There is something I haven’t told you all. A secret that I have been hiding. It had to come out sooner or later and I just don’t think I can hide it anymore… I’m a loner. Life goes by so quickly…. hours turn into days which turn into weeks and months and suddenly yet another year has gone by. For a while, I would stop briefly at a point in the day and wonder “When was the last time I spoke to someone? ” Obviously, I spend most of my time with Alyssa, my mum and the rest of
my family. But when was the last time I spoke to a friend? Then comes the horrible thought; do I even have any? Then it dawns that somehow, I have ended up as an accidental loner.
It was never supposed to be this way but it started so long ago and happened over and over so gradually, that now it appears to be a way of life. At school, I was not skinny enough to be popular and it has to be said way too geeky as well! I was a bit of a nomad really as I didn’t fit into a specific social category because I was a geek that also did drama with the occasional bit of dance. I went to an all girls secondary school, which gave me a good education, but sucked because let’s face it us girls can be absolute bitches
especially when we travel in packs. I flitted between different groups of friends but nothing was ever set in stone. Bullying was experienced in every year at secondary school so when I suddenly left instead of attending sixth form all ties were severed except for the mandatory friend request years later on Facebook! I do have to say that I reconnected with one of my school friends two years ago which has been lovely and we do meet up when time allows and I know if I needed something she would be there if she could.
At the age of 17, I was introduced to a girl called Nat (or at least that’s what I will call her here). Three years older than me, but we clicked and got on like a house on fire. She was a skinny blonde hairdresser and I was a curvy brunette geeky drama student but we both liked to party and became the closest of friends for years. I didn’t want to go to Uni and was worried but the weekend before I was due to leave she took me
to Butlins for a girly weekend where we lived it up all night and slept all day.
Throughout my first two years of Uni, she was up visiting most weekends and hanging out and partying with my housemates and I. However, in the third year something changed. We had this rule with new boyfriends – after we had met them for the first time, we were allowed to give our honest opinions to each other no feelings spared. After that, no matter what, we kept out mouths shut and were just supportive. Well, in my third year of Uni, she arrived with her new boyfriend Jack for me to meet, eager to get my approval…. but I didn’t like him. There was something I just couldn’t put my finger on but he seemed a bit off. I told her so and she was a bit miffed but no more than usual and we left it
at that. However, over the next weeks and months it went from speaking several times a day to going days and weeks without speaking. I didn’t know what I had done, didn’t think I had done anything. My twenty first birthday came and went… no one showed up apart from one of my housemates. I ended up home alone after paying the pub a fee for a no show booking that had meant to be for 16 people. When I finished Uni that summer and went home, it was within days that I received a phone call and was told she was getting married to Jack and that she wasn’t having bridesmaids to keep the costs down and it was just going to be family. I didn’t hear from her again after that. Months later, I was driving through town one afternoon and looked up at the church to see her emerging in a big wedding dress, flanked by bridesmaids and hundreds of
of people. My heart sank a final time and I let go with tears running down my cheeks.
The next few years saw me do many things in and out of the area. I bumped into her a year and a half later in the local night club at 2am. She was covered from head to toe, had no make up on and was sat on a stool in the corner which I spotted from the dance floor. I went over to say hi (God knows why) exchanged pleasantries and numbers and said we must have a proper catch-up and of course I didn’t hear anything.
Another year later and I was living in Sicily as an English teacher. I made friends out there, but thanks to some horrendous actions by my boss out there, swiftly lost them when they blamed me for them getting fired… whereas in fact I had done everything to try and save their jobs from what turned out to be the dragon of a boss. However, whilst living in Italy and on one of my frequent visits back to the UK to visit family, I was walking across a car park in our local town and came face to face with Nat once again. We both did double takes – me smiling and sun tanned, her pale and it has to be said,
looking miserable. After what seemed like ages, she lurched towards me, burst into tears, wrapped me in a hug and cried. She told me I had been right. I won’t go into details as that is her story, but needless to say Jack was gone and with him he had taken most of her self esteem and most of her livelihood too.
For the few years I was in Sicily, we stayed in touch, she met a new partner and had a little girl. Only a few months later she found out she was pregnant again and things in the relationship were not great. I had already decided to come home and made it back before the birth of her second daughter. Six months later, their relationship had completely ended and she had had to move back in with her parents whilst renovations were done on her own house which her ex had left her in a right mess with.
