My True Friends? | Teen Ink

My True Friends?

May 20, 2014
By lipglosser PLATINUM, Merrimack, New Hampshire
lipglosser PLATINUM, Merrimack, New Hampshire
22 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." -Khalil Gibran

Part 1: My Support System

“I asked Gabe out yesterday, but he said no.” I said to my best friend, Mary Shriver.

“Oh that hottie rejected you? I’m SO shocked!” Mary said between laughs.

“Thank you, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all.” I said glumly.

“Cheer up, at least you didn’t have a chance to be yourself around him.” she said with a funny looking grin. Mary is weird that way. She makes that strange grin all the time whenever she gives me a pep talk. She says it strangely too, in an extra enthusiastic way. I don’t know why she is so popular at school. She makes that face a lot, you would think people would find that odd. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t act like that in front of her popular friends. I seriously should talk to her about that, she shouldn’t be afraid to be herself.

“You're right,” I replied, “if he got to know me more it would have been harder for me to get over him.”

“Sure... See you around. Loser” she laughed. I laughed along. She always calls me that. It’s her term of endearment for me. I always found it funny, because of course she would never mean it. Some people just don’t understand her though. Take Lisa Marsh for example. She’s a goth who loves to bum people out, especially me.

“She’s not really your friend, you know.” she told me once.

“Of course she’s my friend!” I replied.

“She’s laughing at you, not with you. She’s making fun of you.” she said dryly.

“No that’s her way of joking, you wouldn’t understand because YOU’RE not her friend.” I snapped.

“I’m not her friend, because she is a stuck up jerk.” she snapped back.

“You will never understand.” I retorted.

“Ditto.” she mumbled. I walked away. That’s why she isn’t my friend. She only wants me to hate Mary. She doesn’t understand her like I do. Whenever I feel ugly, Mary always has something nice to say. Like that time when I looked in my locker mirror and I felt ugly.

“You are SO gorgeous just look at your LOVELY ears! They REALLY stand out.” she pointed at my ears and laughed. Her group friends that were standing with her laughed too.

“You really think so? Nobody has ever complimented them before..” I said with a smile.

“I bet.” she said with a chuckle. I think she meant “I bet they have.”, but she forgot to finish the sentence. I smiled again as Mary and her other friends walked away. They are really nice people. They are my support system. They make me feel like family.

“Remember when I poured milk on Jill’s head, and she still was fool enough to ‘stick’ around us.” said Mary to Hailey Grouse, one of the group friends.

“Yeah that was funny, I still laugh about that. I didn’t like the poured milk prank at first, but I realized that it was your way of joking.” I reminisced.

Hailey looked at Mary, “Right.” she said trying to suppress a laugh. Mary let out a hearty laugh. I laughed too, but harder than both of them. They both stopped laughing and glared at me. They don’t like it when I laugh. They say it’s like listening to a donkey rubbing against a cactus. Whenever they tell me that I laugh even harder, and they jokingly walk away for the rest of the day.

I have something to confess. I don’t have a lot of friends. Mary, Hailey, Samantha (who I will mention later) are the only friends I have in school. Nobody else likes me because I’m “a freak” as my friends put it. My mother tells me I have trouble reading people socially, but I disagree with her. I like to be different, it’s who I am and I am proud of it. My friends appreciate my uniqueness, unlike Lisa and everybody else.

Part 2: My friends

Samantha and Hailey are great people. Samantha is the sassy one. She looks sassy too. She has really tan skin and light brown hair and green eyes.

“Where did you get that shirt, the hardware store?” she said to me dryly.

“No silly, I got it at Old Navy!” I said with a giggle.

“That makes sense, because Old Navy’s fashion department is.... well... old.” said Hailey in hysterics. Hailey is the laughy one. She laughs all the time, even when there is nothing to laugh about. Her friends elbow her a lot when they are around me. They think it’s rude I think and they are right.

“So, Jill, how many boyfriends do you have?” Mary asked me. Hailey laughed and Samantha elbowed her and she immediately went silent.

“None.” I replied. Hailey tried to suppress a laugh but failed.

“Well I’m not shocked at all.” Samantha said sarcastically, I think. I laughed.

“Oh Samantha, you crack me up!” I said between giggles. All the girls exchanged looks. I locked eyes with Mary, to join in. They all rolled their eyes simultaneously . The bell rang and we all went to our classes. Me and Mary have Mrs. Tromp’s biology class. The halls were crowded with hundreds of frantic students rushing to get to class. It reminded me how I used to feel like a needle in a giant haystack. No one would be my friend when I first went to public school. No one paid attention to me. I was so lost and alone. All the years of homeschooling kept me sheltered from everyone, I guess. But then three angels rescued me from the darkness and opened themselves to me. I can never thank them enough.

