[If you’re not a big fan of long personal essays, I’d understand if you dismiss reading this long-ass, pathetic ‘tragedy’ beforehand.]

Friends’ is kind of a scarred topic for me to write about. Because, I guess, I never really had one until too late. I was always one of those ‘outcasted’ kids in the class; sitting in the corner ’til fifth grade, and in the front, ’til the end of high school. So, being a castaway, I would simply settle for other castaways, like the goofiest, the fattest or the shortest kid. 

When I was young, Our class teachers used to do this thing where they would arrange us in a way that everyone’s friend would be sitting far away from them so that they don’t disturb while being taught. When our arrangements would be finalized, every kid would be mourning the separation from their best friends and waiting for every subject period to get over as soon as possible. Me? I would be the only one ending up happy ’cause I would finally have someone to talk to, even though I was aware that it was due to helplessness of their circumstances (It was as pathetic as it sounds, trust me).
In First grade, I became friends with these two girls; one very short and with the Squeakiest voice ever, and the other, the most socially awkward person ever. They  both would usually end up sitting together, but I never cared about such trivial things; I was just glad to finally have somebody to be with and not end up being alone, looking like a total dork.

Third grade commenced and we got separated. But, I guess, it didn’t really matter to them, because they instantly made new friends. Me? I was more of  a minding-my-own-business type. I was considered ‘the listener’. Always listening people ranting and speaking about their life problems to me if they would have nowhere else to go. Once, for a change, I tried to be on the other side of the conversation and fended to speak of my problems to somebody . Well, I guess you know how that must’ve gone. I simply ended up boring that person and, again, ended up being alone along with the idea of friendship being a very superficial subject.

Although I made a few acquaintances for my musings here and there, yet I would still hate going to school. For, it was worse suffering alone in that hell than sharing the dire time with somebody. Gradually, My perspective changed and I lost my childhood even before it began. I saw the reality and the shallowness of this prison before I was meant to. I saw how people stood by just one rule; you’re remembered only when you’re needed.

I remember my mother pleading my sixth-grade teacher to help me make a friend, at the parent-teacher meeting. My face flushed even more when my class teacher pointed at this classmate of mine and exclaimed loudly, “Now, she’s a very nice kid. Why don’t you become friends with her, Huh?” Well, it was a pretty big gathering, I would say, so it was a mutual embarrassment for that girl and me (which, pathetically enough, relieved me). 

Friendship was a concept I never understood. People always tend to confuse me. They always want some reason as to why they should sustain a relation and yet, expect unconditional love.
Well, I made two great friends in the seventh grade which, eventually, are very good and loyal to me till this day. Still, I was a loner. I made imaginary friends and would fantasize a perfect life with them all the time. I got addicted to this lonliness, because it was more soothing compared to the chaos inside of my head.

Y’see, I was always depressed and caged because I never really opened to anyone about my problems. Usually because I was afraid that either they would not listen carefully and dismiss me or just walk away, ’cause nobody likes a brooding person around to bum their area. This basically made me a person who camouflaged her mind and identity quite perfectly. 
Now, everybody loves humor. It’s the language everybody wants to learn. I was good at sarcasm because firstly, I have a big brother, which automatically made me take the burden of learning that skill. And secondly, my whole life was a pathetic joke. So, I made many friends, most of which were boys, because My mentality matched theirs at so many levels; never crying, always being told to be strong and making shallow, small talks until or unless you’re drunk.

I basically became this wallflower everybody liked to have to joke around. I discovered that all you need to have to make somebody your friend was an approachable smile and an understanding of their thought process to implement it in your humor. It became a simple game of words for me which, I was sure, I’d always win.

Even when I had every mind in the palm of my hand, at the end of the day I would still wind up in the sweet arms of darkness under the isolated Moonlight. Nobody but my own soul knew my heart’s untold, black secrets. I was the only one I talked to because I was the only one who knew how it felt. 
Well, time passed and I reached high school. There were new faces around, but I was alright with that now. I would usually have someone to sit with, but this was a class where you could only have enough time to dig your eyes in your textbooks. So, A free period got allotted and I, again, realized how pathetically lonely I was. I saw this girl sitting one desk in front of me with her group. So I decided to get involved in their talk….

Little did I know then that she’d end up being my alter ego who made me open my chest and having me surprised by realizing how filled up my painful heart was. She made me see how My life, which I thought was just a blot, was a world I needed to explore; how, Even the holes of that barren land, held something large. She showed me that part of my reflection I always hid from. After the day I cried with her about my painful secrets, I became more vulnerable. My disguises gradually wore off, and I could no longer suppress my tears regarding anything that came my way. Once I opened up that lid of my heart, I could not close it again…. Ever. 

 But, I guess, I never even want to; Even if I cry silently in the corner about everything, now, atleast I’m sure that those feelings aren’t eating me alive inside anymore. At last, I had a reason to live and look forward to going to that hell I called school. Now, I have someone to share my pathetic life with….. And the best part? Well, She ain’t imaginary.  🙂 

pungent                                   – JAISMINE K.