I ended up staying with her a lot to help with the girls and decorate until the early hours of the morning. When she moved back into her own house, so did I. We became house mates and I became like a second mum to the two little girls who I simply adored. She extended her business and I worked for her there on a part time basis too. (I will mention that there was a huge falling out between my family and Nat and stupidly, although I stated I didn’t choose sides, I chose to stay living with Nat which caused major friction and is something I now deeply regret.) One day only a month or so into living together I happened to glance down at her computer screen she’d left facing me to go and get a drink and I
caught sight of my name in a chat with another local girl who I wasn’t particularly keen on. It was a mocking and belittling comment about me by Nat and it really stung. However, I kept it to myself because I knew she’d be mad I had read the screen when I shouldn’t have done.
However, the seed had been planted. Over the next year, we went out and partied, we stayed in with the kids, went on trips, worked hard played hard. Dated and stayed single. I was a live in babysitter but had no complaints if she wanted to go out on a date or when she had a boyfriend stay with them. When I started dating The Ex-Dad she was really supportive and even more so when we split up. Then I found out I was
To start with she was very supportive and telling me how we would adjust the house and rooms for the baby and how it would be fun. Then she started saying how stressful it would be and she didn’t want another baby in the house or taking away attention from the girls. Perhaps it would be better if I moved she said, but there was no rush and she’d help me find somewhere but I had to move… she told me on Christmas Day. I put myself on the housing list and began searching rapidly, whilst spending more and more time with my family. It wasn’t that I had expected that because I had helped her so much with her children that it would be a given that she would help me – it wasn’t a requirement but I thought that was what friends did. They returned the kindness given to them. Delusional?
That local girl was round a lot and as I couldn’t drink she was the go to girl for the fun nights out that I used to be a part of. Then one day, Nat popped out and left her phone unlocked… and I couldn’t help it and I know I shouldn’t but I flicked onto her conversation with that girl and it was just comment after comment after nasty comment about me and how useless and lazy and nasty I was and how horrendously jealous and what a pain. Again, I didn’t say anything but I went to my mums and spent the night there. The next morning I received a message and she
asked me outright if I had read her phone and I admitted it and that was it. She gave me hours to go to her house and get all my stuff out. I had betrayed her and she wanted nothing to do with me. I was called numerous names under the sun and to her I was dead.
I was allowed to see the children but weeks later this also broke down as she really just couldn’t handle being around me or so I was told. I don’t know… I understand what I did was wrong and I know that I am no saint but to me, especially in hindsight, it felt like I had handed her the excuse she needed. The friendship was no more, all ties were cut. Losing the children was hard as I had loved them so much. It was even harder as I had my own child growing in my tummy. I celebrated my thirtieth birthday with just my wonderful mum who took me to Bristol where we stayed and watched the amazing Wicked!
It has now been over a year since I lost my best friend and it has to be said gained a little perspective. I have also lost the weak person I once was and come out the other side. However the scars are still there. They have joined the ones left by the bullies at school, by the friends come and gone, by the untrusting “friends” in Sicily, the dragon boss, the losing of two little girls I adored, by the horrendous and brutal words written about me by my closest friend and by the scars left by me.
All I had ever wanted
was a best friend – what was wrong with me? Why could I not keep one? Why was I the type of person that always lost them? Was it my fault? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have doormat written on my head? Am I too fat?
I quite openly admit that I was in the wrong for reading that message, but I wonder now what would have happened if I hadn’t? Would I still have been at her beck and call? Do everything I could to get approval and yet finding it harder and harder to get? I know in my heart now that that wasn’t friendship, or not how friendship should be. I miss the good times, I cannot deny that. I miss the wonderful friend that at times she could truly be. However, there is no turning back and things cannot be undone. Here I am, a year on and all the
things that have happened have left a lasting impression. I find myself so distrustful of new people. I find myself thinking “Well, why would they want to be friends with me?” What really amazes me, is that the bullying we experienced at school and that we thought would end, never really did. It just took several breaks… nowadays we are trolled on the internet or belittled and bullied at work… or at least I am and in those cases I am pretty sure I have done nothing to warrant such attention. My gorgeous mother tells me it is because people are jealous. She says I am bright and pretty and have lots of ideas and so people feel the need to undermine me. She’s very sweet, if somewhat biased. I posted a piece nearly two months ago advertising for a tribe of friends, jokingly and never expecting a response. Now, there are nearly 50 of us talking daily and sharing in all the highs and lows. Will this last? Or will this be yet another thing I have to get over and collect scars from? So please, after reading all that I have said (and I understand it has been a lot!!!) just answer me one little question….
Why? Why me?