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Fiction High School Coming of Age

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

“Oaklynn, don’t do it.”

“What?” 

“It.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Uh, yeah, you do.”

“Please explain in greater detail. If you know me so well, then you know better than to be vague with me.”

“Ugh, I can’t believe I’m stuck with you.”

“You and me both.”

“Look here, smarty. I know you’re thinking about telling Lydia how you really feel.”

“I have every right to tell her how I feel.”

“Do you, though? You blew it. You always blow it. Get over it.”

“That’s just it. She keeps telling me to “get over it”, no matter what it is. Can’t sleep due to insomnia? Get over it. Stressed out over having to study for three tests on the same day? Get over it. Don’t want to go to the mall because it’s too crowded and loud at this time of the day? Get over it. I can’t get over it.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No, I can’t. I can’t help that I’m stressed all the time. I need to plan out my alone time so that I can regain my social energy. I also can’t help that I have the inability to deal with noisy crowds. I can’t get over it all the time and I can’t please everyone.”

“Are you sure that you're eighteen? Because I could’ve sworn that I heard a five-year-old whining her head off.”

“Stop it. I have my limits.” 

“You’re so full of excuses that your first words were, “I don’t want to be with my loving parents right now because my diaper is too poopy.” It’s a good thing your parents had another daughter. You’re the biggest disappointment since the Great Depression.”

“Don’t you mean that I’m the biggest depression since the Great Depression?”

“No wonder you were held back. I seriously can’t believe that Lydia was your only friend. Is she eligible for compensation after losing five years of her life to her friendship with you?”

“What do you mean was? She’s still my friend.”

“Didn’t you see that post she made about you? I think it’s safe to say that it’s over.”

“That post isn’t about me.”

“Uh yeah, it’s totally about you.”

“It doesn’t mention me at all. No one knows that it’s about me.”

“Really? You don’t think it’s about you? Let’s see, what did she post, again? Oh yeah. “It’s official. I have the worst best friend in the world. Do you have any idea what this backstabber did to me? Well, it all started–”

“Are you seriously going to recite Lydia’s post?”

“No, doofus, I’m clearly filing my taxes. Where was I? Oh right. “Do you have any idea what this backstabber did to me? Well, it all started about three weeks ago when I invited this phony to attend my birthday party. As you have seen from my more recent photos, my parents let me hold my party at the Extreme Paradise Amusement Park, which they own. That’s right. My parents let me use their park for one whole day, and none of my guests had to pay for it. It was practically my gift to them, even though I was the one who should’ve been receiving gifts. Anyway–”

“Please stop.”

“Nah, I’m not done yet. Do you know what’s ironic? You don’t like being interrupted, and yet you have no issue interrupting others. Now, please let me finish. “Anyway, this so-called friend RSVPed to the event, claiming that they were excited about the party. Now, let’s skip to the morning of the party. I instructed my guests to PLEASE show up to the park NO LATER THAN TEN AM, but guess what happened? This person doesn’t show up. Thirty minutes go by, and I give this person a call, and what do they tell me? They tell me that they’re still in their bed after feeling comatose for about two hours, which I don't think is even medically possible for someone like them. Seriously, it’s an insult to those who actually have been in a comatose state. Gross. They claimed to not have the energy to drive over and spend a whole day with me, their only friend, but they are sincerely sorry and will give me their present later. I told them not to bother if they’re that lazy to drive thirty minutes to the best birthday party ever. Now they won’t stop harassing me with texts in which they practically beg me for forgiveness. I’m done. If you actually want to be my friend, then you better be there for me.” Are you sure that no one can tell that it’s you?”

“How in the world are they supposed to know that she’s talking about me?”

“Let’s see, what did she say right here? “They claimed to not have the energy to drive over and spend a whole day with me, THEIR ONLY FRIEND, but they are sincerely sorry and will give me their present later.” You’re literally the only one on her friend list who has no other friends. None of her other friends like you.”

