Maryam

Canada

My love of writing started a bit after my love of reading. I can honestly say I don't have a favourite book, as all are great. Although, I did recently finish the "Gemma Doyle" trilogy- and oh my goodness- it was to die for, made me cry.

Grade 4

November 2, 2019

PROMPT: Dual Existence

4

GROUP: True Stories


    Grade 4. Funny how that feels like it was forever ago. A lot had happened in that year, a lot that has changed my perspective on things. Imagine, a bunch of 9-year-old kids doing stuff that still messes with my 14-year-old mind. At that age (and almost all ages), everyone cares for friendships. How popular you are, how many friends you have, and that stuff is what people look for when deciding whether or not to be your friend. Me and my best friend- let us call her Nina- we had known each other for a while. A year before this we met, grade three. We were both really shy kids, with absolutely no confidence to talk to even the teacher. But, I was a dreamer if nothing else. I dreamt that I was the most popular girl at school and that everyone was my friend. I dreamt that I dared to say what I wanted and do as I please. I dreamt of a sort of liberation from the lonely life I was leading. 
    Of course, I adored Nina, but we were just too similar. And not even “we have the same interests” type of similar- I would be fine with that. It was the “I copy everything you do” type of similar. She legit copied everything I did, from the way I walked and talked to the way I sat! At first, I was flattered she looked up to me so much. That flattery did not last long. The day I started to have an actual problem with it was when we were given this poster project in class. I was absorbed in my piece, having eyes only for what was in front of me. When I was satisfied with what I had created, I looked up and around to stretch. That is when my eyes focused on what Nina made. It was an exact copy of mine- but only better. You know when you do something for the first time, it's never as good as the other times because then you have practice? It was like that. Then people started coming up and telling her how amazing hers looked, while I was scolded for copying and having “no imagination of my own”. 
     That was when I decided that I needed new friends. One who had a mind for themselves. But remember, I was a shy kid. I couldn't make friends, so I decided to stop being so ungrateful and stayed with Nina. Over time, I got used to my ideas never being my own, and I just accepted what it was. Me and Nina went back to being besties forever. 
Eventually, our duo became a trio when we met another friend. Let's call him Bean. Bean was in Grade 5, a year older than us, so we never really saw him outside of class except for recesses and around the school. But he was our best friend. He saved swings for us at recess, so obviously he had to be a friend. The three of us were so close. We had this handshake where we’d just stack our hands atop of each others saying “B-F-F’s”. I thought it was the best handshake ever, and that it beat everyone's else's best friends handshake. 
    Halfway through the year though, a new girl came to school- who we’ll call Aly. Aly was everything I wanted to be in the past- popular, pretty, and sought after. We, somehow, became friends. I thought she was what a true friend was since she did her own thing and not what I did. I was a blind kid, who couldn't see past tomorrow, let alone a couple of years. 
Since Aly was actually in mine and Nina's class, we were growing closer to her then we were ever with Bean. That's not to say we weren't close with Bean, we were, it was just a different type of friendship. But the sad truth is, I eventually did lose my friendship with Bean, and for someone who couldn't accept who I truly was. It started to happen on the bus when Aly was no longer considered the “new girl”. I decided to sit next to her on the bus, which already has a big slap in the face to Nina and Bean. Since the beginning of the year, the 3 of us had been fitting all of us onto one seat. At that time, that was the worst thing you could do. We would giggle over how we were bad kids and how the bus driver would no longer take us home. So when I ruined that by sitting next to Aly, they were upset. But day after day, they got used to it as both me and Nina would switch sitting next to her. 
    Eventually, the day came where I did lose Bean as a friend forever. I was sitting next to Aly that day, and I guess Bean needed reassurance of our friendship, so he asked us to do our handshake. Ever since Aly came, we had been doing our handshake after she left. This time, he was asking us to do it while she was there. I couldn't do it. Not at all. I couldn't throw my new found popularity down the rain by doing that childish action. I told him, “later”. His eyes spoke urgency as he said, “now”. I told him never. The hurt in his eyes I will never forget. He looked so saddened, and disappointed, that I couldn't look at him and returned to Aly and listened to the garbage she put into me. 
That was the last time we talked to Bean. I thought it was okay that I lost him, because I still had Aly, so all was good. But all wasn't good, I didn't realize at that moment, but Aly was a toxic person. She was constantly putting me down and shaming me. It started as little stuff, her telling me to do little stuff, simple stuff. And be complying. But it soon escalated to bigger stuff. I was like her slave, and I thought that was normal. I thought that this was a true friendship.
     Flash forward to grade 5, where I’m still friends with both Aly and Nina- Nina was going through the same verbal/mental abuse as me. I thought by now Been would have forgotten everything and that we would be friends again. I was wrong. He got a new group of friends and barely looked at me in the hallways. It stung. And the worst part was that it was his last year in that school, and that next year he was leaving for junior high. But, instead of being the bigger person and apologizing, I got angry at him. I didn't understand why he was so sensitive over everything. He actually wrote many notes to me asking me to be reasonable, but I had no idea what that meant. UnreasonableMe? He was the one being difficult.
    Then, grade 6. Bean was no longer in the school. We haven't talked at all for his last year at school, and he left. Me and Nina were in the same class, but Aly was in a different class. She acted as if she didn't know us. It was then when I realized that my friendship with her was not a friendship, but a prison. And what made me mad was that it took me two years to figure that out. Two years of self-hatred and drama, two years of a type of imprisonment. And the worst part? Which bugs me to this day? That I lost a true friend, someone who truly cared for me, for someone who didn't think of me as a human. 
    I am now in grade 9, and I have still not seen Bean to this day. After my grade 6 year, the three of us (Me, Nina and Aly) ended up going to different schools. I would meet up with Nina once or twice a year, to talk and catch up, but nothing like how we were before. I think Aly destroyed a part of us forever. It took me a while to trust my new friends, I still don't really trust them, in a way. But I have gotten over the emotional trauma I was put it, and I have forgiven myself, even if the Bean has not. I regret my decisions so much, and I miss what could have been. But I now accept what has happened, and I have come to live with it. 
    When I think back on all this, all that comes to mind is, “I was 9 when all this happened”. Nine is too young for all this drama. I haven't gone through this much drama in my 3 years of junior high. But what's done is done. I am ready to move on, for I have learned much from this event in my life. I have learned to cherish my friendships, and to love and care for myself. I learned that self-love is way more important than other people's approval. I have learned that I don't need a herd of friends to be happy, no. All I need are people I can trust and care for. All I need are people like Bean and Nina. 

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2 Comments
  • Tushar Mandhan

    self-love is way more important than other people's approval- this line is beautiful.
    Believe me,this kinda thing (kinda not exactly the same) happened to me as well but fortunately, one day that friend of mine texted me for apology. I took time to forgive and now things are normal but not as they used to do but still.


    15 days ago
  • Charisse Marison

    Wow. I have actually had the same thing happen to me. Toxic relationships are hard to get out of. It's extremely hard to say no because you think they're actually your friend. Believe me, I get it. Just remember the true friends will always stick with you. It is a shame about Bean, though. Maybe one day you will reconcile. I wish you luck with making better friends in the future. And maybe you can call me one :)


    about 1 month ago