I'd like to say first that I am not mad. I do forgive you.

I suppose our group was never as connected as I would have hoped, or at least to me, it wasn't. Originally a trio, I came into your open arms looking for new friends and a cushion to escape my other strict, so-called "academic" life, and I was granted the many adventures and obstacles you guys would face everyday. New people. New friends. New faces. New inside jokes. Happiness.

I suppose it was stupid of me to believe that our paradise could forever remain this sunny day, yet I stood ignorant at the first signs of the upcoming downpour.

I remember we stopped talking as much first, our group chat becoming dry, barren, no longer as fun, and the topics we spanned and laughed at dried to a crisp until all that was left was the silence, greeted by the absence of joy that once fueled our midnight conversations. The school hallways and our schedules became oil and water towards our friendship, and I, stuck within the rigorous classes of our high school, while all three of you chose the easier path. In a way, I was alone. I would try to catch your eyes in the hallway, glance and keep up to date so the next time we could hang out, it would be like I missed nothing.

But the glances were never returned. And you guys were always busy.

So I was left with me, myself and time — reflecting about who we used to be, who we were and more importantly, what I wanted us to become. I couldn't shake off the sight of the storm, the big dark clouds rolling in over the hills of what was once our paradise, and I hoped and prayed it would pass. But when the first drops fell upon my fingertips, I knew all the joy and memories we had made together were falling just as quickly and smooth as the rain falling around us.

Memories flooded in on the last weeks of me holding on: the sound of our laughter, all of our inside jokes, the trips we took together, our go-to meet up points, our planned rooming for "our penthouse in the heart of New York," our plans for college together, our encouragement, our happiness and simply our group. Together.

At this point, the depression that I had tried to hide hit me hard. Something that grew from the sight of the thunder clouds festered within me, fed by our detachment. You began to hang out without me, find new friends, see new people, make new inside jokes and find another happiness. I'd try to revive our dying group chat, sharing accomplishments that I was proud of, seeking a response — a sign to say that we were okay.

"Guys I made it on the homecoming ballot!"

"Why would anyone vote for you?"

"Gross."

The crack became a shatter.

The paradise we lived in for five years was finally destroyed. The lightning had struck every palace we had built, and the rain had flooded the streets that connected us. We, or I, finally became alone. The hope within me died when someone else told me of your plans to "drop me" from the group, away from you guys, away from what we had. Someone else. Our group became the trio once again, and I was placed back into my old life, ungracefully, filled with homework, old people, old faces and repeated adventures. And though my life was hell the weeks before I finally said goodbye to your abuse, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to experience the feeling of finding a best friend (three!) and loving all of you equally.

Thank you for allowing me to follow you guys on your adventures, through thick or thin, from running through hotel lobbies to making teachers mad from our laughter; I knew at least I'd have you guys.

Thank you for being there for me at my lowest, when I didn't even love myself, to carry me when I needed it the most.

Thank you for trying to fit me into your trio and it working for a time, until we reached this mountain that I couldn't climb. I don't blame you guys for having to leave me behind.

But mostly, thank you for being you for the time that I knew you guys, bringing me up and allowing me to become who I am now — more confident than I was when we first met, stronger and more resilient to hate and proud of who I am no matter what anyone thinks or say. Thank you for being my best friends for the five years we had. I truly love you all no matter where we all end up in the future.

I really hope your penthouse is exactly what we had pictured.