Part 3: Biology Class

“Today, we will be examining substances under a microscope.” declared Mrs. Tromp. Everyone groaned except me.

“Yay!” I said clapping my hands. All the students stared at me. Embarrassed, I looked down. The classroom door flung open. In stepped Lisa.

“Your late, Ms. Marsh.” said Mrs. Tromp sternly.

“Sorry, Mrs. Tromp.” Lisa apologized. Lisa plopped down into the chair and gave a half smile to me. I cautiously smiled back. Strange, I never really seen her smile before. It looked so...... sincere and not strange. I bet Mary could learn a thing or two from Lisa. But Lisa, out of all people, helping Mary? I can’t picture that at all, it should be the other way around. I chuckled to myself. Mrs. Tromp slammed my desk with her hand. I flinched.

“Is there something funny, Ms. Bright?” asked Mrs. Tromp sternly. I shook my head. Mrs. Tromp turned away from me and addressed the class. “Everyone find a partner, you got 30 seconds... GO!”. With that, everyone ran to each other. Lisa waved to me and came over, I gulped.

“Hey Jill, want to be my partner?” asked Lisa sweetly. For a mean looking girl, she was pretty nice.

“No, because she’s my lab partner.” said Mary with a sly grin. Lisa glared at her. I nodded.

“Sorry.” I said apologetically. Lisa looked at me and shrugged.

“It’s fine.” she replied dryly. In a way, I would rather have Lisa as a partner because Mary never does her work. I do everything. It has always been that way. We went into the lab and sat down at a table. Lisa sat in the table across from me. She had Henry for a partner. Both seemed to be good friends. Mrs. Tromp handed out the specimens in petri dishes.

“These were your germs that you swabbed from the inside of your mouths.” Mrs. Tromp reminded us. “Jill, yours was the cleanest one.” she beamed. I smiled. My petri dish had a small white speck on it. “My god, I have never seen so much bacteria on a petri dish in my life!” Mrs. Tromp exclaimed as she passed the dish to Mary. Mary’s face flushed. Everyone laughed. I looked at her petri dish. Almost all of it was covered with a thick red ooze. My eyes widened.

“That’s because she’s a parasite.” someone whispered. I looked around to see who said that. No one looked guilty of saying it.

“Who said that?” I demanded.

“Said what?” questioned Mrs. Tromp. Everyone looked at me with confusion. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I gulped.

“Never mind, nothing.” I said quietly. Mrs. Tromp looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

“Grab the tweezers in the basket and pluck off a piece of the bacteria, and examine it under the microscope. Each partner will examine each other’s specimen.Then record your observations on your lab report,” Mrs. Tromp looked at Mary sternly, “Work together.” before leaving the lab. Mary turned to me.

“You mind if you do everything for me? You can come to our big party this weekend if you do. A lot of people are coming..” she asked with a smile.

“Okay fine.” I said reluctantly.

“Consider yourself invited.” she said with a grin.

Part 4: Invited

After biology, I was grinning ear to ear. My first party! I have never been to one before, except for my family’s. For the first time, I really felt like I belonged. I headed over to my locker. Suddenly someone grabbed my arm.

“Look, I know you don’t know me and I know you don’t really like me, but please listen! Mary is not your real friend.” I turned around. It was Lisa.

“Oh and YOU’RE my real friend?” I snapped.

“I am just concerned.” Lisa said before she walked away. I shook my head. What a downer.

“Jill!” someone shouted. I turned around.

“Hey!” I said with a smile. It was Mary.

“So the party is tonight at 8. There will be a lot of really cute guys at my party. The theme is “sexy superhero” everyone will be dressed up like one.” said Mary.

“But I don’t have a superhero outfit.” I replied glumly.

“Well you’re in luck, because I have a spare.” she said with a grin. She unzipped her pink backpack and pulled out a costume. “This is a wonder woman costume, go ahead, try it on!” she exclaimed. I beamed. I couldn’t believe how great of a friend she is. I rushed to the bathroom, eager to try on my new costume. I quickly undressed and put on the costume. Mary stood outside of the stall door.

“Are you finished changing?” she asked.

“All done!” I beamed. I stepped out.

I looked in the mirror. My reflection stared back at me. I looked ridiculous. It exposed my bellybutton and there was major cleavage. I looked....well...”loose”.

“You look stunning!” she said with a sweet smile. I frowned.

“I look awful. It doesn’t fit me.”

“It fits you perfectly.”

“But my bellybutton is exposed and it’s too low.” I said dejectedly.

“That’s what it’s supposed to look like, dummy!” she giggled.

“Ohhhhhhhhh!” I said as I broke out into a giggle. She smiled at me.

