This here is a tale of a girl names “Christine.” That’s not her actual name, as I don’t want to really give out anyone’s true identities here. This tale is about how Christine turned my world upside down. How she was both the best and worst thing to happen to me.
I had just begun grade nine. That meant a new school, a new world. I was at the bottom of the social food-chain. I was a “niner.” I was introduced to Christine through a friend of mine, “Hannah.” Christine was outgoing, crazy and fearless. She wasn’t afraid of others, she wasn’t afraid of what others thought of her. She was fun to be around. She was the life of the party. She encouraged me to be myself, to go for what I wanted.
I got so caught up in how wonderful she was, that I couldn’t see her for what she actually was: Manipulative. It’s debatable if it began on purpose, but a vast majority of pain and sorrow I felt was caused by her. New Years Ever 2000, I was planning on having a slumber party with some of my friends. I had let people know about it about a month in advance. Apparently because I wasn’t reminding them every freaking day someone forgot it was still on. Hannah didn’t show up because Christine had assumed it wasn’t happening, and Hannah was now having Christine sleep over. I was livid to say the least. Instead of blaming Christine, I blamed Hannah. Like I said I was blinded by Christine’s awesomeness. She couldn’t do no wrong in my eyes.
For 9 months I refused to talk to Hannah. I hated her. But the time apart gave me time to cool down. I remember the day so clearly when I reconciled with Hannah. You don’t forget a day like that. It was September 11th 2001, the day of the attacks on the World Trade Centers. It was lunch period and I guess I realized there were bigger things in life to be upset about. Christine does get a little smidgen of credit for getting me and Hannah back together. She did help encourage me to reconcile with her.
Things went back to normal after that. Our circle of friends expanded, which was both a good and bad thing. Hannah switched schools, opting to go to a high school with more emphasis on theatrical arts, and suddenly after that Christine and Hannah drifted apart. They no longer did everything together. I became Christine’s new BFF. It was wonderful again. It was great! And then I met “Jessi” and made the unfortunate mistake of introducing her to Christine.
Jessi was new to the school and was on my bus. She basically knew no one. Her parents had made her switch school because she got caught skipping some classes. So what does a parent do? Send their kid to a high school located out in the boonies. Jessi was a lot like me. We were both weird. I thought she make a great addition to our circle of friends, and she did. But I couldn’t have forseen the changes that Christine would undergo.
My turn as BFF was short lived. Christine has ADD when it comes to people. She had a new BFF, which was “Mary.” Oh that was a disaster. Looking back at what happened between them, I felt so bad to Mary. She was the real victim in the whole fiasco. Christine and Mary were joined at the hips, doing pretty much everything together. Then Mary’s mom caused Christine to lose her co-op placement. I wont go into details as there are a lot. But instead of being mad at Mary’s mother, Christine put all the blame on Mary.
The “fight” occurred at school during an earlier lunch period, which I didn’t have. I missed the whole thing and because I wasn’t there I foolishly sided with Christine. Again, I was blinded by how awesome Christine was. So Mary and I were no longer friends.
Christine really began to change around grade 11. She started to party on the weekends, which was fine. Everyone did that. Someone would have a house party, which entailed underage drinking and doing drugs. No I never did any drugs, even though I was offered them many a times. It was a decision I had made long ago. I didn’t want to get involved with that. A couple drinks here and there were fine, in my opinion, but drugs… I didn’t want to go down that slippery slope.
Partying introduced Christine and the rest of us to a whole new world of people. People I wish never existed. This is where Christine became someone different. Not the good kind of different. She began smoking, something which she had always been against. Hell, she tried to help her parents quit! And there she was, smoking a cigarette. It began as “social” smoking. So when she was at a party and drinking. She claimed it helped her buzz, and tried to convince me to try it. Then she became a daily smoker. She couldn’t go a few hours without a smoke break. She tried to convince me to try drugs as well. Not the hard stuff, just pot and shrooms. I never touched it. I was fine with her and our friends doing it, but me? No, I’d made my mind up long ago that I wouldn’t try them.
I think when Christine realized that she couldn’t manipulate me anymore that I had to go. We slowly began to drift apart over the summer months leading up to our senior year. I began to drift from my whole circle of friends. They only cared about getting drunk and high, I just wanted to be a teen and have fun, without drugs.
I was exiled from my friends at the end of September, early October 2003. A tragic car accident just down the road from my high school claimed the lives of 2 students. One was a guy whom I had gone to elementary school with, so I kind of knew him. Also I had a secret crush on him for many years. He was such a nice guy, a funny guy. His smile literally could brighten any room. He had such a presence that you just felt happy when you saw him.
It’s hard dealing with the death of someone you know, and at such a young age…We had just begun grade 12, and his life was over. It was hard for me to cope with, to accept.
Christine had switch school at this point, because she hated out principal. Everyone hated him. He was too strict and had threatened to expel Christine because she had dyed her hair an unnatural colour. So to summarize, Christine and I had began to drift apart, she was at a different school and I was trying to cope with my emotions about the accident.
I believe it was the Monday after that tragic accident that I received a phone call from Christine. We were just catching up and I told her that I was upset about the accident. Want to know her comforting words to me? “Oh you’ll get over it.” And she said it to plainly, as if I were only mourning the loss of a pet goldfish. This was human being, someone I knew who was now dead. I was so hurt, so stunned. What had happened to this once caring girl? The girl I use to know? She changed topic quickly and we began to discuss our weekend plans. She want to go to the movies on Saturday with her other friends and get high, and she wanted me to be there to babysit them.
Yea, she wanted me to make sure they didn’t get caught. I’m not her babysitter. I suggested going on Thursday or Friday because Hannah was free then and wanted to go see a movie. We argued and she tried to make me feel bad for not wanting to babysit her. The last thing she said to me was “Fuck you” and then she hung up.
I was devastated. I just lost a classmate and just had one of my best friends choose drugs over our friendship. The rest of the school year was difficult for me. I could focus properly. And it didn’t help that she was bulling me over the internet, warping my words, trying to turn me into the villain… and she succeeded with that. I was the bad guy. I was the one who wrong her. She was the victim. My friends picked sides. I never asked them to, but when you’re friends with Christine, you’re either with her, or against her. And no one wanted to be against her. When you’re on her bad, she makes sure to let everyone know how horrible you are. I recall after her fight with Mary she nicknamed her ashtray “Mary” and had a photo of Mary in it. That’s the type of person Christine is. You become the butt of jokes with her friends. She ruins your life. And now I saw her for what she truly was. The ugly, horrible person deep inside.
But there is a silver-lining to her outcasting me. I met new people, people who weren’t friends with her. I met better people. and eventually I met my boyfriend, who became my fiance and now is my husband. Would I have met him and fallen in love with him if I was still friends with Christine? Chances are no, because he use to date one of Christine’s friends years ago. Pretty sure it would have been frowned upon if I started to date him. It was a rough journey, but in the end I found my happiness at last, in the arms of my husband.
Do I know where Christine is today? No, and nor do I care. She’s in my past, and I’d like to leave her there. She made her choices in life, poor one at that. I’ve reconciled with Mary. I apologized for choosing sides. I was wrong to do that. It’s not until it happens to you that you realize how horrible it feels. I missed out on our friendship growing because I picked sides. I vowed to change that. I don’t pick sides anymore. I stay neutral. Call me Switzerland!