My depression started to subside. I was now a teenage girl ready to make new friends. It was like I pressed the refresh button. I felt like a new me and I was prepared to make my debut. My wardrobe expanded with bright colors. I put effort into doing my hair. People who never noticed me before were now acknowledging me if we passed each other in the hallway. I was addicted. I didn’t want this phase to end. Courtney Zummo, now popular.
I didn’t let my past bring me down and people could see that. I was doing great in school, playing shortstop on the softball team. Nothing could bring me down. But a part of me became too involved with the wrong crowd. You know the big group of kids that run the school? Mostly guys, with a few girls. I never liked that look but that’s exactly who I became. We would say “bye” in the hall and then start texting in class. I hated the path I was following but instead of walking away, I ran with it.
There was a boy who everyone knew. He was so tall that he’d be the first to spot in a crowded room. We had gym together and we grew close. He was my best friend. I confided in him like no one before. Everything there was to know about me, he knew. I trusted him with my darkest secrets and he always proved me right. We walked to class together, texted after school. We used to sprawl out in the field behind the school gym gazing at the sky. Eventually, I noticed a change that I couldn’t ignore. He wanted to take our friendship to the next level. But that was the problem, I only looked at him like a friend. A brother, even. How was I supposed to turn him down gently? I needed to find my voice.
Find my voice.
I have always struggled to do that. That’s why people so easily stepped over me. That’s why the guilt of something I didn’t even do wrong kept me from sleeping. I knew I had to dig deeper to find it. But what if I couldn’t? Was I going to let him take advantage of me? One. Two. Three. Again, those three points saving whatever sanity I had left. I couldn’t lose myself any more than I already have.
But I let him walk me home one last time. I was going to use this time to tell him how much I enjoyed our FRIENDship. Well, that was the last thing he wanted to hear. He was not happy with me. And from that moment on, things between us changed forever.