So this is it?
That last memory I had of you, the one where we’re laughing about something, and how you actually look into my eyes with a look of hope and trust.
I think about how we used to sit on the bus together, fighting back against the bully we always loved to hate and how you would listen when I talked about my philosophy of beating her at her own game. You were always surprised when I talked of smiling instead of getting angry if you were ever insulted.
I loved how you ate up my words about how that one girl who always bothered us would live in Magnolia for the rest of her life while we strolled through the streets of New York, and because of that, you stopped hurting yourself for a bit.
Every day, back when I rode the bus quite often, I would check up on you. I would give you some wisdom, and you would always listen. We would exchange smiles when those girls with the side ponytails glared at us, because we knew that they didn’t matter.
And one day when I rode the bus I asked if that one girl bothered you after I got off and went home. I knew you were stuck on there until you also went home and that made me sad. You nodded saying it was much worse without me there. And I remember feeling so damn depressed because I couldn’t help.
We were a team; you and I. Everyone knew we were the terrible two. We were inseparable.
Now I’m sitting here, watching your back as you talk to that girl. The girl who told us we were going to Hell. The girl who laughed when you tripped when you moved seats. The girl who glares at me at lunch. The girl who told you she hoped you would rot with the devil.
Now she’s telling me to go away and I ask why. And she says you told her that I’m annoying. You refuse to look at me. I swear you sneak a glance at me, a look of guilt… of something…
Where did my friend go?
Now you’re sneaking words to me at the back of the bus, words we used to whisper when paper and gum were thrown at us. Now you’re pretending to look out of the window while you tell me about your day. Like we used to. Like the old days. Like the time we would have actual conversations.
Now you’re rushing to the front of the bus to talk to her, barely glancing in my direction unless she’s distracted by something. In that case, you quickly smile at me before she notices.
I’m sick. Startled. Shocked. And a hundred things I never thought I’d feel about you.
So this is it?