My grandmother once told me:" Lemme tel'ya a secret baby girl. Always be mindful and carefree. Most important, be gentle and polite to everyone. You never know what life's gonna bring to you. Our most important ones now were once strangers."
But as I look at you now walking past to me without a glance, I realize she forgot to tell me how hurtful things turn out when those strangers you let enter your life as they are pleased, those you let your thoughts be with, minding if they are okay, those you innocently begin to care for, to give importance to, those you begin to rely and count on, those you have finally taken as friends after so many smiles, laughs, hungouts, little and non-offence discussions which widen into deep and confidential ones, after many struggles, all of these turn out to be nothing but a bad choice in life and how easy they just leave and return into strangers again.
But I have learnt something from myself also by the time. Those kind of strangers are the worse and scarier ones. I mean, you cannot just draw a line to all those beautiful and forget all those memories. They remain. No matter how hard you try, they will always be part of your life, because that is your life.
Though the last thing I wish for is to be part of your life again, I hoped you would not or was not able to ignore me so easily as you are doing. But may be I was such a bad friend, wasn't I?
_Hey Dan, what's up?
I turn my heard to look at Liam, my little stepbrother as I close my locker. He is all smiling like always. I try to respond by the less fake smile I can. I am not in a good shape, I guess.
_Hey Liam, what a sunny day to be full of joyce, I say with that joker smile.
He rolled his eyes before continuing.
_Whatever. Say, I just saw Chris passing by. Did you guys got into another fight?!
I smile helplessly to Liam and do a smack. The bell rings and I say goodbye to Liam before heading to the chemistry class.
Another fight! I wish it was. But this time, I am afraid it is more than our regular fights. I think it is more deep and may be I have lost her forever.
As I enter the classroom, I cross eyes with Chris and for a second, I skipped a heartbeat and I have a feeling someone shoots an arrow right deep in my chest as the feeling was sudden and brief. She turn her head from me and write down on her paper. I am not sure of what I was expecting, may be a smile, may be a smack, maybe..., whatever but not that indifference that I bumped into. Anyways, that hurts like hell.
I randomly choose a seat and don't listen on a single word from the chemistry teacher as I was far from being a fan. I was running in my head all kind of discussions we can have to make peace, me and Chris, unable to decide on how I can start one but I surely decide something: We must have a discussion. And a serious one. I look at her. She was all ears and looking at Mrs Jones like she were the eighth wonder of the world. She has always been into sciences unlucky me. She has always tried to make sure I like them also in vain.
I find myself smiling recalling our first meeting.
My father used to be the headmaster of our secondary school. I was twelve and had always admired him like every normal girl at that age would. He was my super hero. I really liked him. And that day came.
It was a morning of Thursday and we were lining up to enter in our respective classrooms when a car full of police officers parked in the middle of the school field and my father was brought along. So shamefully that I always cry whenever I recall it. Helplessly, I looked at the scene as I felt my feet loosing weight. When I opened my eyes, I didn't know when I closed them though, I was in the infirmary. And right beside me, a stranger face sitting quietly, a book in hands.
_Did I faint? I asked as I opened my mouth.
_Obviously, she nodded and put down the book.
_Are you here to take care of me?I asked again and she nodded again.
_But I don't know you, do I? I hesitated.
_You are welcome. But you see, we have sport for the next three hours so I don't mind helping a stranger a little. My name is Christina by the way. You can call me Chris. Me and my family moved in the city last week so I am new here, she said smiling gently.
I smiled in return. Not that I had any interest in her private life but this girl's smile was warm. I thought we could get along well before I asked.
_And my father? Will he be alright?
She seemed surprised and said much more as a constant then a question.
_So you are the daughter of that pedophile?
My blood boiled and before I realized or thought about my reaction, my hand clacked on her face and I was screaming.
_Don't just make assumptions and don't insult my father. He is my father!!!
I took my shirt that was lying on a chair and run away crying. The following day, Chris came to my classroom a box of chocolates and told me with puppy eyes like she was about to cry.
_I am really sorry, Aidan. Really. I never thought about making you cry or feel sad. I don't know what got into me. I know how sad you must be.
Although I didn't agree with her about knowing how I felt, I appreciated the gesture of excuse. Beside, I never had a resentful personality. So, I took the box and was about to tell her that there was no grief when she saw my book where I was trying hard to resolve a math problem.
_Oh, you are doing math?
I nodded and she took the book and look closer.
_They are all wrong.
I glanced at her. Of course I knew they were wrong. I am far of a genius in science. But that a stranger came and announced it loud, I surely couldn't take that quietly. I reposted then aggressively.
_Just go to hell, I screamed and walked out.
_Hey, wait. I am sorry, I...
I didn't hear her out but she didn't surrender. The next day, I found a notebook where the exercises were all done and all right. I knew she was the one who did it so when I saw a got an A, I couldn't retain myself much longer. I runned at her class and asked her to have lunch with me after school. Since then, we hunged out and little by little we became closer till we were best friends. As for my father, I never saw him again and later when I was old enough to understand, my mother told me she never did neither. My father might have been killed the day he was caught because she never had any news about him, so I never knew if the pedophily rumour was right or wrong.
