Friends

by Christos Polydorou

She was a good friend of mine, but we are not friends anymore. Even best friendships, with which we spell forever, end. If it felt like forever in the moment, is it invalidated by the end of our friendship? I am not the one who gets to decide. She is a passionate reader, more so than I. And so when we were teenagers in high school I would show her pieces of writing sometimes like a story or once or twice a whole novel I wrote for fun, for her, because I loved my friend, and she said, upon reading some dialogue, THIS IS NOT HOW PEOPLE SPEAK. I could see that the resentment for her might have stemmed from the fact that I was writing so passionately at sixteen, even if it was utter derivative nonsense, the words were all there beautifully written on the opening lined page of the notebook all the way to the closing pages of the notebook, the words I wrote with love for her, one after the other, so it should matter, for something. But she was always such a bitch to me, so mean, as if she hated me, as if she didn’t want me near her, as if I repulsed her, I repelled her, I made her sick to her very stomach, and yet she wouldn’t let me go. For years I was friends with, when I look back, probably the most deceptive person I have ever met, who makes people believe she is a person full of love, but what she is is like the predatory alien in Alien, the famous film with Sigourney Weaver. My mother was always so ashamed of me when I spoke so viciously of people who harmed me, which I did with an unfortunate flair, also, and believe me, I more than regret it after the matter of the fact, but some things are bigger than us, and yes, some things in life are unpleasant, and angry, and bitter, and negative. But if we get them out of the way, if we manage to be strong and not hold on to a discouraging loved one who actually hates us, and risk, living alone, without friends to trust anymore, a small pile of books, a dream, a reality, a youth, gone, and a new wish, to super-age, it might all just be a new found virtue, one not possessed before. Unfortunately, I cannot tolerate betrayal, or rudeness, or being patronised, or condescended to, just because I have manners, and just because I am a happy person. My happiness, I realise, is a thing necessary to me, and a thing I have to protect. So what if my hairs stand on end and I growl like a pissed off cat when I am threatened? At least I don’t go out looking for people to threaten, and believe me again, that no matter how you or I or the person next to you or the person across the street from them are unable to wrap their mind around the fact that there are people out there who seek others to threaten them, they exist. They will be forgiven, certainly. But we will not be forgotten.

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