She was a friend for me before I even knew what a friend is. When other students would mock me because of my dark clothes and messy makeup she would stand in front of me and convince everyone I am not their type of normal, which is OK. She explained to the simple-minded bastards of closed-minded parents that just because I have a weird chain around my pants that doesn’t mean I deal drugs. Or do drugs. I have never seen how marijuana ooks anyways.
I loved her for her courage and pride. Our friendship was based on her motivational speeches. They were cliches, worn out phrases, tumblr quotes on a filtered image of clouds, but still I chose to befriend her because I loved the certainty that she will protect me. Something I couldn’t do myself. I have never seen her dressed tacky. She would always measure out her outfit in every detail and only then leave the house. I see it as a kind of super power to choose your best appearance every day and wear it proudly.
Compared to my “I don’t even wanna live ” – clothes and even messier hair I looked like a joke next to her
But when I sit down to drink coffee with her, everybody would just look at us, They would stare and comment.
She yells. She literally yells.
I tried so many times to tone her down, but it would always come out like this:
“I am from the Balkans,we talk to loud, it is in our nature!”
Then I question my own heritage. My voice is quite and high-pitched. Nothing like her massive androgen voice that shutters walls.
Sometimes I put everything on a scale. Do I love her? Am I able to love her despite her embarrassing me and protecting me at the same time?
Shame befalls me. I am thinking of losing a friend because I can’t stand the looks we get when she is talking about her day, so, am I being a good person myself?
Once we were asked politely to leave because she would disturb other guests. I never even walk trough the street let alone walk by the coffee shop.
But I had enough, the baggage of owing her fell from my shoulder and I found some dignity in myself.
“Tina we have to talk.”
“What is it hahahhahhahah, look at that babyyyyy!”
I turned around to see a beautiful little creature in a tutu dress and a ribbon band on her hand. She was adorable while she was half asleep.
“Oh my, she is dressed like a pooodle!! Hahahah..”
Her mother approached us carrying her little ballet dancer to us. I wished to disappear and mantle myself with an invisible cloth.
“I am sorry but calling my baby a poodle is not a polite comparison. I ask for and apology.”
“Mrs, I have a right on my own opinion.”
“Sure you do, but if your opinion is directly addressed to me or my family I have the right as well to react and ask for an apology. Is it so hard to say sorry and so easy to say something hurtful?”
“Mam I was not intending for you to hear my comment. Please leave, I am on a hour break, please let me finish this coffee and then continue my remaining working hours – relaxed.”
The woman gave up and went out of Cinnamon’s. I could feel my redness glowing trough my skin.
“Tina what the heck?”
She then rose her voice so loud that I felt she was yelling at people a kilometer away. She screamed about how the woman was stupid and had no taste. How everybody was able to say what they liked.
I stood up and said that I didn’t want to be her friend anymore and went trough the door.
She called me afterward to ask what my problem was. I told her she was to loud and since that night I believed she was ignorant and rude too. She reminded me of the times she stood up for me when nobody would. I was thinking for a moment, then I thanked her for that but added that I cannot see it as a base for our friendship.
“You did something good but you are not a good person Tina.”
She hung up on me. Tomorrow in school everything was reset to the bullying period. Nobody would talk to me.
Nadine who had a baby last year called me rude and unsympathetic. She asked me what would my own reaction be if someone called my baby a poodle.
Tina preached the yesterdays incident as something I did.
Then I realized I made the right choice.
I have to protect myself with confidence and then search for people I won’t owe my friendship.
Marko said my face looks paler than before. It will be a long way to confidence, but I made my first step.