I stood there on the porch of my best friend's house ringing the doorbell, calling her phone, and making desperate attempts to figure out what was going on. Tucked under my arm was a pillow and a backpack with pajamas, lotion, and a toothbrush.
I didn't want to give up. It was 10:30 p.m, the air was chilly, and the light above the kitchen stove eerily shone through their window. We had been planning this sleepover all week.
I turned around to see my parents, still waiting in the car by the curb, motioning for me to get back in the car and go home. And I did. I wished I could stay and sit in the curb until she got home or keep trying to call. But my better judgement won (for once) and my frustrated feet shuffled over to the car.
I went straight to bed when we got home. I reached down beside my bed to feel the familiar texture of my stuffed dog. I bought Softer when I was five years old with my birthday money and he was my favorite thing long afterwards. I couldn't sleep without him until Jr High when Softer started sleeping on the floor next to my bed and half the time I forgot he was there.
I held him in front of my face, staring right into his deep black plastic eyes. "Why does she invite me over if she's not even gonna be home?" I rambled to the inanimate face, "If she forgets me in less than 10 hours as it is, who knows what it's going to be like next year when she's going to a charter school and I hardly ever see her? She won't even know I exist." Softer gave me a sympathetic silence as I continued to carry on. I fell asleep frustrated, disappointed, and afraid, a stuffed dog curled under my arm.
The next day only got worse. Which is how a lot of days seem to be going recently. They all just get worse. After a completely different unpleasant stir of events, I felt absolutely miserable. I locked myself in my room, wishing it all away. I pulled out my sketchbook and covered a page with the same sentence over and over: "I hate myself." I cried and cried. Now I was angry, scared, frustrated, sad, regretful, and my self-esteem had reached an all-time low. I went upstairs and washed the dishes, listening to the most depressing song on my iPod. (Not the smartest thing I've ever done, seeing as that just made me cry more, sniffling so much I started coughing up my lungs.)
80 years seems like an awful long time to have to live, I thought. And I meant it. In that moment I almost wished I was done living. I couldn't wait until I could be in heaven where there's no more yuckiness and blah. The more I thought the more upset I got, but I didn't want to cry anymore. With every uneven breath I pressed my arm against my face. Stop it, Tessa. It's going to be okay. Every day won't be like this. Don't wish your life away. After I clumsily spilled water all over my pants, changed, and dusted the house, my friend called.
It turns out she really did forget me last night. The phone call was the short and I only managed to say a few words in between my sniffling and I said I'd call her back when I was done with my chores. She said she'd wait for me so when I was done working we could get together. I finished my jobs and when I called her back she was out eating lunch with someone else. Did she forget? I thought to myself. The conversation was awkward, as if she'd been caught doing something embarassing. She said she'd call me when she gets back. She'll probably forget that, too.