And my mother remarried.
It has been seven years till then and the relationship between Chris and I glowed. We sometimes had arguments but we always resolve them quickly and they never last. I no longer considered her as a friend anymore, she was more than that. She was a sister to me. But I never thought something so lame will be the cause of our chute.
When the guy next to me pulls me out of my daydream, I realize the room was almost empty and Chris was no longer in class. I quickly grab my stuff and rush out but Chris is not there out in my vision either. I sigh and head to the locker. Then I saw her. At her locker that were next to mine. I almost run to her. This is crazy. I cough to catch her attention and she slowly turns back to me. I stand in front of her, stupidly waiting for her to say something. And when she open her mouth, I wish she never did.
Those two words freeze me. Looking into the words and the context, it seem like nothing has changed at all between us. After all, that's how she always greets me. Yeah, that is. But not with that tone nor with that face. I surely have lost her.
I took all the courage I can and lock my eyes to her.
_Can we talk?
She sighs and nods her head in a bored way.
_Okay, I am all ears.
And that shocks me and freezes me like nothing ever did. I inhale.
_I am sorry I never told you about me and Jason breaking up, I begin.
She sighs loudely and crosses her arms on the chest.
_You know that is far away the reason I am not talking to you, she says calmly. I don't give a fuck you never told me. Or more clearly, I don't give a fuck about Jason. He was a jerk anyway. You clearly are more aware of why I am trying so hard to avoid you.
I inhale eyes closed to give myself more countenance. I am the one who is supposed to be angry and avoiding her, right? She knows she pissed me off.
_I don't think I am getting what you want to say, baby girl, I say smiling to controle the boiling anger in my body.
_I can no longer be around you after you dumped me, she explodes.
_But you knew right before you ask that I was straight, Chris. I never thought you weren't either.
_That's because I never dated anyone as I have always been in love with you. And you are so full of yourself to notice. Then you kept showing yourself such lovely, desirable, seductive and tactile before me! And that day on Liam birthday, you kissed me back, Dan. I know you were drunk and I am a slay to do a drunken girl and also it was a good excuse for you to dump me the next morning. But this must not continue, Dan. I am no longer the best friend of yours as I have exposed my true self. I can no longer live beside you as nothing happened.
_But you can't just ignore me. You can't draw a line to our friendship, right? I only have you, baby girl.
_But I just did, she states calmly. I have done such a thing and I want you to hate me as I hate you right now. You are so selfish, Dan.
_Hey, C. What's up, big sis?a male voice interrupted us.
I rolled my eyes as my stepbrother steps between as.
_So have you made peace?he says. You better have because you really are getting on my nerves with this.
None of us give him some attention. Chris says her eyes locked to mine.
_You just have to accept my proposition if you want us together, Dan. I can only be one thing for you now and you know what, she says before walking away.
I look at her helplessly till she disappears.
_What did she mean, asks my dumbass brother.
I also walk away without response. That girl is crazy. Does she actually think I will become lesbian to preserve our friendship? It's not I have neither did I have some weird thoughts or feelings towards her. I am not going to develop or create them over night, am I? And also, I am one hundred percent sure I am straight. The proof is her kiss never moved me, not even a bit. Moreover, she is the one who chosed her stupid feelings over our friendship. She called me selfish but I think she is more selfish than I am. I hate her.
During the next month, we become much more strangers. She never said hello to me when we met neither did I. She even quit the basketball team and choir and I guessed it was because of me. She has always liked basketball and singing. She might have been very determined to avoid me to do such a thing. That hurts me more. I can't ignore this. I just can't. It's not me. I must look calm as if I don't care by the surface but this is killing me.
We haven't talked for a whole month and it has also been a whole week I hadn't seen her. May be she changed her mind. She really doesn't care about our seven years of friendship.
The next Sunday after church, I decide to stop by her place. We must have a serious discussion and restore our relationship. Chris is very important to me to loose. Her mother receives me polity and gently as she always does but when I ask if Chris was there and I can meet her, she seems surprised.
_Did you guys fight?she asks. I can't believe she just did that to you, that stupid daughter. I am sorry, Aidan. Chris decides to go back to Canada. She told me she wants to live with her dad since now. I cannot believe she didn't tell you anything.
I can't believe it also. I must really have sucked as a friend, I guess. Right now, I want to cry and scream at the same time. How can she do me something that awful? I mean, we has been friends for most than seven years, how could she?
I give my farewell to her mother after refusing her proposition to give me Chris's contact and information and go cry in my closed bedroom. I must respect her decision if she want to cut ties with me. I will be just a stranger or a moment in her life as it is what he chosed us to be.
When Liam come in my room that night, I ask him.
_Do you know what hurt more than a break up, Li?
_Did you fight with Chris again, is all what he replies.
I wonder if our fights ever hurt me as I am now. At least I knew they were going to be over soon but now, I has never been so sure about our end. And now, I know friendship's over hurts more than break up. Or maybe almost.
Anyway, it does for me.