[personal profile] ignited_spirit
"You're like a sister to me. We'll be friends forever." Emmy and I had known each other all of six months when she told me that. That is too short a period to say those words and have them come across as genuine (even when an adult says them). However, there is a sucker born every minute, and I am embarrassed to admit that I was that sucker when it came to those two statements.

Emmy and I met in our Office Administration certificate program. We were friends for a time - in school, she offered to carry my heavy backpack when I twisted my knee and was on crutches. I helped her with school work. Outside of school, we taught each other how to make our favorite recipes. We would go to the movies every so often. We would go for Ethiopian food. We swapped silly stories about our cats. I began to think that Emmy was right - that we really would be friends forever.

One event changed everything. One friendship reduced to the rubble of empty statements and promises. All in a matter of hours.

During a class presentation, one of our classmates ran from the class in tears. After class, Emmy thought it was funny that our classmate ran from the class crying. I told her that it was NOT funny. I walked away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Emmy go over to the upset classmate.

All I can remember of what happened later was Emmy smirking and laughing in the background, watching while Upset Classmate and another classmate threw me against a locker, spat on me, held their fists to my face, and accused me of making fun of Upset Classmate. My pleas that I did not make fun of Upset Classmate going unnoticed. Emmy running away when I screamed for help.

I remember turning on the radio to the country station that night and hearing the song "Find Out Who Your Friends Are". I started crying. The physical pain I felt was nothing compared to the emotional pain I was feeling. I felt like a complete and utter fool. What was it about me that made me incapable of having meaningful friendships (as opposed to casual acquaintances)? Did I not learn a lesson from the last time I went through a "friend break-up"?

Fast-forward to about two months later. It was graduation day. Emmy and her husband spotted me in the crowd of people gathered at the Jack Singer Concert Hall for the ceremony. We exchanged the plastic "Hi!!!! How are you?" small talk. I saw Emmy go over to Upset Classmate. I saw them together, acting like they were best friends. I wondered if Emmy tried that same scam on her.

After the ceremony, pictures were taken. I remember Emmy's husband insisting that Emmy and I pose for one. I remember the plasticness in our smiles, the phoniness of our arms around each other. The emptiness of her parting words - she told me "I'll call you and maybe we can do lunch." The ickiness I felt in my stomach playing along with the charade yet again.

I ran into Emmy's husband a couple of days ago in the Canadian Tire parking lot. We exchanged the usual small talk, accompanied by him saying that he would tell Emmy that he saw me and that "we should all get together for Ethiopian food sometime".

Thanks, but no thanks.
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October 2010


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