I sat in the guidance counselor’s office with tears pouring down my cheeks, snot running out my nostrils, and a broken heart. He eyed me wearily, like he hated middle school girls who cried. I am convinced that he was the Grinch, even looked like the Grinch minus the green skin pigmentation. “So, your friend told you that she doesn’t want to be your friend anymore?” he asked suspiciously, almost mockingly. I nodded, unable to croak out an answer.
He called her down to the guidance office, my former friend. When I walked to school that morning, she was my friend, or so I thought. Little did I know that just before homeroom, she would end our association—not only as best friends, but as friends altogether. It seemed that I was holding her back from accomplishing her true popularity potential, and well, we all know that in sixth grade it’s all about who you know. A sad, but true, life lesson I learned at the tender age of 11, before I was officially a teenager.
She walked into the Grinch’s office, her head held high, threw a contemptuous glance at me (which I don’t think the Grinch noticed), and explained her case. She was merely trying to tell me that she needed to make other friends, too, that I was no longer to be her sole companion on adventures in her backyard, in playing Nintendo, in long chat on the phone after school. She needed to let other friends into her life. But she was lying through her teeth; she was good at that. The Grinch applauded her for making such a mature decision, and dismissed her. With a haughty over-the-shoulder glare, she was gone from my presence, and I wish, from my life.
She made the rest of middle school difficult for me, convincing other kids that I was a nerdy loser. She would sit in class and make it clear that the small cluster of girls around her were talking about me. The boys in the class would throw spitballs at the back of my head during French class. A lot of kids hated middle school; I hated it more. I had another friend, jealous of my placement in the gifted class who assaulted me from the other end. To stay afloat, I focused on my studies, trusted in God, and found solace in my church youth group.
That day—the first week of sixth grade—was one of the worst days of my life. I’m sure people will tell me to move on; it happened a lifetime ago. But I don’t think anyone really gets over a thing like that, the first time someone tells you that she doesn’t want to be your friend—your best friend—anymore.