Sunday, 8 April 2012

Reflection

- I wrote this when I was 11 years old -

It was a dull Autumn’s day and light clouds covered the sky. Tall, dark trees surrounded me making a ‘swoosh’ sound in the gentle breeze. I looked around as fear gripped me. I had searched everywhere for her. I knew playing Hide and Seek in the woods was a bad idea! Ailish wouldn’t listen to me. She won’t listen to anyone, not even her mum or dad. Feeling a sudden wave of isolation, tears pricked into my eyes. I was about to cry when a voice shouted in my ear.

“BOO!” shouted Ailish, pushing me forwards.  I screamed as the familiar feeling of panic zoomed through my body. I never felt at ease with Ailish. She always cajoled me into doing something I knew was patently wrong. Last week she made me steal my classmates’ USB stick just so that there would be drama in the class!

“I knew that would scare you!” she exclaimed wickedly, “You’re such a ‘scaredy-cat’ Melissa!”

“Ailish! I’ve been looking for you everywhere! Why did you run off like that! You know we were only allowed to hide within this area! Oh! You scared me so much!” I cried, my voice trembling.  

“Now, now. Don’t wail, come on. Let’s go home.” said Ailish nonchalantly.
There were so many questions rushing through my mind that I would have liked to ask her but it had to wait for another time. It pained to me note as to why did she not see I was worried sick? Were best friends meant to treat each other like that, showing no concern?

Instead, I just nodded and followed her like a lost puppy.  Thoughts exploded into my head as I sneaked in through the back door of my house. Catching a quick glance at the clock, anxiety spread through me. I had gone for four hours! I was meant to be back two hours ago!

“Mel!”
yelled my six-year old sister with excitement seeing me after a while adding to my worry of getting an earful from my Mum. Lily came hopping down the stairs and I gave her a hug almost muffling her voice in the process.

My attempts to keep her quiet failed as she was jumping with joy having found me to play with her.  I hung my head in shame even as my Mum gave me a big scolding about how I should manage my time and how irresponsible I was. I gave a meek, quiet ‘sorry’ before going into my room. The door shut behind me as I jumped on to my bed and thought of how Ailish was having a negative effect on me. I recalled how I became her bosom friend.

It was the first day of high school when I met her.  She marched into the classroom two hours late, with her head held high.  Ailish decided to sit next to me and before we knew we had developed a kind of bond.  Soon enough she sent me a friend request on Facebook and declared that we were ‘Best Friends Forever’.  Little did I realise then what influence she would have on my life.

Now after many incidents where Ailish had got me into hot waters, I began reflecting on our relationship.  The more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that we were not destined to be BFF’s.  I had now to face up to it and take a stance.  I hadn’t the heart to tell her she was a bad influence on me, somehow the fun I had with her held me back.

Telling her now didn’t seem like a wise move, as she is not a person who would forgive someone easily. Though I felt, if I never tell her the truth, it wouldn’t seem like a proper friendship.  She would never have a chance to change herself.  Life is just so hard at times.
I mustered enough courage and opened the screen of my laptop and went on send her a private message on Facebook.  After much thought, I began

Dear Ailish,
I know we have been close friends for a while and had some great, fun times together.  I cherish those good times.

But something has been nagging me for a while and I have to get it out. In the interest of our friendship, we need to be honest about our feelings. So here I am, about to tell you a few things that’s been bothering me for some time.
Some of the pranks we have been up to are catching up on me.  This is beginning to have bad influence on me. You are definitely changing my attitude to many things. The other day, you dragged me to some wild senior party and became so hyper we went home sooo late! I failed my geometry test because of that and can’t afford that kind of mishap. 

I am sorry if this hurts your feelings but we need to tone down our adventures. So, from now on we need to limit our social time. It has taken me a lot of courage to write this. I hope we can still be good friends, I really do! I really think you are amazing but please ..um tone it down?
Love Mel xxx

I pressed send and as soon as I did I regretted it. Why would I do that? She was the first ‘cool’ person to be my friend! Almost instantly there was a reply.

