When Trust Becomes Problematic
When Trust Becomes Problematic

When Trust Becomes Problematic

A discussion based club that meets at lunch to discuss many different kinds of topics sounds like a great idea to me. It’s noncommittal, so I don’t have to come every Tuesday if I don’t want to. One week I volunteer to bake something for everyone. I bake and ice cinnamon rolls, and bring them in. Some random tenth grader with a cool looking hairstyle and an unassuming demeanor comes up to me and is all, ‘You made food thanks.’ She then tries to hug me, and I’m kinda awkwardly half hugging while also trying to walk away. She then goes, ‘No it’s ok’, and hugs me more, not tight or anything, but like whatever. I’m a bit of a people pleaser at times, but not like, the nice kind, like the secretly resentful, but doesn’t want to make it awkward kind. So I kinda laugh, all awkwardly, but also kinda humoring her. At the time I assumed she was just sorta that person, and like that with everybody, and even now, I just don’t know, but my perception of her is a little different.

Over time, I get to know this girl a little better. What I like about her is that our conversation just seems to flow, as we jump from topic to topic, and when she talks to me it’s in a non demanding way. Well, she will go up to me at times, and demand conversation. Like I sat down on a couch, and she sat down next to me and we exchanged pleasantries, but then I put in my earbuds, and she asked me a what I’m listening to, and was like, ‘hello, did you hear me?’ But it seems like she’s just being friendly and maybe wants conversation. Even if I don’t seem particularly interested. But when we do have conversation, she’s not looking for anything specific, and it feels like, we’re just talking. Now I feel like, she might have not even cared at all about what I was saying, just that I was talking to her, just that we were talking. The difference is subtle, but I feel it holds importance. We don’t talk about anything deep, in fact it’s kind of superficial, but somehow it feels deep. Maybe it’s the intense way she seems to be paying attention to me, maybe it’s the way we both are sitting in relaxed comfortable positions on the couch, maybe it’s her unassuming nature. *cough* grooming *cough* (Just kidding, I can’t judge her, or her actions, I’m not her, yet still, it makes me uncomfortable to think about now) Who knows? But her personality is hard to pin down. She’s quiet without being shy. She seems kinda meek, without being needy. There seems to be no context or exposition to the when/how/what/where of the way she talks to me. But of course at the time, I’m not questioning any of these things. It doesn’t occur to me to do so, and I think understandably so. When I say her personality is hard to pin down, I mean really hard. From what I could tell, she is not a sociable outgoing person in her grade, and kind of keeps to herself. I think that if she didn’t approach me all those times she did, we wouldn’t have any reason at all to talk, and I don’t think I’d ever have a reason to come over to her. She seems to have no specific objective in talking to me, but to an extreme extent. It’s weird, I guess. I thought it was endearing, but now it seems off putting. She’s sorta set apart from all those other, outgoing, friendly, caring upperclassmen who chat up freshman. It’s just different. More casual in approach, yet less casual, more serious in demeanor. I didn’t question her talking to me, it didn’t occur to me to do so.

