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Friends till the end
by Katerina Charisi
2017-12-26 12:33:42
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I want to tell you about an old friend; a friend we all have had. There was that boy in school who was driving his own car and not his dad’s old Buick. He had the most beautiful eyes and a smile that made every girl in his class go sigh. The girls tried to guess what his kiss would taste like: One said it would taste like peppermint, another said it would taste like the first bite of a steaming hot apple pie piece. Another girl said it would taste like summer’s long evenings and you, well, you said no, his kiss tastes like pink bubble gums. Everyone laughed at you because, how could you know?

friend01_400He was that boy you wrote about in your diary before you sleep and then you ripped the page and hid it inside a stuffed doll because you knew your mom was reading it while you were at school. He was the reason you went on a diet for the first time, because he made you start thinking that maybe you weren’t as great and beautiful as your parents had told you so;

Besides, that boy never actually looked at… *you*.

You threw away your lunch and munched a slice of orange and a lettuce leaf before him to make him look at you for two long, hungry weeks, until you collapsed and spent the night in the hospital.

He didn’t look at *you*, not even then.

And later, he was the reason you fought with your BFF and missed her birthday party, when she confessed that she liked him as much as you did. She told you she knew for real what his kiss tasted like: lemon and cinnamon. And she drove you mad. When you found out that HE was invited to her birthday party and HE went while you didn’t, you asked your teacher to change your seats at class. As every teacher who’s too tired or too bored to care, you went to the furthest back of the class.


You never talked to her again because you’d thought “hey, I deserve a better friend than that”, or, maybe “I don’t deserve any friends at all”; but you never thought that maybe, just maybe you deserved a better boy to like. A boy that would actually look at… *you*, and you could taste his kiss in your mouth for real so you could tell about it to your friends and no one would laugh at you.

I want to tell you about an old friend; a friend we all have had. There was that day at home where your parents told you they were going to split; but you shouldn’t worry: This had nothing to do with you. They still loved you, they always did; they just couldn’t decide who you were going to live with. You saw the glimpse in your mom’s eyes, and though she swore you were the best thing to happened in her life, she put too much effort to convince you, while a bright future without having to care for you sparkled in her eyes. Besides, you were old enough to make it on your own, she said later that night when she tucked you in bed.

You sensed that was the last time she tucked you, but she acted like it was just another normal night as every night. You would be fine. You wrote about it in your diary and then you ripped the page and hid it inside the stuffed doll and then you filled again another page and put the diary under your pillow, hoping that this time she would stay around enough to read it, though you were too old to keep a diary, anyway.

And then you woke up the next morning and found her there crying. Your dad had left first. Oh no, darling, this has nothing to do with you! But… dad left without saying goodbye. He will come back! She promised. You knew she had to promise to reassure herself more than you. Her future was crossed by a black thick line and you knew it had to be your fault, otherwise,

Why did all that happen?

You never thought that things actually might happen without *you* being the reason. Everything happens for a reason, you’ve been taught. And dad never came back. Mom never tucked you in bed ever since.

It was your fault, after all.

I want to tell you about an old friend; a friend we all have had. It was that morning after your 20th birthday and you stood before your mirror and everything about you looked bad; you changed your shirt, you put another skirt, you put a boot on your left foot and a sneaker on your right foot, and everything seemed wrong to wear at the interview. You wouldn’t get the job, you knew.

You answered all questions and you hid your shuttering behind short, quick breaths. You hid your sweaty palms between your thighs and then you squeezed your thighs tight, thinking that maybe you shouldn’t have put that skirt on, after all. And why is his hand coming towards you? You let the large, dry palm rest on your knee, counting the curly hair above its knuckles as it rubs against your skin. Five, ten, fifty, a hundred. Don’t be dramatic, your mom always said. He smiles because you don’t pull your knee away and the curly little hair above his knuckles are over; you start again. Five, ten, fifteen, a hundred. He says that you might come to an agreement. Congratulations, you got the job.

You leave the office still holding your breath, you get back home and your mom’s asking “how did it go?” You tell her “Fine, I got the job” and then you slam your bedroom’s door behind you, you undress and get under your bed. You write about it in your diary and then you rip the page and... Where did that old, stuffed doll went? You run upstairs and up to the attic, rummage inside boxes and trunks and when your mom asks “what are you looking for?” You say “nothing”. And there it is, your favourite stuffed doll, its skin turned yellow and its hair is thin like a spider’s web and it misses an eye, too. You get back in your room hiding the doll under your shirt and then you throw the diary into the trash. You are too old for a diary, grow up at last!

You slice the doll’s back with the tip of your pen.

You find your childhood’s diary entries inside its guts. You get the first one and you read aloud: “You ugly, stupid, shitty piece of trash. How you could you even think that HE would even turn his head and look at your face? How could you even think that a boy like him would ever, possibly like you? You are useless. You worth shit. You are nothing. Why can’t you just die?”

And then you take the second one, few years later, and you keep reading: “You… you stupid bitch! You can’t even keep your parents together, now look what you did! How could you let that happen? They split and it’s all your fault, don’t you see? They can’t decide who’s going to stay with you. They can’t decide BECAUSE NONE OF THEM WANTS YOU! You are so useless; an ugly mistake. You shouldn’t even been born. Why can’t you just die?”

The letters dance before your eyes. The words little knives stinging your flesh. So, this was your old friend, you remember. He is back again.

And there comes the new diary entry.

You let the tears flow and your eyes burn but you neatly fold the papers and put them back inside the doll’s ripped body. You squeeze your fingers inside it and you imagine that you twist your own guts. You read aloud: “Congratulations, you whore. You got the job. You put that skirt on and you let him rub his filthy hand on your thighs. And you never said a thing, you never stopped him, because the truth is that you liked it, you liked it because that’s what you are, a useless piece of shit. A whore. I wish you were dead.”

That old friend feeds himself with all the words you keep saying to yourself and the bad thoughts that cross your mind. A childhood’s friend who had stayed with you forever.


Check Katerina Charisi's Xmas EBOOKs
The Magic Inside &  Finding Cloudberries
You can download it for FREE HERE!
in English and Greek


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