“See you tonight!” she said.

“I can’t wait!” I said with enthusiasm.

Part 5: The Party

“Now Jill, this is your first party, are you sure you want to wear a grey t-shirt and jeans? Don’t you want to dress a little nicer?” asked my mom frantically. I shook my head. My mom drove up to Mary’s house. I gaped. The house was huge and alive. I could hear the loud music booming and colorful dance lights were illuminating the house. What an amazing contrast to the night sky.

“Alright, have fun darling.” my mom said with a kiss on the forehead. I got out of the car and waved goodbye before she took off. As soon as she was completely out of sight, I took off my t-shirt and jeans to reveal my wonder woman outfit underneath. I couldn’t let my mom know what I was wearing. She would flip out. She is strict that way. I stepped in front of Mary’s door. I gulped before ringing the doorbell.

“Come in!” I heard Mary’s voice behind the door. Did I just hear giggles? I grabbed the doorknob and twisted it, slowly opening the door.

“Mary! So good to see-” suddenly I stopped in mid sentence. That’s funny she’s not wearing her superhero outfit. I stepped in a room full of laughing people. Not a single person was wearing a costume. My blood ran cold.

“Where’s your outfit, Mary? I thought-”

“You thought wrong.” said Mary with a sly grin. Samantha and Hailey came behind her and laughed.

“Nice treasure trail, Jill.” snickered Hailey.

“TREASURE TRAIL, TREASURE TRAIL! JILL HAS A TREASURE TRAIL! LOSER LOSER!” they all chanted. I tried to hold back my tears but I couldn’t.

“I thought we were fr-friends. You-you” I said between sobs.

“We were never friends.” Mary said with a sinister laugh. I cried so hard. I felt like disappearing from the face of the earth. I turned red. Suddenly I was bombarded with flashing camera lights.

“What did I do to you?” I cried.

“You were born.” said Mary.

“This is going to make a good photo. I am gonna post this all over the internet.” snickered Samantha.

“You look so ugly in your costume. What were you trying to be? A s****y wonder woman?” said Hailey between laughs.

“St-stop. Please stop!” I pleaded.

“Oh but we’re just getting started, Jill. You know what your nickname should be? Jill the Landfill because you're full of garbage. Maybe that’s why you have no friends.” teased Mary. Everyone at the party laughed.

“Why don’t you lay off, you disgusting parasite!” said someone from behind me. Lisa!

“Why don’t YOU lay off, he-she?” snapped Mary.

“I’m not gonna lay off because she’s my friend. No wonder why your petri dish looked disgusting. Why don’t you crawl back into your sorry little cave. At least Jill has a soul and a brain. You’re the real loser.” said Lisa with a frown. Everyone shifted their attention from me to Mary. Everyone turned and laughed at Mary. Mary’s face flushed.

“Leave, consider yourselves uninvited.” Mary said to me and Lisa. I sobbed. Lisa put her arm around my shoulder.

“Th-thank you.” I stammered.

“C’mon let’s go.” she said. I looked at her and nodded. That night I left with my true friend.

The author's comments:
A lot of this story was based on my own experiences. Like Jill Bright, I was trying to find my place within a social circle. My close friend, Julianne, whom I have been friends with since second grade and my other friend, Shoshanna, who I just met, and I hung out throughout the summer during camp when I was 12. We were inseparable that summer. The next summer was different. I was going into seventh grade. Throughout that summer Julianne was giving me social cues that she didn’t want anything to do with me. She teased me behind my back, along with Shoshanna. They would tell me to go away, but I didn’t listen. Everyone in my bunk teased and excluded me constantly. One day, Julianne admitted to me that she was teasing and making fun of me behind my back. Even after she treated me badly, I still hung out with her. That same day, I was at the tennis ball court with my bunk. Shoshanna, joined with Julianne and another girl, came up to me. Shoshanna started making fun of my appearance and telling me they were not my friends. As I cried and turned away to run from them, they chucked a tennis ball at my head. Julianne admitted to me later that she found it funny. To this day, I will never forget that betrayal. Many people, like Jill, have a hard time telling apart playful joking from malicious teasing, until it’s too late. I wrote this to prevent the reader for making the same mistake I did. Sometimes your true friends are the people you least suspect. Lisa, the goth, was based on my good friend, Emily, who would warn me whenever someone was teasing me instead of joking with me. Just remember, if you think something is “off” about your friend, and you suspect he or she may not be your real friends, listen to your gut feeling and ask yourself, do you think they are worth it? Talk out your feelings with your friends or adults, before making a conclusion. If they continue to treat you badly, discontinue the friendship, because they aren’t the friends you so rightfully deserve.

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