I've been thinking about writing this article for a while, but each time not knowing if it was worth it. I know you don't deserve my time or energy and trust me this isn't an invitation back into my life.
Yet, I still felt like I had things to say.
It feels strange writing this since I know we're still Facebook friends, although I hid all your posts from my feed years ago. I hate that at one point in my life I cared about you so much, that it still hurts to unfriend or unfollow you on any of the multiple social media we're still connected on.
I'm not sure why I think now is the right time to do this. Possibly because I'm in such a different place than I was three years ago today. I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt that dreaded day, September 27, 2015, to be exact. Sitting outside of Mal's American Diner to be even more exact.
Every year since I've thought of you on that day and the pain you caused me. This year it felt even stranger. It was the first anniversary where I haven't seen you in over a year. The same goes for your birthday which followed less than a week later. What makes it even stranger is that two of my closest friends in college are born October 1 and October 3 right smack on either side of your birthday.
It's weird to think that as I posted happy birthday messages to them on Instagram that not so long ago I did the same thing for you. What makes it even harder to comprehend is I didn't delete the posts until yesterday.
Sometimes I wonder why I let a high school friendship have such an impact on me, but then I remember at the time it really was the biggest thing in my life. For the first two years of high school, I had a great group of friends and plenty of amazing memories.
I still see some of those old pictures and kind of wish things could be like they were, and then I think of you and know everything has changed. Many times I've wished I saw your true colors sooner, or wish I didn't let myself get so attached, but I did. And I can't change that, no matter how hard I try.
However, high school is over. I'm a new person and it's finally time to share my side of the story.
I could have destroyed you then and there if I wanted to, but I didn't. I respected you enough not to bash you to the entire school, but I could have. Did you do the same? No.
Here it is, finally, my (abridged) side of the story.
It all started May of sophomore year when I was tired and worn out at the end of long school year. We sat down and talked one day when you asked to. We talked some things out, I thought we were good and things were on the mend. However, I later learned you weren't completely honest in this conversation.
We went to the shore with the rest of our friends for an entire week and made some amazing memories and had such a great time. Everything was better, right? Unfortunately no.
All summer you were "busy." But you weren't. You'd tell me you were, but then go to the movies or hang out with other people. Yeah, maybe you never posted online when you were lying to me, but they did, and I was the one who got hurt.
By the end of the summer, others had begun to tell me you were having mixed feelings toward me, but that you were also trying to convince them that I wasn't a good person. Do you know how it feels to here one of your best friends say "yeah Allie really isn't actually that bad," when you were close enough a couple weeks ago for him to invite you down to his shore house for an entire week?
He had no reason to think that except the lies you were feeding him.
As Junior year progressed it just kept getting worse. I didn't even make it a month in before I had to confront you. Yes, I'll admit I texted you about it rather than talk in person, but nothing prepared me for the crushing reality that was about to hit. When you finally responded saying you would love to discuss "the issues you had with me" I broke down right then and there.
Those words coming from someone I considered to be my best friend are forever burned in my memory. I screamed. I cried. I was crushed. My parents had told me all summer it was in my head, it was just a summer thing, everything would go back to normal soon, but I knew.
I know you better than you know yourself, I could read every signal you were sending, I was just surprised I was next.
You could send all the cryptic text messages and imply something was wrong, but you couldn't meet with me for 48 long hours. You could lead me on and keep saying bit and pieces, but it was until that Sunday morning when we could finally meet. I was a mess that entire weekend as I anxiously waited to see you.
We both got there early to meet each other, but as I waited on the bench in the front for 30 minutes wondering where you were I only got more nervous. I had to text you to see where you were. You had been at a table for a while now but never thought to text me where you were. That should have been one of the many signs telling me you never really cared about me.
Eventually, we were both seated and I started the conversation. I was honest and I spoke from my heart. I just wanted to know why I felt alienated, why you were treating me like this.
Nothing prepared me for what you would say next.
Without saying too many specifics, although I remember all of the words you used that day, you pushed me down. You destroyed me. You had the audacity to sit there and list everything about me that you didn't like. You called out all of my insecurities. You blatantly said what wasn't good enough about me. And then, you still had the audacity to say if I was willing to change these things then we might be able to remain friends.
I was the one who asked for the conversation, but I was also the one hurt in the end, I was the one crying, I was the one that kept getting picked on and pushed down during that conversation.
All the conversation turned out to be was you telling me everything you didn't like about me and what I needed to change in order to still be your friend, or as I like to think of it a huge waste of my time.
It showed your true colors, too bad no one else saw them.
I sat there and I cried in front of you, something I don't like to do. I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but to hear you of all people saying such awful and degrading things to me, I just couldn't help it.
I was clearly hurt, I clearly wasn't okay but you kept going.
I'd like to believe people can change, but I don't think people should change for someone else's good. I could have told you everything that bothered me about you, but I never did. I chose to take the high road, but you made your own choices.
Most importantly, YOU HURT ME A LOT THAT DAY.
What you did was a form of bullying. I valued our friendship a lot and this crushed me.
After a summer of building up my confidence and having one of my best summers (not that you would know since you thought my job was stupid and pointless), it was all gone. And yes part of that is on me. I let this all go to my heart and completely change who I was.
It stayed with me for my final two years of high school.
It made me afraid to trust people, it made me scared to open up, it kept me from being happy. I was terrified to begin college, convinced I would never be able to find a group where I belonged.
While things did get better senior year, they never went back to what they were. With a graduating class of only 66 kids, I wasn't able to ever truly find my place in the class again.
What you never realized was how your actions affected other people.
Again I accept some of the blame for losing some of my other friends. But I was too broken on the inside for so long to have the energy or patience to keep these other connections. And every time I saw anyone, especially people I considered my friends, treating you nicely or being friendly with you it hurt me.
I lost other friends because I just couldn't be around you or the idea of you.
Not to mention when I had to watch my dad– one of the few people who truly knew everything you put me through, the man who had to sit in a car with me as I cried for the entire hour-long drive for months, someone who hurt inside to see me this way– continue to be impartial to you in class.
He had to just be a teacher when we were stuck in a class together for the rest of the year, as he knew I was dying on the inside.
A couple months after our conversation I wrote 5 paged single-spaced letter to you. Everything I wanted to say to you for months but never had the courage to.
A letter I still haven't sent, but still, think about sending to this day.
It makes me sad to think that I'm afraid to come to homecoming this year because you could be there. I shouldn't care this much anymore, it shouldn't bother me, yet it does. To be fair, I'm in a completely new place, new life, new and better friends and couldn't be happier, but our "friendship" has forever impacted who I am as a person.