I really messed up this time. I know I always mess up but this time around, it’s different. I feel ashamed and embarrassed that I belted out my anger in public but I have to say that it feels good. But I messed up.
Claire is my best friend or used to be as of 30 minutes ago. We ate, shopped, and did a whole lot of stuff together. She was the one person in high school who saw through my introversion and helped me through a lot. Smart, vivacious, popular, Claire was the perfect high school cheerleader. Even when we got to college, she was the one people saw first, wanted to be friends with first, wanted to do stuff with first. I was in her shadow and I didn’t realize it until we graduated college. I believed that she was actually helping me out by saying stuff like, “Oh! Don’t bother with Anna. She can’t help you out on this one” or “Anna, I never knew you were so smart” when I do stuff she least expects. She even goes ahead to tell boys asking her about me that, “Anna is boy-phobic.” What on earth does that even mean? I didn’t realize that my dearly beloved best friend was using me as a crap dumpster and a dart board to stick all her inferiority, envy, malice, and jealousy in. I never even thought of the fact that I may be competition to her because she is/ was my best friend.
But, today, I guess I got a really hard knock. Especially when I realized that I was being bullied by a friend who thought little of me. A friend who took the only guy that ever meant something to me. Because I was a dumbass who never even realized that she was not regarded as a friend. I was hurt when she told Pierre that I didn’t like him back after I’d told her I really liked Pierre.
Long story short; Claire and I live in a duplex and we work in companies not so far from each other. Pierre is our upstairs neighbor who is absolutely dashing. He’s courteous, thoughtful, with flashing green eyes that positively melt my heart when they meet mine. He’s also a footballer. But, I’m too shy to take the first step to ask him out on a date. So, I told Claire. We laughed and she teased me over the fact that I had my first crush at age 22. I told her he wasn’t my first crush. That I’d had crushes now and then in high school and in college but somehow they always avoided me especially when I tried to say ‘hi’. Claire said they’re stale news and to not bother about that anymore. Cool, I replied and then we went to sleep.
A few months pass by with me still nursing my crush on the cute footballer and not doing anything about it. But, I didn’t really care. I felt he would notice me one of these days. . What I didn’t know was that he’d met Claire on several occasions to ask about me- if I was dating anyone seriously and I was interested in hanging out with him. Claire had told him I was dating a marine biologist who traveled a lot. And the last time I checked I was extremely single.
Yeah. I only found out what she’d told him after I knocked down Pierre’s groceries on the stairs of our place. I had to apologize and said I’d make him a meal as an apology. He accepted and came over to our place. I made him spaghetti with meatballs (my special recipe). We ate and then we had the first real conversation ever since we’d known each other. Then he got around to telling me how it was he had had a serious crush on me but had found out I was dating someone- a marine biologist. I think my mouth hung open for a few long moments. He kept on talking about how it was Claire had told him I could never date a footballer because they were all muscles and no brain. My brain shut down for a few minutes. He says he still really likes me but that he’d never poach especially when he wasn’t wanted.
It’s still a blur how I picked up my purse, told him I would be back, and left the apartment. By the time my brain restored its factory settings, I was in Claire’s office, right at her desk. Everyone in the building knew me but it was odd to see me there in the middle of the day. Claire walked over to me and asked what was wrong; I stared at her creepily (I know it was creepy) and then dragged her by the hand into the bathroom. I took in a deep breath and asked quietly, what she had done. She didn’t understand at first or pretended not to. The next time I asked, I screamed the question. She jumped back in fear and began stammering. She confessed all she had ever done to me in high school and college. All the things she’d told people so that she’d be my only friend. I’d always felt I was the one who had a problem but I never realized she was the one. I asked her how she would feel if I had done to her what she had done to me. She then decided to tell me she’d been doing me a favor all these years. I have no idea when I dropped my purse, pulled her by her hair, and dragged her to the office. Did I mention I’m very strong although skinny?
I publicly announced (in a loud voice) how it was that Claire was a manipulator, a liar, and a bad friend. I think they took a few pictures that day. I was just so freaking mad that I didn’t think straight. I walked out.
The next day, Claire moved out. I felt free and happier than I’d been in years. Although I felt embarrassed that I’d done that to her but she should never have manipulated me like that.
Pierre and I? Well, I told him the truth and we’re officially exclusive. Claire? Claire hasn’t spoken to me in 8 months but I know that soon, we’d make up but I’m still angry that she used me to make herself feel better for such a long time and I didn’t know about it.
I am no longer the easily intimidated mouse I used to be. This time, I’m going after what I want without asking anyone for help. If my so- called best friend could treat me like that, who can I trust?