I Was Her Only Friend

Name: Ren

Age: 15

Role: Freshman Student at Stagg

Ren went through an emo phase in sixth grade.

Life is really hard when you don’t know who you are. I had this friend since 5th grade, and I didn’t really like her at first in 4th grade because she was really mean to other girls I was friends with, who I’m still friends with. They were best friends but she was still mean to her in a way, and I was like, “That’s not cool. Why are you being mean to your best friend?” She was mean for no reason. She would hit her, slap her on her back for no reason and think it’s funny. But I was friends with her and we were the emo people, like we gotta stick together.

In 6th grade we got really emo. That was the first time she dyed her hair, that was the first time I cut my hair. I started wearing makeup and my mom hated it. I told her I was just wearing it for Halloween but then I just kept the eyeliner and she just hated it. But then she gave in and just didn’t care.

6th grade was rough, and 7th grade was even rougher. She tried to kill herself, which was really scary. I remember walking home with her that day because she lives a block or two away from me and we were walking with a dude named Connor. Everything seemed fine, it seemed like a good day. Then she was crossing the street and Connor continues walking straight and I turn to walk up the hill because my house is on hill. I get this call on my house phone, and she didn’t answer me for like a couple hours. But that was normal. Sometimes I didn’t answer either. Well my mom answers the phone and I’m in my bed because it’s like 10 o’clock and but I get this feeling. And I hear my mom on the phone and then she comes up to my room and she tells me my friend tried killing herself. I was crying, it was so hard to hear that because she was my only friend basically. I didn’t go to school the next day and I visited her in the hospital. She was on so many drugs it was ridiculous. Her brother was there. It was really emotional.

Which is why I am the way I am today. I mean I guess it is because a lot of people don’t have to visit their dying friend in the hospital- well not dying but like … it was so scary. And the doctor said “I know you aren’t sisters, but hug it out,” and it was really sad. She was in a mental hospital for  a week but I went back to school. She missed a lot of school. We weren’t in many of the same classes, but I felt really guilty going to school and having fun with people. I would be laughing with people and like mid-laugh I’d stop and think I shouldn’t be laughing while she's in the hospital wanting to die.

I’m not friends with her anymore though. In the summer between 7th and 8th we would hang out all the time, like every day. She’d get mad at me when I would hang out with my other friend Eva, which is a sign. I didn’t know but she was emotionally abusive. I looked up the signs because I didn’t know if I was being overdramatic, but I felt like she was borderline emotionally abusive. My friends, parents, everybody didn't like her and that's a sign- when your family doesn’t like your friends, maybe you shouldn't be their friend. My brothers would vocally express their hatred. And my best friend from first grade didn’t like her. That should’ve been a sign. She was jealous of my friends and got mad at me over nothing. She got mad at me because I was on the computer on Halloween but she was really mad at me for not going trick-or-treating. Holiday break came around and I was like “I can’t do this anymore.” She would get mad at me for everything but I wasn't doing anything wrong. I don’t know if I’m a bad person for telling her I didn’t like her. But like, sometimes you gotta break it off even if it takes a lot. She was like one of my only friends and I was her only friend so it was hard.

--Interviewed By: Sam Sarli