New Beginnings

I called Phoebe many times, all she did was look at me once then walk away as if I was invisible, I guess popularity really does get to you. She had left me, I didn’t know who else to sit with at lunch as I didn’t have many friends other than Phoebe. Phoebe was my best friend, she was my best friend ever since K1, we were like 2 peas in a pod. Recently though, I don’t know; I just felt like she wasn’t with me anymore. We weren’t the best friends that we once were. Are you suppose to feel this way with your best friend? She looked like she was being forced to be my friend. At school, she acted strange and time after time she rolled her eyes at me, the old Phoebe would have never done that; I wanted the old Phoebe back.

As I got out of my thought I decided to go and find some other friends to sit with. I took my lunch tray and went to sit with Oriane and her friends instead.

I was first hesitant but they looked up at my direction then smiled and said “Join us, we always have some room for more people on our table!” She smiled happily and looked around at the rest of the girls on the table, they were all smiling and moved around for some space for me to sit.

After lunch I went to sit with Oriane at English, but Phoebe came and called me over so I followed her, I still cared about our friendship.

She whispered in my ear “Some best friend, ditching me to be all alone at lunch, I hoped you had fun with Oriane at lunch!” She looked at me with annoyed, angry eyes that were filled with rage. I realized that obviously, things with the “popular” group didn’t go so well so I was her backup plan.

I whispered right back “Hey, I called your name multiple times, but you didn’t answer so I didn’t know what to do, that’s why I sat with Oriane at lunch instead” I was uneasy I didn’t know how she would respond to that, I kept on looking at the floor, not wanting to show my fear.

She whispered right back “You're so great, you're so kind! You cared about me so much didn’t you?! Whatever, I don’t even want to be your so called best friend anymore!” I could see the hint of sarcasm in her voice, she even rolled her eyes at me, an obvious sign that she was annoyed with me. What was she thinking? How was this my fault?! I didn’t do anything wrong! But a small part of me knew that if I don’t apologize, this might really affect our friendship.

When we got to the playground, I sat on the benches and looked down onto my phone, not participating in any of the group games, it was all just worthless in my mind. Then I heard footsteps and when I looked up I saw that it was my sister, walking up to me. Honestly I didn’t really want to talk to her but I let her sit beside me and talk to me.

She asked me “What happened?” She looked so concerned, with her eyes staring right at me, their was even a small smile. I didn’t talk, I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to!, most people don’t tell their siblings anything. I was planning to stay quiet but she snatched the phone away from me and asked me again.

I shouted “GIVE IT BACK! IT’S MINE! IT DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU ANYWAY!” I needed my phone back, it was the only way I could avoid speaking to her, avoid making eye contact.

She looked right back at me and said “No, you get it back when you tell me what’s up!” She looked at me with a stern face, nothing distracting her, not even when her friends called her to play the next round. There was no way out of this, there was no shortcut, I had to tell her all of it and nothing but the truth, honestly I wanted to tell her. I wanted to tell someone, but a part of me inside didn’t want to, it would have been awkward, but there was no choice.

I sat on the bench of the playground and told her everything. It felt really good because I was so scared inside but I had to tell someone and now that I had, I could stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with life. My sister though, stood up and told me that she was planning to ask Maya (Phoebe's sister) about what really happened and tell her how I was feeling about this. I didn’t know what I thought about that, I obviously wanted to have my opinion told to Phoebe but this might ruin our friendship and I just wasn’t sure about how I felt with that. She got up and walked towards Maya, confidently walking but I wasn’t going to get fooled, my sister was shaking slightly as she walked and she was staring straight ahead at the blank space, gathering her thoughts.

School finally ended, but as I walked out of school; I realized that my sister and I were going to the playground today. My sister and I usually went there with a bunch of our friends and played a ton of fun games, I loved the playground but thanks to the ridiculous fight with Phoebe I didn’t want to go. As I walked to the school gates, I saw a huge group of girls and my sister was standing in the middle with all her friends, it was so annoying all the time to see all of her many friends, always with her. I mean, it wasn’t as if I was friendless but other than Phoebe I wasn’t super close to anyone else. However my perfect sister always still cared about me and I loved her for that.

I heard her say to her friends “Wait a sec, I’m just going to talk to my sister and then we can go to the playground, is that ok?” She smiled at everyone with a charming smile and looked at me with a bright smile as well.

All of them said “Yes of course” Of course, they had to be the nicest people in the world, they were friends with my perfect sister after all. It matches perfectly, a perfect person, a perfect group of friends. Oh wait one piece of the puzzle doesn’t quite fit, a sister like me.

She came up to me for a while and looking at my glum face, she asked me what was up? I told her that I didn’t want to go to the playground and she genuinely looked upset but she said “Come on, let’s just go, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, you can see see Phoebe and everyone.”

Ugh oh my god! I know that she didn’t know what happened but honestly I was so annoyed at hearing that name! I grudgingly pulled out my phone from my bag, I just wanted to block out everything. We walked to the park with all of my sister’s friends and my sister. My sister, being the most perfect person in the world, stood next to me as we walked and she talked to me, asking me questions about the day which I answered “Yes, No, Maybe” I just wanted to go home!

When we got to the playground, I sat on the benches and looked down onto my phone, not participating in any of the group games, it was all just worthless in my mind. Then I heard footsteps and when I looked up I saw that it was my sister, walking up to me. Honestly I didn’t really want to talk to her but I let her sit beside me and talk to me.

She asked me “What happened?” She looked so concerned, with her eyes staring right at me, their was even a small smile. I didn’t talk, I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to!, most people don’t tell their siblings anything. I was planning to stay quiet but she snatched the phone away from me and asked me again.

