At first, Mandy and I really disliked each other. Now I don't want to use the word "hate" because it really is a strong word, and this was all in 6th grade. I was in a torturous math class when I first saw her. She was new, and apparently lost, even though our school is unbelievably small. A teacher brought her to class and introduced her. She had brown curly hair in a ponytail that she had slicked back with a lot of gel (her hair was the rough type of curly), brown eyes, and a little mark on her nose that looked like a popped out nerve. I later found out that was sort of a birthmark. Mandy was very quiet and all she did was give people long uncomfortable stares. This was one of the reasons I disliked her. I didn't like how she stared at me and it easily got under my skin to the point where I started telling her mean things. That didn't even have the slightest effect on her. She still stared.
Years later, we started talking despite me thinking she was really creepy. Mandy had this boyish thing about her. She never straightened her back and walked and dressed like a boy. Her hair was the same style for as long as I've known her. Deep down she was the girliest girl I have ever known. Looks were deceiving. When I left to Europe we still stayed in contact.
One summer I came back and hung out with her a lot. I can easily say that was the summer that Mandy and I became close enough friends to consider ourselves as bestfriends. It wasn't until I officially came back from Europe that I knew Mandy like a book. I knew when she was sad or wanted to tell me something she couldn't get the courage to say. In many ways we were alike. I always kept my feelings bottled up and so did she. The only difference was that I always forced her to talk. Not because I was nosy, but because I knew the pain of keeping things bottled up. You feel really lonely and I wanted her to know she could tell me anything. I never judged her and always acted like a therapist which ironically would later become the career I would want to pursue.
It wasn't until I started having few problems of my own at home that I realized Mandy never acted the way I did towards her. She wouldn't ask me what was wrong but just carry on the conversation in a bland way. I ignored this because I always had a way of caring about people too much. I didn't realize this until much later what a mistake that was. I had put all my energy into caring for her well being, and she didn't do the same. I cared too much and she didn't care as much.
Whenever we hung out, it would be just like a therapy session for her. She would tell me all her burdens, and when she was done talking she would ask me if anything was new. Being the same as always, I would tell her little things that I really could care less about. Only serious things she knew about me was things I told her in the past and things she was involved in. It was a bit sad to know that I knew everything about her and yet she barely knew much about me.
Mandy had told me many things. Everything about her life, I knew. She had an on and off relationship with this guy named Aaron. He went to our school and was a year older than me. Even though Mandy was in my grade, she was also a year older than me because she went to school late. Now I won't get into details of why a relationship that has been going on since 6th grade to 11th grade failed, but what I will say is that she really loved him. I have seen her cry and struggle over him for as long as I can remember. They constantly broke up and got back together. After a very crucial break up, I didn't see her for a while. I don't remember how long it was exactly but when I did see her, I couldn't even believe my eyes. She was a mess. She had lost too much weight, too fast. It was easy too see she barely ever slept, and cried too much.
Why Aaron broke up with her so many times was always a mystery, and why she always went back was always a mystery too. He was never good for her. He spent most of his time not going to school and smoking weed with his brother and friends. His brother would later become my first boyfriend. Deep down I felt bad for her, and there was nothing I could do. The last time he broke up with her was at the end of 11th grade. He had told her that his father, who was half blind was dying and that he needed a break. I sensed bullshit, but I kept it to myself. I didn't want to touch up on the subject, but I knew she also felt the same way as I did, but didn't want to say anything just incase he was serious. They didn't talk at all.
Two weeks later she finds out that he has a new girlfriend. What really pissed her off was how he used his father as an easy way to end things. He wasn't man enough to even tell her in person that he wanted to break up, not take a break. After that, they really did end things. She slowly started seeing other people to get over him. She partied and drank a lot, but nothing seemed to work. I told her she needs time to get over it, and now that senior year was around the corner, she would have a lot of distractions. It was the perfect time to start thinking about new beginnings. Surprisingly, just a few weeks into our senior year and we started drifting apart. She concentrated too much on partying and having a good time.
As a senior she got out earlier than me. I had missing credits since I wasn't in school for my freshman year, and had a full schedule. We only had one class together and we sat together until they changed schedules the second week of the term. A friend of mine decided to sit next to me and Mandy's seat was changed to the end of the classroom. She was sitting next to Kevin again, and before I knew it I had lost my bestfriend to him. Kevin was gay and usually accompanied Mandy to clubs dressed as a girl. They live across the street from each other and their older brothers are close friends too. It was no surprise that would also become close friends.
Days would go by where we didn't even talk or look at each other. Others would rub it in my face that I had a full schedule, and the stress began building again. Only person I would sometimes talk with was Giselle. I stayed home all the time, and stopped texting just about everyone. It was a terrible time. I used senior year stress and college applications as an excuse for such absence. The more time passed, the more I stopped caring. I just wanted to tell everyone to go fuck themselves. One day I sat in my room and I was thinking, I call these people my friends today but tomorrow I can be pursuing my dreams in a different state. I can be far away, and if we don't talk when I am in the same room as them, than I can imagine what a 1,000 mile distance would do to our friendship. It would devour it as if it never existed.
A few summers ago, I remember talking with my friends about the future. Getting an apartment together in the city and we would be having so much fun. Going upstate and having our own reckless senior trip. Now that I think about, half of my senior year is already done with and I haven't even normally talked with some of my closest friends. I always told myself never to get too close with people, because they either find a way to hurt you or go their separate ways.
In this case, everyone is going their separate ways. Even Mandy. The girl that I thought would never leave my side. I looked at her as my sister. Sometimes finishing each other's sentences and thinking the same exact things at the same exact times. She will always remain a close friend, but I know that I would never stay in her life for too long. This usually happens to me a lot. I always leave peoples lives a little too soon, but the lesson is always learned. At this point, only one person can be trusted in a lifetime, but a person can't always be too sure with that either.