Friends, part one

Friendships change so instantaneously. They end just as suddenly as they start, with just as much force and ardor. Do we ever remember how they start?

You met her in maths class. On the first day of year 10. You were 5 minutes late, you didn't care though. It was period four and you'd spent the three years before letting every teacher know not to expect punctuality from you, you weren't programmed for it. You prepared yourself for the 25 or more inescapable gazes that would watch as you moved from the beige linoleum of the hall to the navy carpet of the classroom. You hated it, seeing all these faces of all these people that you'd shared an assembly hall with for three whole years. People that knew your name but didn't know you. You liked that they would look at you, but you hated that they would never actually see you.

You forced the insipid "Sorry I'm late sir" out of your mouth like spitting out a piece of chewing gum that had lost its flavour. You didn't want to have to apologise for being late, you weren't sorry, and you knew you would be late tomorrow. You would much rather have walked in, and sat down in a chair without having to make breath for formalities and fake apologies. But you had recited a late apology at least once a day for the past three years, so you did.

You knew the teacher would ask you to find a seat, so before he made a word your eyes had already begun browsing for a place you would call yours for the next year. You didn't have much choice, it was your own fault for being late after all. You allowed your eyes to scrape slowly along the cartooned walls of the classroom before letting them perch on anyone else's. You wished so vigorously that the teacher would fish out a seating plan or at least tell you where to sit, so you wouldn't have to worry about offending anyone by placing your things in a space next to them.

Your 'friends' were already seated. They had bought themselves a little corner of the room right by the window and were already shallow in conversation. No seat for you though, you were late after all. You could faintly hear the subjects of the many trivial conversations around the room, faint because of the sharp blows of flirtatious laughter. Typical of a year 10 classroom, you know now. There was one about year 11 boys, who was hotter? Carl the new boy from Spain, with his scarlet velvet accent, already seventeen because he'd been kept behind a year; or  Akin our very own, homegrown, tall, dark, voice too deep for fifteen, came back after the summer with the beginnings of a beard. There was one about football. Champions league... premier league... world cup... relegation, all words that swam through your right ear and spilled out of your left. All these conversations jogging towards you from every corner and fold of the room and you couldn't imagine yourself being a part of any of them.

You glanced around the room. Through the people and their coloured in, coloured outside the lines conversations. You found a silence. You found her. Like you, juxtaposed. Not wanting to bend herself, or cut herself in half to fit into the palms of others. She had a look, like on her own, but not alone. Knowing big talk or no talk at all was better than small talk.

You found her. Your friend. 

Tife.

2 comments:

  1. AGH I CAN'T HANDLE IT. All your posts are just too good. I feel this so much. Especially love the phrase "shallow in conversation" and the line "knowing big talk or no talk at all was better than small talk". ugh so much truth and goodness in this. I love it ^-^

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