I shouted “GIVE IT BACK! IT’S MINE! IT DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU ANYWAY!” I needed my phone back, it was the only way I could avoid speaking to her, avoid making eye contact.

She looked right back at me and said “No, you get it back when you tell me what’s up!” She looked at me with a stern face, nothing distracting her, not even when her friends called her to play the next round. There was no way out of this, there was no shortcut, I had to tell her all of it and nothing but the truth, honestly I wanted to tell her. I wanted to tell someone, but a part of me inside didn’t want to, it would have been awkward, but there was no choice.

I sat on the bench of the playground and told her everything. It felt really good because I was so scared inside but I had to tell someone and now that I had, I could stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with life. My sister though, stood up and told me that she was planning to ask Maya (Phoebe's sister) about what really happened and tell her how I was feeling about this. I didn’t know what I thought about that, I obviously wanted to have my opinion told to Phoebe but this might ruin our friendship and I just wasn’t sure about how I felt with that. She got up and walked towards Maya, confidently walking but I wasn’t going to get fooled, my sister was shaking slightly as she walked and she was staring straight ahead at the blank space, gathering her thoughts.

My sister walked towards the fountain where Maya was standing. When she got to the fountain, she started talking in quiet tone about what had happened and my opinion on it. I could tell because their eyes kept moving back and forth between me and Phoebe, it was ridiculous actually. I acted like I couldn’t care less by looking at my phone but I was breaking down inside, I was so scared! I kept thinking about what would happen if Phoebe heard what my sister was saying. Will she be mad? How might she react to it? When my sister finally finished saying what she had to say, I could see from the corner of my eye that Maya started talking back rapidly to my sister and they were looking at Phoebe and I again.

Finally my sister came back to the bench where I was sitting, she looked really disappointed. But she smiled a big phony, fake smile to me, she was obviously masking her emotions.

“What happened, Hanna?” I was scared but I wanted to know and although I knew that it wasn’t going to be good, I needed to know. I held my hands together, a habit I had when I was nervous and scared.

Her response was kind of hesitant and then she said “Maya just didn’t understand, I’m sure that’s why she said all those things” She looked down at the floor and her eyes were all watery. She twirled the same strand of hair again and again.

She was really sad, she even showed it in her actions, the watery eyes, the silence, no natural smile on her lips. I didn’t blame her: I understood why. She had done this for me, she had confided in her friend: she had taken a risk for me and she shouldn’t have, it could have costed her friendship. Oh god, why did my perfect sister have to be so nice!

I felt so unbelievably bad, I looked at the floor and said “I’m sorry, this is all my fault. I shouldn’t have said anything, I just didn’t think that… that would happen”

My sister looked up and said “Hey, none of this is your fault, ok? All the actions I took were on my behalf, you never asked me to talk to Maya and I could tell that you actually didn’t want me to, so I’m sorry as well. I just thought this would be one of my heroic moments!, I guess it didn’t turn out like that, did it?” I felt like crying at how nice she was so I just stood there and shook my head, I couldn’t speak or else the tears would have burst out.

My sister finally got up from the bench like nothing happened and started walking to the pick up point. I obligingly stood up and followed her. We didn’t speak, we didn’t need to, there was no point anymore with dwelling about what happened but I knew that deep down we were thinking about it.. We sat at the pick up point area and waited for mum to pick us up, it was so strange, being in complete and utter silence. I was just about to say something to my sister when I heard footsteps and saw 2 heads bopping into view, it was Maya and Phoebe. What did they want? I didn’t even want to see their faces.

Phoebe said awkwardly “I’m sorry I treated you like that. I know it’s a stupid excuse but we don’t have that many friends. I thought that the only way I could make friends was to leave you and make a bunch of new friends with the popular girls, that way I could make a bunch of friends. When it all went down the drain, I thought oh god, I don’t have any more friends left. So I decided to make it seem like it was your fault when it was really mine, I’m sorry!” Phoebe looked like she was kind of scared and upset at what happened, her eyes were even red.

Of course I was relieved that I had my best friend back but there was a little uneasy feeling between us. I wondered why she would purposely want to make friends without me and I wondered if, if things had gone well, would she have stayed with them and not me? As I looked up and out of my thoughts, I saw that my sister had her great big happy smile again and I realized that friends aren’t perfect, relationships aren’t perfect but that was why they were so messy, they had fights and problems but it didn’t matter, because at the end of the day what did matter was if they come back together again.

When my mum arrived in the car, I stood outside of the car first, wanting to stay with my friends. My mum rolled the car window down and asked all of us “How was your day, girls?” She looked very happy and enthusiastic. I didn’t know how to answer. It hadn’t turned out the best…. to say the least.

After much thought I finally answered “Well, it was very eventful”

It was all I could say, and it was weirdly funny, our day had been so much more than just that! I snorted, starting to laugh and suddenly we were all laughing. I don’t even know why, it was like all of the tension inside of us broke and we could just be happy. I got in the car ready to go home after a long day. I sat in the car and waved at Phoebe through the window and Phoebe waved back for a while, then she went to play with some other girls in the grade. I watched that in peace knowing that finally we had broken a barrier and we would both finally be ok with making new friends and hanging out with new people. I realized for the first time that just because your best friends, doesn’t mean you should limit yourself from having other friends as well.

Created By
Minna Wong
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Credits:

Created with images by Dan Zen - "Dandelion" • mz.multics - "alone v2" • olgaberrios - "puzzle" • scheidegger0 - "sunbeam rays sun" • Hans - "daisy flower blossom" • 2benny - "Cherry Blossoms" • Meditations - "alone autumn background"

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