Telling Them

I told my friends I was leaving. Last Tuesday. It was going to be Monday, but Midnight wasn’t there – she was hanging out with some other friends. It was the first time this had happened, and it was really bad timing. “Don’t let her do this again tomorrow,” I told Indigo as we gathered our things to go back to class. “I have something to say.” Then Taz, Squiggle and I went to Indigo’s house after school, Indigo brought it up, and on the way home Squiggle guessed what it was. I sighed and told her the whole story, because I knew better than to leave her with no explanation. Taz guessed too, on Facebook later that day, but luckily I was already saying good night and so didn’t have to answer. Indigo also guessed, though I only found out the following day. I suppose my friends know me pretty well.

I literally made myself sick with worry all Tuesday morning – I got a headache, my stomach was clenched in a knot, I felt like I would burst into tears at the drop of a hat. I went up to Ripple and Crash’s classroom after the first class of the day and found Ripple looking even worse than I felt. She said she was going home, and I nearly panicked. “No! You can’t! I have something to tell you all!”

“Can’t you tell me now?” she asked. I found that no, I couldn’t. “I don’t think I can say it twice.”

She said she’d log onto Skype during lunch, then. I nodded, knowing it was the best I would get and grateful that I wouldn’t have to choose between putting it off another day or telling her on facebook or something. “Are you okay?” she asked. I just shook my head and shrugged at the same time – No, but it’s fine. Don’t worry about me. “Get better,” I told her with the closest thing to a smile I could muster. (Seriously, I was a wreck. I was overreacting more dramatically than I ever thought I would. I usually see myself as a sensible person who’ll react reasonably to things, but apparently I’m wrong.)

Crash didn’t even notice. He was doing math on his computer and had his back to me the whole time. It’s just as well – I was able to change the subject, asking what he was doing and such.

Lunchtime came around. Now everyone knew I had news. Squiggle wanted me to sit ‘in the middle’, and to be honest so did I. I ended up sitting between Crash and Taz, with the other three across from me. Ripple, on Crash’s computer (or was it Midnight’s?), was on the other side of Taz, to my right. I told them. “I’m not going to be here for the next school year. I’m moving in the summer. I’m going back to the US.”

I was looking down at the table. I didn’t see their immediate reactions. Indigo said that she’d guessed. Squiggle already knew, and Taz wasn’t exactly surprised either. He put a hand on my knee as I kept talking, to lend comfort and support and so on, but it didn’t work as well as it was supposed to. I told them the details and the reasons, as well as I could. They asked a few questions. I finally looked up at each of them. The one I remember most is Midnight. She was angry as well as sad, and she was the only one who didn’t seem to accept the news – as if she wanted to go and beat up reality until it changed its mind. No, that’s not quite right. She wasn’t the only one who felt that way, it’s just – what was it? I think it’s that I had to sit and watch as she felt reality closing in and taking away the options of denial. (To be fair, Ripple and Crash may have felt the same things, but I couldn’t see Ripple very well and I find Crash really hard to read. So I don’t know.)

Part of me was still worried that they’d give up on me now that I was leaving. In a way, part of me is still worried. It’s not that I don’t trust my friends – it’s just that I don’t trust my own judgment of people. Most people have to tell me about themselves before I can understand them. This has happened with Indigo, Squiggle and Taz, but not so much with Ripple, Midnight and Crash. So while I’m not afraid in regards to the former, the latter worry me still. Especially Midnight, because I think she’s been abandoned before by people she trusted. I don’t want to abandon her, and that’s really not how I see it, but I can’t do more than hope that that’s not how she sees it.

As for Ripple and Crash . . . I don’t think they’ll feel bereft and betrayed, as Midnight might. But they might still close me out. I don’t think they will – they haven’t so far – but like I said, I don’t trust my own judgment of people. I can still only hope that I’m right about them, and it still scares me to leave my happiness in the hands of others.

Belle gave me some good advice yesterday: Forget about it. Get over it, move on. Find something else to put your energy into – write a story, bake a cake, whatever. You can’t affect the outcome, so don’t waste time getting all anxious about it. I’m going to try to take her advice, but I have to admit I don’t think I’ll be that good at it.

The other problem with all this is that in telling my friends, it seems to finally have sunk in for me. Not that I’m leaving Denmark: I’ve known that for a while now, and I’m actually rather pleased about it. That I’m leaving them. That it’ll hurt. That these people matter more to me than I’ve realized, or maybe more than I’ve admitted to myself. And so I’ve been depressed this past week, and making myself sick and head-achey and such. I’ve not been angry, exactly, nor exactly apathetic, and it would be silly to say I’m sad all the time. I’m not. Just – well – often.

I haven’t really paid attention to school since Tuesday. A little, in the more important classes – Italian and Danish, especially – but not really. I haven’t done my homework. I’ve been indulging myself pretty much constantly, because I know that it’s the best way to keep out of depression and head-aches and such. I spent all of today in my bedroom, doing a jigsaw puzzle. I hope I haven’t worried my parents.

Yesterday I was going to go get my passport renewed, and I decided to cut my third class of the day to do so. I ran into Crash and Ripple as I was going to the photography shop to take pictures, and when they asked me what I was doing I lied and said my class was canceled. I felt bad lying, but Crash and Ripple are the only two who might have actually tried to get me back to class, and I couldn’t have dealt with it just then. I spent five to ten minutes joking around with them, went home to get my birth certificate, cash for the photos, and so on, then got the photos taken. By then it was two o’clock, which is when school gets out, so I went to spend another half hour with my friends. I had to get to the embassy before three, when it closed, but I figured I could spare another half hour and honestly, I was in need of company.

See, the reason for my depression this week is that I’m going to have to leave my friends. Unsurprisingly, the best and most total cure for this depression is spending time with them. When I am surrounded by them, I feel better.

Y class was having Danish; everyone else was free. Crash, Ripple, Taz and I had way too much fun – for way too long, too, because suddenly I looked at the clock and it was two minutes to three. The embassy was closed, and they don’t open on weekends so I’d have to wait a whole week before getting it renewed. See, this next week is the week of class trips for second years, and I’m going to Florence. Ripple and Crash are going to Iceland. Midnight, Squiggle and Indigo are also going to Florence, conveniently enough, so I’m not likely to get overly depressed while I’m there. We intend to get together and do stuff and have fun and such. We all feel very sorry for Taz, who’s only in first year and will have to suffer an entire week without our spectacular company.

We talked yesterday – and joked, and played around – until Ripple had to go meet her mother at the shopping mall (which is two minutes from the school). We accompanied her, in part to get chocolate. Ripple went off with her mom, Crash and Taz got chocolate, Indigo joined us (Squiggle and Midnight left, each for their own reasons) and we went back to school, where we sat and talked for another hour or two.

I’m lucky in my friends. I’m glad I had this last day with them, even if it cost me a class and a passport. (To be honest I don’t really care about the class – it was just Geography – and while I do care about the passport, I don’t think it’s such a terrible price to pay.) I’m glad I’m going to Florence, so I can hopefully clear my head a bit. I’m glad that Midnight, Indigo and Squiggle will be there too, so they can save me if I fall into gloom. Perhaps on this trip I’ll tell a few of my classmates that I’ll be leaving. Whether I do or not, it should be a good trip. I think I’ll come back much more cheerful, and hopefully with more of a grip on myself.


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