“You don’t know that.”

“They never invite you to anything or text you. They only hang out with you when Lydia is there. Face it, Oaklynn. You now have no friends.”

“Why are you even here?”

“Really? I don’t even have a choice in the matter. I’m stuck with you.”

“I don’t even need you.”

“Neither one of us wants to be here. At least Lydia can roast you online and walk away with nothing to lose.”

“Whatever. I’m still going to try to convince her to hear me out.”

“And come across as a creep. Cool.”

“We’ve been friends for four years. She deserves to know the truth.”

“You can’t be serious. What do you have to gain from telling her?”

“This isn’t the first time my autism got in the way of our friendship. It’s gone too far.”

“You sound silly. Are you seriously going to blame everything on your autism?”

“I don’t blame everything on my autism.” 

“What are you talking about? You totally blame everything on your autism. You once told me that your autism is the reason you’re too much of a wimp to deal with crowds at the mall.”

“It is. It makes me sensitive to loud noises, and I can barely handle people who speak with nothing to say.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Sure it does. People say a lot of things, but their conversations never reach a useful destination.”

“I could say the same about you, Shakespeare. This is exactly why you have no friends.”

“Not for long. Lydia’s got to hear me out. We became friends back when I saved her with an EpiPen.” 

“As if she’d listen to you. Good thing I’m the normal one.”

“Wait, are you sure about that?”

“I’m not the one who messes up everything.”

“You’re the voice in my head. Doesn’t that make you autistic, too?”

“Of course not. I’m the voice of reason. Doesn’t make sense for the voice of reason to be stupid.”

“I’m not stupid.”

“You’ve been held back and your friend hates you.”

“I told you. I have my limits. I’m doing my best.”

“What’s even the point of telling Lydia about your autism? You didn’t even tell her when you were diagnosed four years ago.”

“I didn’t know anything about autism back then. Now that I have a better understanding of how it works, I feel more comfortable explaining it to her. It could explain all the times that I’ve messed up.”

“Or she could accuse you of lying and tell you to stop making excuses for your bad behavior.”

“I’ve done a lot for Lydia. I’ve lied for her, I stole back a necklace that Brittney the Brat stole from her on her birthday, and I even excused all the times she body-shamed me because I needed to learn how to take a joke. Oh, and I saved her life. If she’s really a good friend as she claims to be, then she’ll sit down and listen.”

“And what if she doesn’t? What if she accuses you of lying and blasts you online? And what if she uses your actual name this time?”

“I’ll graduate soon. I’ll only have to put up with her for another year before I start over in college.”

“If you make it to college.”

“At least I’m not a little voice who can’t live her own life and must watch through the eyes of another. You’re just riding shotgun. The only right you have is the right to the aux chord.”

“Enough with the Shakespeare crap! I don’t want to be the voice in your head anymore!”

“Then why don’t you just leave?”

“The only way I can be free of you is for you to die.”

“Have fun waiting.”

“Oh, just drop…wait, what are you doing?”

“Ignoring you.”

“Don’t you dare put those headphones on!”

“I’m autistic. Everyone knows that autistic people walk around with headphones on.”

“No! Stop it!”

“Now, which song should I listen to?”

“I thought I had the right to the aux chord.”

“You actually took that metaphor seriously? You really are autistic.”

“Listen to me, Oaklynn! Oaklynn! Take those off!”

“We’re no strangers to love! You know the rules, and so do I!”

February 24, 2023 04:36

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2 comments

Jeannette Miller
21:42 Mar 07, 2023

Catherine, Talk about toxic! This was rough to read and then I got to the part where it was a voice in their head which only helped a little. I don't think either of these people (the real one and the voice) are Oaklynn's friends. After four years, her friend should be understanding of Oaklynn's quirks. It's a solid take on the prompt but so, so, toxic. Good job :)

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Mustang Patty
16:51 Feb 27, 2023

Never argue with the voice of reason, Great story, ~MP~

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