They say that I'm a gentle child,
the kind that will never try to hurt you.
They say that I am a kindred soul,
that will never think to leave you.
At first I accept their blind assumptions,
walking with you day by day.
You talk nonsense about things that are boring.
You laugh about things,
that only you understand.
I am lost trying to be understanding,
I hold onto you with consideration.
I think that you are strong, because you don't care
what you look like.
You don't care that other people
I admire your academic skill,
until I realise that you enjoy showing it off.
I feel stupid... when I'm next to you...
but you don't care, do you?
We join the school cross country team together,
you are slower than me.
I want to be with you,
but I keep leaving you behind.
You ask me to slow down.
Let me say one thing.
Ever since I was young, because I had two older siblings
who I knew would leave me someday,
I made it a rule for myself to never,
'never ask someone to slow down for you'.
Know what a burden is,
and strive to avoid being one.
You would often show me your art,
I have to admit, you are really talented!
In return, I show you
But you do something that disgraces me.
You tell me to write a story for you
I can't force my writing,
but I still try,
And I fail, exhausted from creating a shit story
by scraping it out of the vague ideas
you've given me.
I feel guilty,
for not being able to match you in artistic ability.
I begin practicing, but I stop after you
laugh at my beginner proportions
and unsteady lines.
You make me feel 'less'.
less than everything.
One day we are at a friend's house, playing video games.
You force me to play.
I've played this game before, and I know
I'm good at it.
It's one of the only games I am skilled at.
We are deciding who will get the handicap assistant,
an extra character that will help the player.
I know it's not going to be me!
But when our friend asks,
I jokingly say that I'm not that good.
He doesn't believe me, so he looks at you, jokingly.
But you... you
You tell him these exact words,
"Yeah... she's not..." you turn towards me and say "sorry".
'Sorry'? 'Sorry'?! How do you know?
Why did you just advertise to everyone
that I suck at this game that I don't suck at,
without even seeing me play?
You just love humiliating me, don't you?
My dad scolds me for not being good at math,
like you are.
My mom scolds me harder.
I try to study, but everytime I ask you for help,
you laugh at what I did wrong,
and make your explanations chock full of advanced terms
that you know I don't understand.
Then you make fun of how I don't understand them.
Cut to 9th grade
We joined cross country again,
but I found a new friend over summer.
She's just as smart as you, or smarter.
But she doesn't brag about it.
She runs faster than you,
so I don't have to run alone up ahead.
I don't hesitate to leave you behind anymore,
because I have her.
We meet at cafes and have lunch together,
she understands my ideas about life, society, and the universe.
I understand hers.
She plays hockey!
She likes to doodle, just like me!
And though I don't play hockey I like hearing her stories.
I just can't stop talking about her,
she ruffles my hair and respects my writing
as much as I respect her love of science and math.
She doesn't force me to write for her,
she doesn't make fun of me when I don't understand something.
She is my tutor for biology class and math class.
We study together!
She tells me about wanting to write a story,
I share her excitement and help her
develop her characters.
But one day, in the midst of all this happiness,
my mom gets a call from your mom
saying you cried because you felt
excluded and you thought I hated you because I got a new friend
and brushed you off a couple of times.
I feel guilty,
I completely forgot about you...
I apologize to you by text,
because my mom tells me to apologize some way.
You don't touch me anymore,
you don't invite me over anymore,
you don't make brag to me anymore,
you don't talk to me anymore.
And the funny thing is,
even though I feel a bit bad for you,
I don't mind it at all!
I feel like I've been completely released,
I have pride now,
I have a friend that treats me the way I want to be treated.
You need to grow up.
That is my only advice.
You need to start treating people with consideration.
Sometimes your subtle bragging about test scores,
can hurt people.
Stop crying over how I left you,
because you stripped me of my dignity
and tied me to you
by hurting me.
Your mom told my mom that if you did anything
to hurt me,
she was sorry,
and said you didn't mean to do it.
And I understand that.
But until you learn to sense when you've hurt someone,
I'm afraid I can't accept your friendship.
Thank you for sticking by me for those two years,
thanks for the math and art
you aren't a bad person,