By F. Lebl
It's funny to think all of this had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it's not just chaos after chaos and calamity after calamity. I could dimply draw an arbitrary line denoting where all this went south, but what would be the fun in that? I've concluded that if story-telling is what got me into this mess, story-telling will get me out of it... At least for narrative integrity. So, buckle your seatbelts, turn off your smartphones, and postpone your errands because this is about to go sideways.
Like many stories before, this one starts with a girl. Don't get me wrong, this is not a love story, and for that very reason, I will not be saying any unnecessary information about this so-called gal. I will not be saying that her name is Hailie nor that she had smooth blonde hair nor stunning blue eyes. All that you need to know is that I knew this girl and she knew me.
She and I had been friends since the third grade when she sat behind me on the first day after spring break. She wasn't well at the time, maybe it was because her parents were splitting up or that she was not living with her least favourite grandma, but little does this matter to my story. It couldn't have been five minutes after the start of class that my young classmate started crying. She cried very quietly, very subtly so that no one in the class could hear her – nobody but me.
Now, no one likes a crybaby, not even crybabies like crybabies, and I'm going to lie by saying I was not bothered. I come from a family of six brothers, crying meant sudden death in my family. I was not going to take it any longer. I shot my right arm straight into the air with upmost strength and asked my teacher,
"Miss, may I go to the infirmary? My head is hurting, and I feel a bit dizzy."
"Of course, my dear," said the teacher, "Are you sure you can go by yourself?"
As the smart devil I am, I muttered the four words that forever changed my life:
"Can Hailie take me?"
My saddened colleague suddenly looked at me; she knew something was odd about all this but didn't feel strong enough not to question my request; to accept what I asked and take me wherever she had to take me. We quietly left the classroom and walked down the corridor, and as we were turning towards the infirmary, I bluntly asked her.
"What's your problem? Do you need to talk to anyone?"
I didn't do out of solidarity; I didn't need another problem to deal with, but I wasn't expecting what came after this. The girl opened her swollen eyes and spared no expense. She cried violently. Between brutal weeps, she lectured me on her life, what her mum was going through, her dad's fits, and how much she hated Grandma Mary.
All I had to do was listen, and from there, we became inseparable.