My Sad Childhood
By Kate, age 15, PennsylvaniaI've always been kind of weird.
In kindergarten, when all the other girls were braiding each other's hair and swinging on the monkey bars, I liked to pretend that I was a witch and could cast spells on my psycho teacher. Weirdly, I enjoyed reading. And although I liked the color pink, which allowed me a small degree of popularity, I couldn't run for my life, and was consequently forced to spend my time sitting dejectedly on the swings while the normal children played tag.
This all would have been far more depressing if it hadn't been for my best friend, Andrea, who did everything with me. She was athletic, and could have participated in any of the games that the other kids played. For some inexplicable reason, she decided to hang out with me instead. I couldn't believe my luck. Andrea was hilarious, quirky, and willing to make up fantastical stories about the other girls in our class, whom I resented deeply. I can honestly say that I have never loved any of my friends as much as I loved Andrea.
There were bad sides to our friendship, too. Andrea tended to get physical when she was mad, and she often punched or kicked me when she was angry. Sometimes she would ignore me for days. I never had any idea what I had done. Then, just as I was about to fall into a deep depression, Andrea would suddenly stop being mad at me. Instead, she'd follow me around the playground, hugging me and telling me what a great friend I was. I reciprocated eagerly.
Andrea was also a compulsive liar. She liked to tell me that my other friends called me fat behind my back, and that I should stop talking to various people because they hated me. I completely believed everything she said, which shows that I was an idiot.
I wish I could say that I ended our friendship due to her insanity. I wish I could say that I finally turned my back on her. Unfortunately, that's completely untrue. Andrea eventually ditched me for the very people she had made fun of earlier. Recently, she has started to wear makeup, make out with random losers at parties, and drink vodka, in that order.
I read somewhere that indifference is the true opposite of love; hatred is merely another form of love. If that's true, then I must really, really love Andrea. Although it's been about five years since we've had a proper conversation, I think about her every day. I know random facts about her - her favorite color, her phone number, her first pet. I see posters for movies that I think she would like.
I also think about her whenever I see two kids fighting, or one kid picking on another. I think about her when I see a group of girls excluding someone. I think about her far more than I'd like to admit. Sometimes, I wish she never happened.