Melissa,
Well whatever, I don’t really need you in my life. It’s so typical of your types to blame someone else.  Never talk to me again Melissa Jones. NEVER! And you know what…I think I am going to spill the beans on that big secret about you. Go away and get a life.
Goodbye!
Ailish

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read her reply.  I was shocked at the spite with which she had responded.  Not even a moment of thought for the great times we had together. She didn’t even remember the number of occasions I had sacrificed my breaks of studying just to be with her, how many times she had persuaded me into carrying out catty pranks.  Does she not see her flaws at all?

On reflection, it came out starkly that Ailish thinks she is the leader in our friendship and that I have to do exactly what she says.  She treats me like an obedient, helpful dog there to do her dirty work for her.  I felt used by an uncaring and an unworthy person.  The tears wouldn’t stop as I had never gotten into a big argument with someone before and I wasn’t sure what to do. I grabbed my pillow and dug my face into it to drown out the loud sobs escaping.

The wood creaked, my sister was in the room.
“I heard crying…” she looked at me, “What’s wrong Mel Mel?”
“Doesn’t matter.” I whispered, struggling to get the words out. She stared at me and wouldn’t budge. “Fine I’ll tell you. Ailish, that horrible, mean, spiteful girl is going to tell everybody about how I got the Maths teacher fired because he wasn’t teaching us well.  Mr. Links just sat there listening to music all day and letting us chat!”

“Melie, it doesn’t seem like you did anything wrong. I love Maths, our teacher makes it so fun! The fact is we need to learn and you did the right thing, ok?” Lily said.
“B-b-but everyone will hate me for it!” I whimpered.
“Look, I may be six but I am clever enough to know that true friends will stick by you through everything and you will find that person. If anything Ailish is doing you a big favour!”
“Thanks Lily, you’re a great sister. I don’t know what I could have done without you.” I said, hugging her tight.

I gathered up some courage to send Ailish a reply.

Ailish,
I thought you were my friend. I thought you cared for me and we would work this all out. Honesty is one of the most important things in a friendship and that seems to be lacking in our relationship.

You know what, you can go and tell everybody about Mr. Links. I couldn’t care less.  If you think that it will bring me down, think again.  It may just boomerang on you.
Melissa.

I shut the screen and went downstairs for dinner. Tomorrow was the beginning of a new week and the start of the new me.

I opened the classroom door. As I walked into the room, almost all faces were glaring at me showing a disdainful look as if they were ready to pounce on me. I gulped but put on brave face and walked lazily to my desk. I took out my books that were needed and strolled to my locker.  A fluttering piece of paper danced in the air and gently landed on the floor. Bending down I carefully opened it with a look of scorn on my face. It was from her. My eyes flickered over the words in disbelief and glee. This is what it said:

Melissa,
I am moving  back to Australia next week. I am glad that I was such an amazing friend and you benefited from my company.  It’s purely you’re fault that we split up.

You are such a whiner!  I shall unfriend you on Facebook and delete you off my BBM. I don't wish to keep in touch! This is the last time you shall hear from me!
Ailish.

A wide smile slowly spread across my face. I would never have to see her again! Quickly whipping around after hearing a small cough behind me, I saw two of my friends who I ditched because of Ailish. I was going to tell them about how sorry I was. I opened my mouth to talk.

“I’m so –“
“We know you’re sorry.  Be who you are. Don’t let Ailish or anyone change you or force you into doing bad things. ‘Cause girl you’re amazing just the way you are!” Miranda smiled while Katy nodded.

“I know. Thanks guys. I want to ask you if we can carry on being Best Friends Forever. I remember how we used to have a great time together and have a good laugh. Please?”

They pulled out a necklace that was sticking out of their shirts and smiled.  A silver, friendship necklace was in front of me.  Miranda handed me one and the atmosphere changed to a light, hearty feeling.  Bubbles of laughter exploded around the room and everything was back to normal. I took a seat next to my best friends and giggled.

