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In high school I was really lonely and whenever I found new friends, I would do anything to keep them. I started hanging out with two girls, Madison and Riley, that I saw as my best friends. They seemed to put up with me for longer than the others would, so I let them treat me terribly. But there was one time when they totally crossed the line and I still can’t forget it.
So in high school I struggled with feeling excluded and was kinda lonely. And whenever I found new friends I would do anything to keep them. I started hanging out with two girls that I saw as my best friends: Madison and Riley. Madison had a lot of personality and was an artsy while Riley was a bit more nerdy, but they both loved singing and theater. Both were not the nicest to me, but they seemed to put up with me for longer than the others would, so I let them treat me terribly. I think the biggest sign of their lack of respect for me was one time when we were walking down a set of stone steps after school. The walkway was narrow, barely able to fit two people on the same step. Probably a total fire hazard, but oh well. I was walking in front, and Madison and Riley were walking right behind me. Suddenly I heard them say "wouldn't it be funny if we pushed her down the stairs?". And they laughed. They claimed that it was only a joke, but what kind of joke is that? And this kind of behavior kept on going. I was constantly insulted, called names, and even ditched. I let them do it because I felt like I had no one else and ignored the warning signs.
But I think I finally understood how horrible they were to me when one day sitting in gym one of my friends sang her own version of the song Dog Days, but instead of singing about bringing your family, she replaced it with the names of our friends. And when the line” Leave all your love and your longing behind you“ came, she replaced it with me. And when I told her I was kinda hurt by that, she said "well let's be honest! If we were going to get rid of anyone from our group, it would be you!" Suffice to say I was crushed. After that, my trust in people was gone. We still talked at school, but we never really hung out outside of that. I mostly just kept talking to them because they were some of the only friends I had and all.
After graduation, I didn't even try to keep in contact with any of them. I haven't talked to them since, but I don't regret it at all. High school saw the little naïve me, chewed me up and spat out this cynical and skeptical me. Trust needs to be earned. I wish I knew that then.
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