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Of all people that you would remember when you moved, I had expected that you would remember me. How could you forget? Back then, I had no doubt in my mind that you would see me first and inform me first, when you got back.
Maybe I sound conceited, but you were my only friend. You were outgoing and had plenty of other friends, but I didn’t. You were a natural leader. Everyone followed after you. You were always surrounded by people. A strong-minded and determined yet friendly personality made you stand out from the rest.
You promised that we would always be best friends. We did all the things that best friends would do in my mind. Now, looking back, I was so gullible, so brainwashed by your encouragement.
Yes, you showered me with those ego-lifting words. “You’re my only true friend here...I’m glad I can be myself around you, those girls make me self-concious but I still have to be polite and friendly...I wish we were sisters. Wouldn’t that be nice?...” Those were words no one had ever told me before. They made me feel like I had someone else I could depend on.
After all, who else would have played those silly games with me where we would pretend to be princesses in the closet? Who else would’ve jumped from each colorful rug to another while dodging your dog, even though we could’ve cracked our heads open from it? Who else would’ve ran outside at six in the morning to play in the snow?
When it was decided that you were moving back to your hometown a few years later, I was devastated. I wanted to spend as much time with you as I could, but I didn’t see you much in school, as we were in different classes. We never sat with each other during lunch either-you were with your other friends. Half the time I would just bring a book with me to read. In a way, it felt like you had left already. But I still hoped.
Of course, inevitably, you left a little while later.
Later on, I heard you had a farewell party, but I didn’t recall being invited. I shook it off.
I had anticipated your return for so long. Yet when you came back, the other girls surrounded you as they always had. I called your name, but you didn’t reply. And when they dragged you away, you had not one word of complaint.
We did get to see each other again. We met up with two other girls and had an amazing time. I prepared a present, but the other girls did as well. But the whole time, I felt as if I was being completely ignored, though I knew I was just being sensitive. So I just kept my mouth shut, listening to the memories the others had accumulated with you, while I only had that first year you were here.
You left too early for us to really converse though. There were so many things I wanted to talk to you about.
When you came back a second time, I was caught completely off guard. You never answered my emails, so I didn’t know. Yet out of all the people you chose to cling to, you chose her. That girl you used to tell me that you hated. That girl that you said you were only being polite to. At first, you didn’t even notice me until I drew some attention to myself in class and the teacher called on me. You noticed, and waved, grinning happily. I was drowning with my own happiness. Yet later, when I thought I could finally talk to you, you just turned around and said, “Hi Lauren!” I almost choked. Lauren? A year since you last saw me, and you didn’t even remember my name!
Then you were dragged away. I barely got a chance to say hello, or even correct you. I know that you are still a decent person. You simply aren’t the same person you were before, and that’s something I’ve never been able to accept. In my mind you are still a bright star, but in your mind, my existence has faded.
I’ve changed so much since then. I’ve learned that the only person you can ever trust is yourself. But I never stopped thinking. What happened to the leadership you had? That leadership I had always admired? The old you would have protested. The old you would have kept on talking to me.
The old you would have remembered me.
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“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde