I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all those moments that brought my life to its current position. All the defining choices we make which ultimately create the people we are today. Good, bad, ugly – all of it. I’ve been writing down a lot of these moments. It’s not cohesive at all but individually they stand on their own well. Moments in life that I remember as if they happened yesterday. Ideally, I’d fictionalize them but considering it’s just getting it out of my head right now and onto paper, they are in every way me and often painfully embarrassing.
So, I thought I’d share one. This is about a girl who was my “friend” for a few weeks and she was always pushing me to be a person I wasn’t. This was my defining moment of failure in her eyes. I was not cool.
Also, I recorded myself reading this, because why not. So if you want to listen or download the audio file, be my guest. You can hear me stumble and my computer go off in the background. Should be entertaining. So without further ado, here is my short story.
In the fourth grade, Sam and I were kind of friends. I don’t think she really knew how to be a friend so it was unlikely that what I perceived as friendship was ever real. My mom only let me go to her house one time. Sam’s mom was drunk and when she ran out of beer or wine or whatever her poison was, she left us to get more. Only she didn’t come back for five or six hours. I asked Sam if this was normal and she shrugged. I guess it was. After that mom refused to let me go over again and I didn’t really complain.
One day Sam and I were at recess playing tetherball. She wanted me to say the word bitch. She was adamite that if I was going to be her friend, I had to be able to use curse words. I currently blush at my good nature, because I cuss like a sailor now. But back then, I couldn’t do it.
“Miranda, if you want to be my friend you need to say bitch,” Sam spiked the ball and it wrapped twice before I could stop it.
“Well I can. I have before…” I trailed off. The devil on my shoulder laughed. Yea, own it, cuss. Tell her what you really think of her.
“Then say it again. So, I can hear you,” Sam crossed her arms letting the tetherball fall.
“I’ve said other words too you know,” I said puffing my chest. Don’t lie to her, be the bigger person, the angel on the opposite shoulder pleaded.
“Like the A word,” I said. Don’t say that, just say the word. Ugh have I taught you nothing?
“You can’t even say ass. You can’t be my friend if you can’t just say these words. Try fuck,” Sam said.
I blanched. She wanted me to say all the things I’d been taught not to. To break all the rules I was so good at following. I couldn’t do it.
“I knew you were a pussy,” Sam started walk away.
“I can say ass,” I was trembling as the word left my mouth. The angel slumped while the devil did a victory dance.
Sam turned back to me. “Then say bitch.”
I gulped and felt the air slowly slide down my throat in the painful way.
“You’re never going to be cool Miranda. You’re always going to be a looser,” and with that she left. We weren’t friends after that day. There was no coming back from loserville. It was a one-way ticket and I’d just boarded the train.