane’s issues? Not on her life. If anything it worsened her sense of solitude, her separation from friends.

Nor did this help our group structure. With Jackie demanding we take sides all hell broke loose. Our leader (Sydney) sided with Jackie, agreeing that she needed to spend less time with the Emos, and fix her faults. (Gabby) decided to remain undecided, and was of no help to either party.

I was astounded. How could we call Jane our friend if we don’t listen to her problems? How could Jackie wage war on her without stopping to consider its effects?

I became the only person to side with Jane. Jane did need to solve her issues, yes, but I wanted to help her to do that rather than force her to. If she was friends with the Emos, well that’s fine. Why did there have to be walls of separation between our groups anyway? We are after all, just people, searching to be accepted.

I remember going to Jane’s locker in between classes one day. I told her that no matter what I would be there for her. She didn’t really believe me or trust me at first. I understood why. I assured her that if she needed a shoulder to cry on, I wouldn’t mind getting my shirt a soaked. If she needed someone to talk to, well then I would stay up all night. If she just needed someone to stand by her side when confronting her fears, well I would confront them with her. I explained that I wouldn’t make her choose here or there, because it didn’t matter so long as she and I were friends. Her troubles were a part of her and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help.

She didn’t know what to say. I didn’t have anything more that I felt needed to be said. She and I hugged for the first time in months.
And that’s what I think it comes down to right there, friendship. When the dust has long since settled, it’s not about how many secrets you’ve shared, or how many memories have been made, or even whether you’ve known them since birth. Friendship is being able to give a hug when words fail. Because it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve stood by them, it matters that you are there now and always will be.

I wish I could say that things got better. In some ways they did, and in other ways they didn’t. Jane stopped cutting her wrists, which was great. Although Jackie and Jane were never best friends again, they regained speaking terms. We all became a group again, even if Jane never gave up relations with the Emos. In fact our circles widened whenever one of them ventured to our lunch table. I even got to know one of them whom I liked (Glenda). Jane never talked to Kate or Joe again. We still avoid them like the plague, and they avoid each other, since their relationship fell through. Kate wasn’t ever really that into men. I of course, came to Milford leaving Jane, Sydney, Gabby, and Jackie all behind. I still talk to them occasionally, and everyone could be better, but most importantly they could be worse.

Jane still calls me when she is in pain. When a boy does her harm, or Jackie stirs up trouble, I am still there to listen and help her through. I know that when I’m down I can always text her and turn my day completely around. I’m there when she needs me; she’s there when I need her.

She no longer cries because she is never truly alone. She no longer cries because she has a friend in this world. She no longer cries because of internalized pain.

I would like to think that she no longer cries… because of me.




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