• February 22, 2019 |

    to all the boys who screwed her (over)

    from her best friend

    article by , illustrated by

    My best friend and I, we were transcendent. She transcended
    boundaries, and I transcended borders to be her best friend. My
    other friends hated it.

    “I just don’t agree with her lifestyle,” one of them
    told me one day. I told her she didn’t have to.

    My best friend acted like she didn’t care.

    Most people still think she doesn’t.

                                                   ~~

    She called me up crying one night. “He called me his sex toy,” she
    said, heartache in her voice. “He told everyone I slept with him. I
    didn’t sleep with him.”

    Try telling that to anyone else. When you’re the type of person
    who enjoys having sex, few will ever doubt that you did.

    “I loved him.”

    I stayed silent. I didn’t know what to say to that.

                                                   ~~

    Another time, she called me up drunk.

    “He kissed me. I didn’t want to kiss him. But he kissed me. I think
    I need to puke…”

    She didn’t come to school the next day. Perhaps it was just as
    well. His girlfriend wouldn’t have been nice about it.

                                                   ~~

    My best friend likes to paint. I think she has unprecedented talent.
    So when she designed a shirt for me that said
    slut on it, I wore it
    with pride.

    My father hissed in disapproval. “How can you wear that out in
    public?”

    “But Dad, what’s wrong with it?”

    “Do you want people thinking you’re a slut?”

    “But Dad, what’s wrong with being a slut?”

    He had no answer to that.

    So I kept the shirt on.

    After laundry day, though, the shirt mysteriously went missing.

                                                  ~~

    My best friend has the strongest moral compass of anyone I’ve ever known.

    When I saw her with a red handprint across her cheek the day after a party, my blood heated with ire. I even cried. My teardrops were the sun’s temper, bottled up and hurled at the feet of anyone who dared to hurt her.

    “But he said he wasn’t seeing anyone!”

    I just shook my head.

    The next day, he wore a matching handprint across his face, and I, a smug grin across mine.

    “Why would you do that?” my best friend hissed. “Now his girlfriend’s going to hate me even more than she already does. Now everyones going to hate me more than they already do.”

    I think that was the first time my heart broke.

                                                                                   ~~

    Her first boyfriend made it through my entire interrogation.

    I was almost impressed until I heard him tell his friends what a good lay she was.

    I never hated language as much as I did that day, and I never felt as sick to my stomach as I did that minute.

    She called me up later to tell me how much she loved him.

    I felt my heart break even more.

                                                                                    ~~

    The next one was a good guy, I like to think. The type of pure the world bends over backwards to protect.

    Maybe that’s why she never gave him a chance.

                                                                                    ~~

    She was a super-genius, my best friend. I think maybe that’s why they pulled her up for cheating when her answer sheet matched another girl’s.

    I don’t remember that girl’s name, but I do remember that her skirt was twice as long as my best friend’s.  

                                                                                    ~~

    When I got my first boyfriend, my best friend hated him.

    Two days later, I caught them kissing.

    But I also saw her push him away in protest.

    So when I walked in, and he told me that she came onto him—that my best friend came onto him—I told him that he’d be better off trying his luck elsewhere.

    He was making out with another girl one week later.

    No one called him a slut, though. They were too busy cheering him on.

                                                                                     ~~

    The last time I spoke to her, she’d been recovering from a suicide attempt.

    I knew what some people would think: Of course she’d flirt with deathshe flirts with everything, doesn’t she?

    I think she’s on antidepressants now, but I can’t be sure. She doesn’t talk to anyone from her past.

    I saw her portfolio online last week.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen her art so colorful.

    Her Facebook status says she’s engaged to be married.

    Inside my chest, I can feel my heart rebuilding itself from the tatters of years past.

    I wonder if I’ll get a wedding invite. We always planned on being each other’s maids of honor. At least, she planned on being mine. She didn’t think she’d ever get married. She was so used to everyone around her telling her that she didn’t deserve love.

    She’s online now.

    Slowly, but resolutely, I begin to make a message out to her:

    “Hey. I just wanted you to know you deserve love. You deserve it more than anyone else I’ve ever known.”

    She reads the message but doesn’t reply.

    I can’t blame her, though. Not after the rest of the world already has.