I’m a senior high school student and the truth is I am pretty much mediocre. There really isn’t anything interesting going on in my life. I’m not one of the hip and cool people, following the latest trends, the people getting drunk every Friday night, that sleep with and cheat on each other in turns, yet I’m not one of the intros either, having their lunch on the loo or any other deserted place in school during lunch break. I’ve been having the same three friends since junior high and we are genuinely just happy we’ve found each other in this pool of lost souls.
I love complaining and moaning about how much my life sucks, not because I want people to pity me but because I do not want to accept that my life is just pretty okay. Like I am healthy and I look alright and I’m doing okay at school. No one hates me – at least I would like to think so. In theory I’ve got nothing to complain about. So I pick the smallest details to moan about in the hope to get a grip on my life because it simply cannot be that easy. Everyone is always complaining so what am I doing wrong?
When I go to the Young Adult section at our library all I can find are books about struggling protagonists, who are having shitty lives, turning alright again. I read them and I like them but I cannot relate to them. I’m sure somewhere out there these books save lives it’s just that all I really do is feel small, like I’m not living my life to the fullest. But there are no books about making the most of your life in the Young Adult section, there are only Self-Help books for adults and then it’s about quitting your job and rethinking your views on life and how to get over your third divorce. Yeah because I’ve been there, done that.
And then there is Noah, that guy I, God knows why, let into my life. I was just blown away by this bright, funny, athletic, blonde, 6”4 tall new guy who seemed to be, God knows why, interested in me. And I was blinded by his everything for so long that I overlooked all the tiny little details that bothered me about him. Like the way he never payed attention to what I was saying, always forgetting all the intimate details about my life, my story, my feelings. We had the same conversation over and over again but nothing seemed to stick to his memory. And yet I always reached out to him again and he seemed to play along. Still his obliviousness bothered me, confused me.
Oh, that and the fact he betrayed me, used me, abused my trust in him. But instead of telling me the truth he only ghosted on me. You know that phenomenon when the person you’re investing in just vanishes out of the blue, which is kind of difficult when you’re in high school but it just felt different whenever we caught eyes at lunch. And whereas he used to sit next to me, now he’s sitting somewhere else with his new, cooler, hipper friends. My reaction was simple but effective: I followed suit. Okay maybe that is a lie. It was difficult not to think about Noah every second but I really needed to stop letting this feeling of misery and failure he was symbolizing for me overcome myself. So I let go.
I guess I just got tired. Like when you’re watching the ferry wheel at the fair and at first you think it looks awesome but then at one point – after you’ve started seeing the wheel double – you realize all it does is spin round and round, all day long. And I guess I just wanted to stop spinning all day long, every day. My friends never really understood why I stayed on that wheel for so long anyway, seeing that I hate heights.
But people always say you need to face your fears and so, just for once, I faced mine. And I survived, I fought that fear, but I barely made it. Little did I know that ride on the wheel would turn my whole world upside down, reveal the darkest sides of humankind to me (wow, getting all dramatic here), the ones I’ve been successfully circumventing all these years. I guess high school really is the place you slowly enter the path to adulthood. In the best case scenario.
Apparently, some people just don’t do guilt. And so they mess up, mess around, mess with you and they simply don’t care who gets sucked into that spiral of destruction and pain. They do as they please, they don’t think about possible damages. Coincidentally, the naïve person that I am I always try to see the best in people and so I never assumed that people like this really existed, that they were only a product of some writer’s vivid imagination, maybe the overdone version of some old bully of theirs, some sort of elaborate revenge plan, some sort of psychological method to deal with their past. Who knows. I definitely didn’t know, maybe didn’t want to know that people like that were roaming this planet. Go on just blame it all on me and my obliviousness because truth be told I’d rather have you blame me – that way at least I wouldn’t hate you but only myself, something I can deal with, something I’ve always been dealing with. And it was my fault to keep myself dragging along, I should have pulled the trigger long ago, when I still had the chance to walk out of the room with my head held up high not with my eyes plastered to the ground.
Now I see Noah roaming the hallways and sitting in front of me in History class and I don’t know whether to stare at the blackboard or at the back of his head, because the truth is all I do is picture his eyes, probably half closed because Noah doesn’t like History, and there is no use in trying to listen to Professor Stones anyway. Who cares about Washington.
I should have gotten off that wheel before I started to feel dizzy. Lucy told me I would end up here. On the floor, doubting my poor life choices, a bin full of wet tissues next to the bed I would be lying on most of the time. She told me from the start Noah was no good but I didn’t listen. And now look where we are. There’s no bin and there are no wet tissues but there is my heart pounding loud and fast and my mind silently screaming that one single question at the current version of myself (good thing you can’t see me right now) whenever I look in the mirror: Why?
The truth was lying in front of me all this time and I wanted it to be a lie. It really was my fault and Lucy was right. Now I feel like a fool for not trusting the obvious truth in the first place. He was the new guy. He needed friends and I felt like I was the chosen one to help him at having a good start at our school. Why I thought I was the chosen one you might ask? Maybe it was the way he smiled at me when he introduced himself, maybe it’s because I was the only girl in class that day so I had no one to compete with for his attention. And yet he could have just denied my help. He didn’t. And here we are now. Two friends turned into strangers again. But I’m okay again. Seriously. I can see your eyes squinting while reading these lines. No, I promise you, I am fine. Totes.
I just realized something, something I should have realized a long time ago. Some people are not worth your time. Some people don’t deserve to be let into your life, updated about the things going on, they don’t deserve to be called your friends. Some people don’t deserve you. Your kindness, your care, your anything.
I hate to break it to you but some people are not meant to be part of your life for the long run and that’s okay. People come and go. People will always disappoint you but it’s those moments that will determine how much you care about this person and how much this person truly cares about you.
If weeks go by and they don’t even feel the need to reconnect – let go of them, if they don’t push you into pursuing your dream – let go of them, if they don’t see that you’re slowly fading away – let go of them. True friends think about you without you reminding them to do so.
Noah was this shiny new friend of mine who had all the potential in my very naïve perspective on people and he turned out to be a douche bag. But I guess you need to meet a couple of douche bags in your life in order to learn how to distinguish between people who suck and people who are genuinely good people, inside and outside, when they are with you or with others.
I will graduate in 259 days and whatever happens I’ve learned this one lesson already: People are people but you’ve got the choice to let them in or show them the exit again.
I walk out of the Social Studies class where I’ve just experienced this revelation of mine and meet Noah’s sparkling blue eyes.
“Hey.” He smiles at me. There they are, his wonderful dimples.
Goddamnit. Do you need to make it that difficult though?
Maria was listening to 5SoS’s “Jet Black Heart” while writing this short story which is actually turning into a long story.