Break reminder: high school wasn’t about the friends you made along the way

Carmel Stephan, I had friends in high school I promise

If you went home over Thanksgiving break to visit your family, you probably ended up helping in the kitchen, and you may have needed something from the store. In the small, local store, you may have spotted a familiar face. Lo and behold, it was your high school best friend whose texts you forgot to answer and calls you never take. 

You were happy to see each other, and they wanted to hang out. They said they’d text you next time they go out and about. Later that afternoon, you sat down and happened to check your phone. Look who it is! Your old chum again, wondering if you’re free. You looked up to discover that a true crime documentary on the TV is the only thing that’s happening — you texted that you’re free. 

Your friend picked you up in their mom’s car and took you to someone’s party where the host said it’s totally cool for you to come. It turns out that this “party” is a bit of a drunken fest in someone’s cold backyard. You saw a lot of folks you haven’t run into since last Thanksgiving break, and you wonder if they even know your name or are just really good at being fake. One person sloshed up next to you and suddenly admitted, “I hated you in high school!” They gave no further explanation and left you rubbing your eyes clear of their spit. 

You may have lasted 30 more minutes, 45 if you’re lucky, and you and your friend (both sober Sallys) left this confounding party. On the ride home, you thought that high school certainly was not about the people you met, or continue to meet. That is, except for that one friend who’ll force you to hang out, drag you to a party and stay by your side.