All through childhood, I never got a long-term friend; I was always too shy and insecure. When I did make friends as a kid, it was with the wrong kids. For some reason, all through elementary school, I was “friends” with bullies, at least, I thought they were friends as a kid, they were the only ones who ever acknowledged my existence. Because of this starting at elementary school, I became a bully, thinking it was socially acceptable to call people stupid for no reason or to make up rules to games as it goes. I didn’t like being like that, but that’s what I was like as a child.
Even though those bullies called themselves my friends, I never felt like I had any friends and I played alone a lot. This was because I was always surrounded by imaginary friends, so everyone at the school thought I was crazy since I talked to all of my imaginary friends out loud and in public.
My family was also concerned with my Lone Wolf way of living, so I remember always being paired with a mentor all through elementary school who always pulled me out for lunch, which really, now that I think about it, only made my isolation even worse.
It wasn’t until I reached middle school when I met my first true friend, last week, we called her Ray, so let’s stick with that. I don’t remember how we met, but I do remember we had gym class and lunch together in middle school. If I had to guess, I think we just started talking after bumping into one another so often, but I really don’t remember. Ray and I were friends all through 6th and 7th grade before she had to transfer to a different middle school for 8th grade. We both knew we wouldn’t see one another for a long time, so we finally exchanged phone numbers and promised to meet up with one another in high school, we shook pinkies and everything.
All through 8th grade, I called her almost every night and we talked for hours on end, keeping one another posted on each other’s lives. October 29th, 2010, I called her, my cheek already sore from talking on the phone for so many hours already, and I told her that I couldn’t keep our last promise. I was being forced to move to Boston. That whole year was a tough one, but I’m not ready to reveal the whole story there yet (but as a hint, this is the event that triggered that two-faced personality that inspired my Black Butler oc, Justine Michaelis). Just know that, in that phone call, I told her that my mom was helping me sort it out so I wouldn’t have to move and promised her that I would do everything I could so we could see one another again in high school.
I didn’t tell her, but I was afraid of going back to being in that complete isolation, outcasted by my peers, only friends being my own imaginary creations. I knew that was what would happen if I were to leave.
I kept her updated on the situation, through all the highs and lows. Finally, on my 14th birthday, I told her I’m not moving anywhere and I’ll see her in August.
Ray was my very first friend who kept her promise, as I have to her. We met again in high school, returning to being life-long friends, and having Annie as another life-long friend. The three of us have all kept our promises to one another; if one is feeling down, or having a dip of sanity or depression, the other two are there to pick up the weight, comfort, and uplift. When Annie broke up with her boyfriend, Ray and I were right there, lifting her spirits. When Ray suffered a death in her family, Annie and I were there, keeping her mind off the death and reminding her the value of life. When I had a panic attack so bad that I couldn’t move or breathe, Ray and Annie were there by my side, telling me that it was ok and reminding me that I am strong enough to either face the attack head on or can avoid confrontation.
Of course, I have many friends now, so much so that I don’t see my imaginary friends at all anymore. The same treatment that Ray, Annie, and I all give one another goes for each and every one of my circle of friends. All for one, and one for all.