My best friend Verity is a saint, but mostly, all we do when we’re together is sit on my bed and bicth about all the things that stop us from doing what we want. You might wonder how this is different from any other fifteen year old, so let me explain. I haven’t a problem with the things that hinder me, not anymore. Once upon a time I was angry that I couldn’t do the same stuff I used to, and for a few years it made me bitter and unpleasant and I didn’t have very many friends at all. But I grew up, accepted my cards, and learned that it isn’t about the cards you are dealt
in life but about the way you learn to play their game.
And I don't like them very much, nor do I like talking about people who do nothing but cluster around in their corners and bitch as if the world might not dawn tomorrow if they don't. Hate isn’t something I profess but I attach it to the aforementioned word and its every connotation with pleasure. So it is with regret that the following words tumble from of my mouth one Friday evening when my oldest friend has come to hand me some homework that I wasn’t able to collect today.
“Verity,” I sigh, exasperated. “Could we talk about something other than how Felicity James offended you by, out of the two of you, receiving the most compliments about her new hairstyle?” I take a moment to brush the hair that dangles in front of my eyes. “I wish you would stop being such a self-involved ass and actually notice how pretty you could be if you only stopped whizzing around bothering after other people.”
The truth stings her like the bite of a pet you thought you could trust. I imagine her eyes welling with tears; she sniffs, but because she has known me a long time and because she knows I love her too much to have intentionally to hurt her, she doesn’t storm out the room and bang the door as she goes. Instead, I hear her rearrange her sitting position and scratch an itch somewhere on her body, as if she isn’t offended by what I said. As if nobody’s words can hurt her.
“Do you want to order pizza?” she asks, clearing her throat of the tears I had been
suspecting. “Or something else, if you want. Thai, perhaps. I heard that the new place on Princes Street has been a veritable hit with the locale ever since it opened last week.”
I want to apologise to her. I am right, but to tell her so brashly wasn’t fair of me.
Guilt sinks my heart until it is gurgling and beating faster, worried it might not be able to resurface. Instead, I agree with her, because whilst she spends too much time in front of mirrors and fussing about what people said or did or didn’t say or do, she has excellent taste in food and I simply can’t resist sharing her opinions. Plus, Friday night has been our takeout night since we were in sixth grade, and I’m not about to sacrifice it for a lousy argument with regard to something I said. “Thai sounds perfect.”