I had forgotten the feeling of happiness because of Ailish but now, I have remembered. I shall never give in to peer pressure ever again and I shall be who I am from now on.
                                                  

22 comments:

  1. This is a really awesome story which reflects your profound thinking, I wish you good luck in continuing this and look foward to reading more stories from you, :)

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  2. Very well written .. tender hands with terrific thoughts , you have a very good future Jo ,please keep up ..God Bless .

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  3. Joe.... very nice da. Loved the story very much...

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  4. Originality is to be preserved and never to be allowed to let go. You have brought out this valid point. Honesty in a friendship which has been stressed also deserves an appreciation. Well written story, Jyotsna. all the best!

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  5. A big thanks to all of you. I will definitely try and keep up my writing :) Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

    Jyotsna XoXoXo

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  6. Kanthi Narayanan8 April 2012 at 10:58

    Dear Jyotsna,

    Great story - very maturely written. The theme is very good and so is the style of writing. Keep up the good work. Good luck.

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  7. Dear Jyotsna,
    Gud writting... keep it up.... I wish u gud luck for a bright future.

    venkatesh muthukrishnan, Frankfurt.

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  8. Hey Jo, Amazing story! Actually your dad had sent a link to your blog and asked us to read it. I said to myself 'ho-hum' and was kind of skimming but then your style was so captivating I got soon engrossed in the story. Not only the story was awesome but there is a moral for all youngsters your age! Alright!
    Boy! do I see a great writer in the offing!
    Keep it up, girl! I wish you the best.
    I probably could do without some of those lymie phrases! (me being a Yankee!) But, of course, I am kidding!
    Good luck, hon!

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  9. Hello, Jyotsna. Pleased to meet you.

    You have presented a very well-written story, with a thought-provoking message. Congratulations - well done! You have got talent - please keep writing and reading so that you make the best of your ability to write!

    One additional consideration: sometimes it is not just someone like the character Ailish in your story, someone who is unpleasant to be around, who applies pressure to make one do things that one knows are not right; at least such persons are easy to recognize and to learn to not allow to influence our decisions because they are unpleasant to be around.

    The greater difficulty in life is with people who you think of as your real friends, people who may be lots of fun to be around - who may also apply similar pressure on one. It is very important to withstand peer pressure from both friend and foe alike, I think, and always do what one knows is right in one's own heart. It is best to be friends with only those who respect our own ability to judge what the right thing to do is, and also, our right to do what *we* think is right.

    Good work! I look forward to reading more stories and other writings by you. Take care.

    with sincere regards,
    Radika

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  10. I loved it Jo. Being a fresher in writing story myself, I know how difficult it is to write with a flow that you have had in yours. Excellent dear. Keep writing. All the very best.

    - Ganesh

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  11. Jo,
    Very well written :)Amazed by your talent!

    Smita

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  12. Awesome... keep writing like this and I am sure you will grow as an established write and thinker!!

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  13. Thank you so much :)
    I will carrying on writing

    Jo xxx

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  14. hey jo, very good vocabulary!! make it a habit to pen ur thoughts!!
    All the best!
    luv
    Supraja aunty.

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  15. Nicely written. Good choice of words.

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  16. Jyotsna Balasubamanian9 April 2012 at 05:28

    Very lucid writing and clear thought process..Keep up the good work..All the best.

    Jyotsna.

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  17. Very nice Jo. Keep it up! nice thoughts and inspiration for all around you :)
    -Srikant

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  18. Jo, very well written. Love the display of emotions and conflicting thoughts. Something we can all relate to and I bet we have gone through. Maybe some as Ailish too!

    Turn it into a series.


    Love
    Sujatha

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  19. This is a good piece of writing well done. You should create a series

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  20. Brilliant stuff. I am looking forward to the next story you write.

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  21. Awesome! Keep it up!! But please don't write such a huge story! However, I am looking forward to your next story. Nice vocabulary and different words! :) x

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  22. Jyo, Keep it up but need to stop using the computer too much!!! And also keep up your writing plus I am looking forward to your next small story which is easy to read!! :P
    Mridula Divakar xx

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