When she’s talking to me and my friend walks in, she’s nice to my friends, but it seems like they’re not her main objective, almost like, and this is speculation, she is just sorta putting on a show of talking to them, for me and for everyone, so that she could show how chill she is or whatever. Like she’s a team player. I realize this may come off as paranoid, because it’s really hard to explain the feeling you get from a person, because you can’t really back it up with facts. But it is lackluster, the way she engaged with my friends. I just confirmed with a friend, they kind of felt similarly to the way I’m describing: Like, she seemed, chill, and cool at first, but then later she gave her the subtle message that she just wasn’t interested in talking to her. My friend said that she felt like this tenth grader was annoyed that she was breaking into our conversation, and just sort of regarded her as eh, I’d rather talk to Kara, you’re lame, we just don’t click. Which is so messed up, considering, me and her didn’t particularly click, and I felt like she kinda forced clicking upon us. In my defense, I didn’t know she was treating my friend this way. Of course it’s her right to talk to whoever she wants, and she wasn’t being mean or doing anything ‘wrong’ (at least at this point in time) but I don’t like it. She didn’t break any rules on paper, but still, she wasn’t playing fairly. To me, she only showed me the side of her that’s like, ‘I love everyone! I’m so sweet and cute!’ I thought she was like that with everyone, ya know. That she was just that sorta person. The only thing that made me stop and think, even if just for a moment, was seeing how she was when my friend was with us. She was so bold and not shy with me, why was she sorta passively polite to my friend? Subconsciously I was just like, maybe she likes me better. But no, she didn’t know me very well at all. We just chatted. No reason why I’m ‘special’. But my friends were polite, respectful, and open minded of my relationship with her. Even though now I know, cuz I heard from one friend, that she was apprehensive, or confused. I was just sorta along for the ride. I never thought deep into it at all. I didn’t notice any nuances or anything like that, the situation seemed totally benign. During a school function I get some food, and look for someone I know. I see her eating alone on the bleachers, and I go join her. We talk, but after a bit I see my friends sitting together and want to join them. I don’t wanna ditch her, so I go ‘Hey I see my friends, I’m gonna go sit with them, I guess you could come.’ She follows me, and sits herself down right next to me. In the gap in between me and my friend. A part of me that needs to drown in a pit of snake venom is secretly pleased. She likes me more than them. She’s my friend. Ya know? But I’m also annoyed, my attempts to get her and my friends to click with each other just aren’t working. It’s just not a thing, not a vibe. In a way that I can’t place though. She’s different around them. More formulaic. Playing the part of a polite, courteous, normal, yet distant girl. It should totally work on paper, yet it’s not. I’m confused. Her way of relating to people seems random and frankly weird. Like, there’ll be stretches of time I don’t talk to her or see her, yet when I do, it’s weirdly intimate, and seems…calculated. Like the person who I know her to be is there for me to experience only. Also, when I had a free and went to the student lounge, she came in shortly after and sat down next to me, and I was thinking, it seems like whenever I’m here I always see her. Notice how I wasn’t thinking along the lines of, ‘how come whenever I’m here she is?’ So I ask, do you have a free, or are you ditching…or? The way she answers seems weirdly defensive, for the way she is about stuff generally, I mean. We sat in silence that had an odd quality about it for the remainder of the time.

A day before the overnight she comes to my classroom before first period starts. I’m thinking, oh I forgot about her existence! Serendipity doo da. I decided like her, but don’t feel one hundred percent comfortable around her, not like I am with my friends. She is asks me if she could straighten my hair once we get to the hotel. I’m like, cool, that’s nice of her. I ask if we’ll have time, and she seems sure we will. The exchange seems quick and hurried. Like she came in on a mission. I mean she had no way of knowing what classroom I was in. That’s what it is about her. Our interactions generally are casual but seem planned, like they’re not just spontaneous. She’s the most high maintenance causal person I’ve ever met. A passive part of me has a soft spot for her, and our mysterious interactions, and how open she is around me.

Friday afternoon I get to the hotel. We get our room numbers, and we see each other, and she tells me that her room number, and that I could come to her when I’m ready. For some reason they don’t have our room key yet, so we sit in the hallway stranded. It’s taking forever, so I decide I may as well get my hair done now, since I can’t change quite yet. It’s just more efficient. I go there and she starts on my hair. She tells me she remembers how good my hair looked straightened on freshman orientation. I tell her she has a good memory if she remembers that, especially because that was before I died it auburn, it was brown. She says it’s because she sits behind me for morning announcements. I later checked, she sits at least eight rows behind me, and a few seats to the right of me. There are a billion and one heads she could be looking at. She tells me how great it is I’m making friends, cus when she was in 9th grade, she hadn’t really made any close friends yet. I tell her how it annoys me how full of politics and drama my grade is, and she goes, ‘Ya drama is so stupid.’ I’m so glad I found someone who feels the same way. She tells me I could come to her room whenever I want, it’s not a problem at all, and her room is gonna be very chill and calm. Just what I need, I’m thinking. A place of refuge to just relax at any time I want. it’s perfect. I felt, I don’t know this person so well, but our relationship is deep. My friend later told me she felt our friendship sprouted overnight. Looking back, it was based on nothing.

One comment

  1. Hey readers! I know this article is kind of long. If you don’t have the time to read all of it, part one is mostly context, so feel free to skip it. This story is kind of personal, but I believe it has an important message worth sharing. Stay safe!

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