Do I Really Deserve Forgiveness?
I am fucking pathetic.
I should’ve not pushed her away. We were just seventeen at that time. We were so young. We should’ve enjoyed life a bit more normal like other kids our age.
You have been my friend since diapers. We’ve been in the same class for almost every year. We’ve been doing our matching poses for the class pictorial every year like two dorky kids. You were basically by my side through every passing moment. You watched me as I grew up: how I got my braces, how I got my first period, how I got my glasses, how I got rid of my braces, and many other embarrassing moments that no one else knew.
I can still remember the time that we first cut class just to go to the ice cream parlour to buy the latest choco mint-flavored ice cream. I can still remember the days where we had a slumber party at your house (which was basically just the two of us) just to talk about the boys in our class that we had a crush on. We were giggling and laughing without a care in the world like two innocent girls.
You were also the only person that I trust, including my mom, cause I know that you won’t spill my secrets. I knew full well that you will not betray me. That you’ll always be on my side no matter what.
I remember those good days all too vividly that it started to haunt me. It made my throat dry and twisted my stomach from inside out. Those memories reminded me of how corrupt a person can be.
We gradually became distant in our fifth grade. I am placed in a different class than yours. There, I found my new friends. They were far too different than we were. They were cooler, more famous, and prettier than us. They were the talk in our school.
I started befriending the two of them. Time passed, and the duo became a trio. I became part of their circle. In order to fit in, I started changing: I changed the way I dressed, I changed the way I talk, I changed the way I walk, I stopped using my prescription glasses and started using lenses, I learned to apply makeup, I learned to talk back to my parents. I transformed into a completely different person, to the point where even I myself can’t recognize.
Matching my personality change is the number of vile deeds that did. I started to become wicked just to match my friends so I don’t feel left behind. I wanted to impress them. I wanted them to acknowledge me. I wanted them to realize that I can also be like them.
When we became freshmen, we got in the same class but I chose to ignore you. I don’t want my new friends to think that I was once friends with a dork like you. I don’t want them to find out that I was once a geek that is obsessed with nerdy things. You’re also quick to catch up and also decided not to talk to me. You were like a poor lonely soul sitting at the back of the class where no one gave attention to you because you’re just a nobody, not until that incident happened.
That incident started when Britney, the leader of our trio thought that we should steal the test questionnaires in the teachers’ lounge because she knew our mental capacity. We may be pretty but we’re also dumb as fuck. Of course, as I still felt left out from the two, I volunteered to do the task.
I cut fourth period and sneaked in to find the questionnaires. I don’t know if it’s because I spent too much time searching the teacher’s drawer or if it’s just that your presence is thinner than air itself, but at that moment, you’re standing by the door and staring at what I’m doing. I felt my blood run cold and stopped breathing for a second. That moment I knew I fucked up. I hurriedly stood up and came up to you.
“Please Steph, don’t tell this to anyone, especially the teachers.”
You, still having a soft spot for me, agreed to not let anyone know about what you just saw. When I heard the bell, I casually went out of the teachers’ lounge like nothing happened.
Sixth period came and a raging mad Mrs. Churchill came storming through our door. She said that a student stole the freshmen Chemistry exam at the teachers’ lounge. Considering that there are only two freshman classes, the culprits are limited. I don’t know why I did it but I stood and told the whole class that you stole the exam.
I just blamed you for all I did.
I told them that on my way to the restroom, I saw you enter the teachers’ lounge and started probing through Mrs. Churchill’s drawer. I told them that you begged me to keep quiet about it and threatened me that you’ll blame me if someone found out.
My mouth continued to spout utter nonsense. I can’t seem to control what was coming out of my mouth. I lied about all I did without batting an eyelid and everyone believed me.
Ever since I said those words, you’ve been ostracised. Every student in our year started calling you names: cheater, thief, trash, bastard. You became the class target. You became our toy. I didn’t even try to defend you and tried to straighten everything, instead, I joined the others in bullying you. I watched you suffer from the sin that I committed without feeling an ounce of remorse. You got bullied until our senior year and as time passed, everything escalated and the bullying worsened.
My seventeenth birthday and our High School graduation. I received a call from your mom telling me to come to your house. I hear her sobbing over the phone but I decided not to ask her the reason why she’s crying. I assumed that she’s just emotional that we’re already graduating at the same time as my birthday. I decided to come to your house since we’re already graduating.
Upon arriving, I saw your mom with tears rolling down her cheeks, standing by the porch, covering her mouth to not let out any of her cries. I, out of concern hurriedly walked towards her. I tried to calm her down but her tears continued to flow down as she fell to her knees.
After a while, she started to calm down. She looked at me straight in the eyes with her puffy eyes and told me in a hoarse voice that you committed suicide this morning. My mind blanked out for a second. My jaw dropped and my ears rang. I want to block out what your mom just said to me. She tapped my shoulder and handed me an envelope with my name written on it. She said that she saw it on top of your desk.
I opened the envelope and saw three things inside of it: one handwritten letter, our last photograph taken together, and a silver bracelet. I read the letter and tears came flowing down.
I might be dead by the time you read this but I’m sorry for not saying goodbye properly. It seems that I can’t take up the bullying anymore. I didn’t mind it at first and thought that it will just pass and everything will return to normal, but I guess not. I don’t know any solution besides killing myself and setting myself free from the pain.
I also wanna tell you that I’ve forgiven you for all that you’ve done. I understand that once everyone knew about it, you’ll be cast out by your new friends, so I decided to keep quiet about it. You also pleased me to keep it a secret that’s why I kept it to myself.
I remember the time when we were still kids and we promised not to spill any of our secrets. Remembering that pinky promise strengthened my conviction. Even though what you did was not right, I am still on your side. You know that I can never betray you. You’re my first friend remember?
I am sorry that my mental, emotional, and physical self was not as strong as my conviction.
I’m also sorry that I’m not there for your seventeenth birthday. I was hoping that I can celebrate it with you but it seems that it is a bit impossible right now. I bought you a bracelet. I used up my savings to buy you the prettiest one to match your outfits. Be sure to wear that in our graduation.
Happy Birthday and Congratulations on graduating!
Your loving friend,
After reading the letter, I cried.
I cried like a five-year-old kid. I cried after realizing what I’ve done.
I should’ve protected her. I should’ve told everyone the truth. I should’ve not let her suffer. I should’ve not watched by. I can’t do anything anymore. I killed her.
Everything’s my fault.
Now, everything’s just a ‘should have’ and ‘should have not’.
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