There’s this group of people I play cards with at lunch every day. They’re really fun, really cool, really crazy, and I actually feel like I fit in with them. It’s the second time in my life I’ve had friends this cool, and the first time didn’t last. That’s partly my fault – I hadn’t learned yet how to let people in. I’ve only managed to keep in touch with one of them. Of all my friends, one.

Anyway, I just came back from Christmas break. When I got back, they all seemed truly glad to see me. People grinned at my arrival. I got a very forceful hug from one girl. I got a keychain in the shape of a fish from said girl, which everyone else had apparently also gotten (I was late), and was told of a facebook group with the name of the fish. That same girl immediately pulled out her computer and added me to this group. (She’s a pretty enthusiastic person.)

I sat down to play cards – we play a very strange and awesome game that I may tell you about sometime – and, when lunch was over, went off to class happy. That same day, I went home and looked up this facebook group. It had obviously been started over break, and the first entry was an album of pictures from a Christmas party they’d had.

I was suddenly overwhelmed by bitter jealousy. I was surprised at myself, and told myself to be sensible; but it didn’t stop. It only got worse.  I felt left out, as if they were growing closer without me and now I’d never fit in any more. It was shocking how strong the feeling was.

Only last night, as I tried to fall asleep, did I finally understand. See, I don’t open up to people easily – I only really learned how about two and a half years ago – and sooner or later all my friends disappoint me. Sometimes they do something specific to let me down; sometimes they turn out boring or small-minded, which is not their fault; sometimes they just don’t seem to want my friendship. There are a few exceptions, but they’ve never come in groups like this. I’ve never been part, truly part, of a group like this.

(There was that one time, in middle school. They welcomed me, and they were so friendly that I started to thin out the walls that enclose my self. But I never felt as if I was totally and completely part of it all. Probably my own fault, but still.)

Now I’ve finally found a group where I feel like I belong. Even more than last time, these guys are my kind of people. And they haven’t let me down yet.  I realized a few months ago that I was waiting for the disappointment to come, and that I had started daring to hope that it wouldn’t. Yesterday I realized that I almost believe that it won’t. I’m more desperate than I thought for it not to.

That’s what the jealousy was all about. Now that I know, theoretically I can master it. That’s not quite the case yet, but give me a few days. There’ll be a Harry Potter marathon in a few weeks; if I can just go to that and feel like I’m part of it, I think I’ll finally feel safe.


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