Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Always a Friend, Never the Best (Part One)

"We're leaving Jason.  Say 'Goodbye' to your little friends."

When I was 7, we moved and I left my friends behind.  We moved again when I was 8.  And at 9.  And at 10.  After a while, I realized that trying to make lasting friendships was useless and so I just stopped trying.  Read more [+/-]

Coincidentally, I ended up where I started and saw the kids I haven't seen in 4 years.  By that time, everyone had formed their clique and best friend status had been established; I was the kid that left after first grade.

Being in elementary school without a best friend was hard for me.  When my sixth grade teacher asked us to describe our best friend's hobbies, it struck me that I didn't know who to write about.  I randomly chose a friend, C., knowing full well he wasn't writing about me.  I was sure no one wrote about me.  I don't think I've ever felt more alone.

I blindly chose to attend the same Junior High as C. because I didn't want to lose his friendship, as did his best friend.  In Junior High, I was able to accept not being C.'s best friend because I had made lasting friendships; I had known 5 friends for three consecutive years!  That was a record.  I even decided to invite R. and G. over to my place.

I lived in a small studio apartment in Chinatown with two, sometimes three, other family members.  Hanging out at my apartment meant taking turns sitting in a corner nook to play video games.  Needless to say, I didn't host many sleepovers.  G. lived in a bigger apartment, so after the first visit, he declined any future invitations.  However, R. was always willing, even asking on several occasions.  "Finally, I'll have a best friend," I hoped.

"Did you take the money?" my mom asked.  I had no idea what she was talking about, so she accused R. of stealing it.  Being so close to best friend status, I adamantly defended him.  It wasn't until my grandmother interjected that she witnessed him stealing from the apartment did I realize it might have been him.  She had kept it to herself at first because she thought my happiness was more important than a silly pencil sharpener.

I didn't believe her.  R. wanted to be my best friend; he took the pencil sharpener because he thought I said he could.  So I asked, "Did you take my pencil sharpener?"  With a straight face, he lied, "No."  I felt sick, betrayed.  R. wanted to be my friend because I was oblivious to his thieving; that's why he'd ask if he could come over.

What's worse is that I didn't have the courage to tell our mutual friends.  It would force them to pick sides and I was scared they would pick him; they had known him longer and they didn't invite him to their house anyway, so why would they care?  After all, I was the kid that left after first grade and R. was better at basketball.

Eventually, we got most of the money back from R.  We never spoke to each other after that and it took a toll on my other friendships; I started developing friendship/trust issues.  It didn't matter though; I wasn't allowed to invite anyone else over anyway.


epicurist said...

Babes, sadly I can relate. I personally was always the outcast and never had any true friends. The interesting thing is that I am the polar opposite of that shy, introverted child. Looking forward to Part2

Jess said...

Sorry, sweetie. Life (and people) can be cruel. *hug*

Well, we're your friends, and we won't steal your stuff! :)

Jon said...

I'm a little confused- did he steal money, the pencil sharpener, or both? Your grandma was too nice- I'd have smacked him upside the head with a frying pan!

Jase said...

epicurist: So your peers shunned you for being outgoing? Or were you one of those loud, obnoxious kids? Either way, I like you now :)

jess: *hugs* thanks. You won't steal anything, except my heart.. but then, I'm just giving it away.

jon: He first stole little things, like the pencil sharpener which my grandmother witnessed. She didn't see him take any money, but by that time, she didn't need to see him take it to know it was him.