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I was stuck in my cocoon.
In our tight-knit circle, we watched from afar as big, beautiful butterflies flew off into the great unknown.
We stayed. There was no reason to leave our safe-havens just yet.
You changed for a reason, I know. You wanted to be more mature. And that was perfectly normal for you. A new style, a new nickname, a new way of talking, a new you entirely. Who wouldn’t want to change? It’s high school. It’s a totally new opportunity to start over. You had simply decided that you didn’t want to watch from afar anymore. It made total sense.
For you. Not me.
We had been close friends for so long. We knew everything there was to know about each other. Secrets, embarrassing moments, strange habits, all the quirks in our personalities, literally everything. There was nothing else to hide or to make an impression on because there was no point if it was each other. So there was no reason for me to change.
I didn’t need an “image change,” or anything like that. Besides, I had changed a bit over the summer. Maybe it was just my appearance and not so much my personality, but I hadn’t wanted to change my personality in the first place so it was fine right?
I was perfectly okay with me until I saw you. Maybe it was the dress or the makeup. Or maybe it was the flats and the absence of your glasses. But I think it was much more than that. The aura you gave off was completely different. You stood straight-up, looking tall and confident, the way I never was. If it hadn’t been for your voice, I would’ve thought you were two years older than me.
Wish on a wishing star right? So I wished to change as well. I rampaged through my closet for hours until I realized: I was trying to peek through my safe cocoon without chewing through the threads inside first. How could I change myself at all if it wasn’t what I truly wanted?
In my desperation, I distanced myself from you. It was my way of showing you that I had changed too. I hung out with different people. I tried to make it seem like I had many more even closer friends. I wore team t-shirts and boasted about recent “achievements” that weren’t really worth anything. I stuck with the friends that had stayed the same, or so I thought.
I kept myself away until I realized it was too late. Thanks to you, I started to notice the people around me. Everyone had changed, even those who I thought would stay the same forever. I thought we could stay in our cramped up homes forever.
But it was only me. Everyone else was clawing their way out of their stuffy cocoons. They were ready to get out and explore. It was hard for them to breath with those limitations. I could feel the stem shaking as others struggled to get out. But I hung on tight. I acted like I didn't care that I had been left behind.
In truth, I wanted you to stay. I wanted you to show me it was possible to get out, but stay and help me without going too far ahead.
Was it admiration? No, it wasn’t, really. It was jealousy. How easy was it for other people to just...change? How come it was so hard for me?
Because I was afraid. I was a coward. I shied away from every opportunity I could’ve taken to change. I didn’t want to grow up, didn’t want to face the world.
You were a majestic butterfly already flapping her wings to take off, and I was still a tiny caterpillar adding threads to my cocoon to hide from the inevitable need to change.
You were the textbook definition of everything I wanted to be.