Today, I am very excited to kick off a semi-regular event on my blog called “True Teen Stories,” featuring guest posts from aspiring young writers.
To start, I’ve asked teens to write non-fiction essays about their experiences with friendship break-ups, road trips, loving a rock band, and dealing with ex-best friends—all topics I explore in my forthcoming young adult novel, REUNITED.
Charlotte Nissan, age 13, has the honor of being the inaugural TTS guest poster, and I am so proud to present her candid and eloquent essay, “What happened to friends till the end?”
In addition to being a writer, Charlotte enjoys running and playing guitar. And did I mention she’s only 13! Wowza. I know this essay will speak to so many teenage girls out there. Enjoy.
What happened to friends till the end?
By Charlotte Nissan, Age 13
Okay, so you might think I’m shallow or jerkish or mean in general, but I’d had enough. Seriously, for once I was completely utterly done. It was too much work, to console Katelyn on her dating life or to censor Dilly’s potty mouth and rants about her ADHD and depression (I almost think she made that up, she’s one of the most excited, happy people I know). The only reason I hung out with them because they were Mag’s friends… but even in the days before the breakup, it became awkward to hang out with her. They were obnoxious, dorky (like the lowest smudge on the food chain of middle school), and loud, very loud. And I was done with them. I just needed to get a chance to separate myself, so when one came I took it. Ashlee was that chance for me.
She was popular, friendly, outgoing, and I enjoyed hanging out with her. I did it more and more, until it became the norm to sit at her table. But my friendship with Katelyn, Dilly, and Mag was still hanging by a fraying thread. They weren’t about to let me go that easily.
So I did some stuff I’m ashamed of, nothing big, of course, but still shameful.
The Friday before Halloween, Dilly invited me over and when I explained my situation to Ashlee, she agreed to come to so I could finally finish what I had started.
We arrived at Dilly’s multi-million dollar house (I think three to be exact) and were sitting at the foot of Dilly’s bed when her phone buzzed. It was Katelyn on skype. Katelyn had asked the guy she’d been crushing on for the entire school year out and he said no. This was the second time it had happened, first she asked Kaleb, one of the tall, tan, blonde twins of our school out and now Mac. Then a wicked idea popped into my head.
“Dilly,” I said, “she really needs to stop asking guys who are way out of her league out before she gets hurt.”
She agreed, of course she did, Dilly has all the brains in the world, but when comes to other’s feelings, especially those of her friends, she doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together. She grabbed my phone out of my hand and started texting vigorously. Long story short, it started with Dilly telling her off, talking about how Katelyn never takes any of her advice and ended with Katelyn texting billions of apologies back, you could practically hear the tears through her phone. Then Dilly kicked her out of our group of friends.
On Monday, I was shocked to find out that Dilly, Katelyn, and Mag were closer than ever, like they had gone to camp or something and came back holding hands and singing Kumbaya or whatever. It was like Katelyn completely forgotten about what Dilly did to her. Then during gym, Dilly, Katelyn, and Mag came up to me and Ashlee, and asked Ashlee to leave.
“You’ve been acting different since you starting hanging with Ashlee,” Dilly said.
“Yeah,” chimed in Katelyn, “even I noticed it.”
Then Mag came right up to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “We’d love to hang out with you once you stop acting so jerkish, but until then, I never want to see you again.”
I recoiled with phrases like: real friends wouldn’t make me choose etc., but they had enough of me and I didn’t even do anything. So I choose Ashlee, obviously, because she never made me choose.
And it was the end of my friendship between Mag, Dilly, and Katelyn.
It’s pretty awkward now when I pass them in the halls, or the only seat in English is next to Dilly, but I’ll get over it… I hope.
But one thing I’ve learned from this experience is that if a friend is willing to ignore you because you hang out with someone else, they aren’t worth it at all.