(NB. Look out. It’s another one. No I’m not responding to the fact I deleted names from the 3rd account. I will be. Wish me luck. I have gotta tell you, that this personal problem is a universal one. Who USED to be BEST MATES with somebody? Old friendships are one of the biggest pills to swallow. At sixth form, I had nobody. And I didn’t really need anyone either. It is tiring being the class clown or the weirdo. And sometimes friends dump you because your differences humiliate them).
It is a sucker of a bruise. A pool of black and blue surrounding one of the deepest scars on my brain.
I feel much to tell you of.
This fairy tale from long, long ago.
Where I walked along the school corridors
And dragged my fingertips across the smooth white walls outside the math classrooms.
A ladybird friend.
And a butterfly.
I was a centipede. The tallest of my friends.
I was not pretty.
I was not sweet.
I did not fly.
In Personal Problems,
I endeavour to leave no stone unturned,
Of the lashed whips that have struck me over my years at secondary school.
Really are brutal.
Tonight I am proposing a deal with an old friend, an old one.
Old friend, tell me something so innately personal that it leaves a strange emptiness in that dark cavity your heart shrinks in.
Does it feel weird, after all this time that I should be writing to you?
I’ll tell you of loneliness. I’ll get to that.
I’ll get to school lunchtimes spent alone and 7D laughing at my shoes.
I’ll get to the popular girls from 7B stealing my ID badge temporarily at PE out of my blazer pocket to scare me.
I lost things. And humans broke me.
I am that wind-up toy.
Whilst you think of your pain, let me spoon feed you my own.
I am 12.
I do not know anybody. And this large school does not remind me of Hogwarts, except for the Turret Library,
Which we used to visit only to stare bewitched with eyes filled with scarlet crushes on Edward Cullen.
In December that stair case was chilly.
I am 12. And I am that quiet snowflake but with a chip missing,
I was not a fan of Paul’s Boutique until everybody wore Paul’s Boutique.
I tried to fit in, I tried so hard to have tan skin, fresh faces, 4 netball badges on my pleated skirt, and money.
I wore red Hunter wellies and beamed, so they’d look at me.
And I was still the creepy centipede.
Old friend when it was Tuesday,
A girl would fall out with me over spilt milk, over words to the wind, over air falling over, over dogs sleeping.
For years it was hit and miss,
Does she like me, does she not,
There was a nothingness to resolve our bipolar friendship.
I had to date her brother so she could fully decide which.
And then this much proved I was still a creepy insect people want to flick off their shoulders.
I remember your walk.
The way you fluttered in a haze of sunshine and dark hair, dark eyes, strikingly pretty,
That when you fainted on the 60m in that burning sun in the summer,
Only I had helped you up and we went to the next class,
Only to find that the next PE lesson we would have,
I would not have a partner.
And there my sadness begins.
You must throw a shadow over your clique,
To prevent anyone from seeing who is inside that party, that group, that wonderful ship.
Nobody can go in.
It’s like the forbidden road your mother refuses you to cross alone.
You don’t know how to cross roads.
You don’t know the password.
You aren’t invited to the tree house.
You are a centipede.
If I were to go back in time
I would suffer the same things again.
That same misinterpretation.
That longing to be understood,
That I did not wish to hurt,
That I went through the same scratches and bled the same colour of blood.
I at times had spent lunches alone.
Until I loved to be without those groups.
Until I learned that I did not need cliques.
Or to be treated and man handled like a cast iron pot,
To be thrown on the floor like an old creased tshirt,
I was nobody’s liquor bottle to suck from.
That these feelings of the lonely,
Still pierce me through my eyes.
And I feel the way I felt alone at lunchtime,
Sea water stinging, she cried.
It was in those 7 years I went from dependant
To secure in my own costume,
In my sweet skin.
Not even my lover could pull me out from the dreams I live in.
Old friend, all is forgiven.
All is well.
You weren’t aware that you and your friends ruined 4 years of a young girl’s life.
And that is a fact as sharp as a gunshot,
As quick as blood,
As real as a blade.
It shouldn’t hurt too much to read.
I can hardly speak the rest of the list of people I was
Stamped on by, as though I were the white elephant amongst the grey,
As though I were child’s play, to those people,
They are watercolour. I washed them off.
I burned them down like wax,
They melted, they are a hot pool of nothing.
But you were that acrylic that never scrubs off the school maroon sweatshirt.
That small green mark, a lick of something that wouldn’t disappear.
It was aggravating. Frustrating.
My kooky looks, my pensive kiss,
Channeled into a cartoon where I am Tom and you are Jerry and I always get hit.
Just for a taste. Not of food, but of friendship.
These small materials that I stitched
Humiliated you, I am an embarrassment
And I do not care.
Old friend, this pain is an old but familiar one,
It gives me the same feeling as when I have read my old schoolwork from English and History class books.
It is a small ache. But has the density of acrylic. You.
You taught me of women.
Of bad friendships. Of bitter lemons,
Stuffed into my mouth,
One by one,
The acid peeling off the skin of my tongue.
Can you work out the answer to this fragrant problem, this personal mishap,
This unfortunate lesson, I had?
Unlock the secret of this secret?
For this problem I require repayment.
Take your personal problem,
Divulge it to me as if you were unwrapping yourself like chocolate.
Speak your sorrow like candy flakes to me.
There will be a bitter lemon centre.
Tell your personal problem old friend,
It’s your turn now.