You might remember that Maggie, who has lived next door to me forever, is my best friend. We learnt how to ride bikes together, we’ve built the most awesome cubbies together, we had a race to see who could lose their teeth first, we walked to school together for the first 3 years (not this year though – I’ll tell you why soon), and we have helped each other out when we’ve had bad stuff happen. She’s the kind of friend who shares her fairy floss with you when you’re not allowed to get any, and has always just been around and been nice. We like doing the same stuff, we like eating the same things, and mostly she agrees with me on how I see the world.
But that has apparently all changed this year. And I don’t know why. And I’m a bit sad. Ok, a lot sad.
I’m trying to figure out what happened exactly, and I’m lost. Mum would probably say I wasn’t looking hard enough for the answers. She says that quite a lot: that I have a ‘boy look’ for things. Whatever that means. I think this time is a bit different though, because the thing I’m looking for isn’t like one of my Star Wars figures or a specific piece of Lego that is missing. It isn’t in the laundry basket or under the couch. This thing is in Maggie’s head.
You see, what happened was, that after the summer holidays, on the first day of grade 3, she decided she didn’t want to walk to school with me. And it was so weird, because we ALWAYS walk to school together. I just thought maybe she wanted to go at a different time, or maybe her mum was going to drop her off on the way to work or something. But then I saw her walking with someone else. A girl. And not just any girl, but a girl who we had both decided years ago wasn’t really ‘our kind of girl’. I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t really know what to say. So I just left it, thinking maybe it was a once-off, but then I saw her do it again and again. And it made me mad and confused and upset and angry and jealous.
The next thing I noticed was that Maggie didn’t even want to say hi to me at school. We often didn’t actually play together at lunchtime – our friendship was more of an ‘on the way to school and at home’ kind of thing – but she used to always at least say hi to me if we saw each other. But suddenly that stopped too.
The final thing I noticed was that she didn’t come over once in the Easter school holidays. Not once. And when I went to her house she said she was ‘busy’ and that she couldn’t come out to play. She wasn’t mean, but she didn’t want to look at me straight in the face for very long, so I knew something was up.
I’m not sure what’s been going on with her but it’s pretty clear she doesn’t want to play with me anymore. We haven’t had a fight or anything, so I really don’t know what’s happened. I was a bit fed up about it though – it was taking up a lot of my brain space! – so I finally decided to flat out ask her what was going on. Y’know, confront her full on (which is not something I would normally do because it makes me feel sweaty and icky). But Mum always says: ‘if you want an answer, go seek it out’.
So I did. And this is what happened.
Maggie told me she had a new best friend!
A new best friend?
How could she? You don’t just go and get a new best friend. Do you?
Apparently girls do. And Maggie did.
She told me that she needed a girl as a best friend, because she was growing up and wanted to talk about girls things, and that I wouldn’t understand that kind of stuff, and that she didn’t really want to play Lego much anymore, and that she really loved dancing and doing hairstyles and makeup with her friends now, and that she didn’t want to be mean to me but that she just needed to ‘branch out a bit’ and …….
Man. Seriously. She went on and on and on. I just stopped listening. My ears just turned off. “Girl stuff’”? What even is that?
So that’s it then. My best friend got a new best friend and I’m out on my own. I don’t know what to say or do. It really sucks. It feels like she just kicked me in the tummy. I can’t actually believe it. Why do girls have to do stuff like that? I thought we’d be best friends forever, even though we like doing stuff with other kids too. Who cares if she’s a girl and I’m a boy? We should still be able to walk to school together and play cubbies, right? Apparently not.
I just don’t get it.
But maybe I’m finally getting what Dad means when I hear him mutter to himself: “I’ll never understand women”.
I guess I realised I was relying on Maggie to always be there, expected her to always share stuff with me as I did with her; stuff that I don’t share with my other mates. I guess now I need to learn to rely more on me.
(Rejection, p.64, Sadness, p.70, Believe in Yourself, p.12, – A for Attitude)