(I was proud of my revisions lol && I see people posting absence notes? lol so I’m posting my revisions, in case anyone is bored enough to read them)
By: Krystal Temple (Revision of Avenue I)
To the girl I once knew…
By: Krystal Temple
Nay struggled into her tight blue jeans, as she stood in front of the mirror.
I watched her squeeze her swollen coconuts into a small, white, lace push-up bra in anticipation.
“Come on! We’re going to be late! We’re just going to school”
Nay continued to apply her red lipstick and blue mascara. She formed two medium sized emerald green circles above both eyes with a small brush, as she struggled to blink her eyes comfortably with her long, artificial lashes.
“Ughh” I grunted.
Turning over on her unmade bed, I noticed my curvaceous figure in her wardrobe mirror.
“You’re gaining weight missy”
“Um. I guess. Come on, put on some red eye shadow to match that burgundy top you’re wearing!”
“Trust me! I’m good”
I wasn’t a fan of wearing colored eye shadow to school. I mean – we were only in the seventh grade. After removing her headscarf, Nay’s long black and red extensions fell comfortably right above her small buttocks. Moving her head in slow, exaggerated movements she began to curl her hair with a curling wand.
“Can’t you do anything with all that hair you have? If I had your hair, and your body…”
“Ughh. Fine Nay – just curl my bangs for me!”
I was tired of her complaining, and I noticed that I had basically thrown my long thick hair into a sloppy bun once again. Nay grinned, as she removed the beige rubber band from my hair.
“Ouch! Be careful!”
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Come on, sit here”
She led me to her bathroom, because of it’s bright yellow lights, and large mirrors. It was the perfect location to curl hair. As I sat on the toilet seat, I heard the doorbell ring. It was probably Ki – our other best friend. She didn’t live near, but sometimes her mother would drop her to Nay’s house before school. As Nay plunged her comb through my scalp, I immediately began to regret my decision.
“Geesh! Could you be any rougher?” I complained.
“Comb your hair sometimes” she snapped back.
Grabbing a small portion of my hair, she began to apply heat. As she made her way to the front of my hair, Ki came climbing up the stairs. Her petite frame entered the bathroom doorway.
“You guys still aren’t ready huh?”
“It was definitely Nay. She basically insisted on curling my hair”
“Well – hurry up then”
Nay grabbed a patch of my bang hair in the center of my head, and placed it into the large iron curling iron. Then she placed her hand directly on the front of the iron, and pressed it directly against my forehead. I began to hear a faint hissing noise, as the iron sunk deeper and deeper into my skin. I began frantically moving my arms in defense, but it took a second for the words to escape from my mouth.
“Ouch! Nay… what the – ”
“Oh” Nay laughed. She began hysterically giggling, as she released the steaming iron from my forehead. I was immediately overtaken by a large pounding noise inside of my head.
“Ugh! Make it stop burning!” I cried
Nay fell to floor full in laughter, meanwhile Ki ran to the kitchen and returned with baking powder. Rolling her eyes at Nay, she handed me a damp paper towel with baking soda.
“Here, press it against your head. It will extract the heat from the burn”
“Where’s your antibiotic ointment?” Ki asked.
“In the cabinet right above her big ass head”
As I looked into the bathroom mirror, I noticed a faint brown mark had begun to appear in the center of my forehead. My forehead began to look increasingly large, and I had never noticed this before. In a panic, I frantically began placing my bang hairs in front of the burn.
“No one will see it” Ki assured me, as she rubbed the ointment on my forehead.
“Ki, you sure you don’t want me to curl your hair too?” Nay giggled.
“Don’t play those ratid games with me. Ya bun off the girl hair, and a laugh?” Ki snapped back in her strong Jamaican accent.
This was a typical morning at Nay’s house… gone wrong. I used to visit her house on weekends, weekdays… you name it. You could always find me there. Nay lived down the block from me. I guess you could say she’s my ex best friend. I don’t exactly know what went wrong with her. I mean – she has a mother and a father, and although they’re currently separated, they lived under one rooftop. They always spoiled her (to the best of their abilities). She could always hit up her mom for cash and then turn to her dad for some more. To me, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I say this because I grew up with my grandmother. Because my grandmother already lost two children (my uncle to a violent gunshot, and my mom to cancer) she was definitely emotionally unavailable. I was often emotionally unavailable too; I was always quiet and I stayed to myself. I never quite knew how to defend myself, which is why it was so easy for Nay to get away with constantly betraying me throughout our friendship. Sometimes, I envied the stability of Nay’s home because she was the only one out of the three of us – “the three amigos” that had that family cushion to fall back upon.
When Nay was about sixteen she became addicted to pot. I don’t know if one can actually become addicted to pot, because it’s a common defense for weed smokers to claim: “it’s not an addictive drug.” So I guess I’ll rephrase that: Nay became dependent on weed at about the age of sixteen. Luckily, I dogged that bullet until I got older. Then again – I don’t know how lucky that makes me.
Nay was always cooking up some kind of scheme to get money. There was the time that we were in about the twelfth grade, that she told me that she was going to deposit a fraudulent check into her account to get the money. I was always the more logical type. Although I absolutely despise philosophy (all of that Plato and Socrates bullshit reasoning that talk in circles – trying to come up with answers to things that just cannot be answered), I can always devise my own long logical reason for or against something. When Nay came to me with her plans, I gave her a long speech about why it was absolutely absurd and I informed her that she would surely get caught. Sure enough, she did. She was actually arrested and taken to bookings… you know the whole nine. I remember when she called me sobbing on the precinct phone.
“Krissy?” she sobbed over the phone.
“Where are you?”
“You’ll never believe this. I’m at bookings right now. Handcuffed to a damn seat, in the same room with prostitutes and who knows who else” Unfortunately, I did believe her.
“Ughh. The money thing huh?”
“You know, I told you right?”
“Yea” she whispered in between sobs.
She was eventually charged with some kind of money misdemeanor in exchange for community service.
I never quite understood the weird dynamic of our friendship. Besides participating in increasingly mischievous behavior – she always found a way to betray me. There was this one time when she came to my house with my other best friend Ki and filled up my new Juicy Couture velour purse with shirts, jeans and jewelry and left. I was distracted because I had other friends over, so I didn’t notice her until I saw her leaving the house with my belongings. There was also the time that she took my brand new pair of grey and orange-stripped air max 95’s to borrow (still in the box I may add), and then claimed that she lost them.
When I first met her, I admired her because I was so shy and quiet while she was so loud and daring. She knew what to wear to get attention, and she hung out with some of the most popular girls in junior high school. She even managed to always have a “boyfriend” when we were younger. She was cool and even knew how to talk to boys. But somewhere along the way, my definition of cool changed. I don’t think hers ever did.
It must have been two or three years ago, when Nay, Ki and I were driving to McDonalds. I had noticed a rift in our friendship that had slowly begun to get bigger. We had all begun college – although Nay had failed out her first semester and Ki decided to take a semester off for financial reasons. I always understood this intellectual division between us, but disregarded it. We were cool since junior high school and that wasn’t about to change for me. Ki had recently obtained her mom’s old car and we decided to spend the weekend cruising through the city together, like old times. Ki was blasting the newest Drake song, and as the wind whipped through our hair we began to enjoy a night on the town.
“O.M.G, we’re finally getting older”
“I know – and you’re driving now. You finally got your own whip” Nay cried.
Of course, Nay already had the privilege of driving her dad’s car. He would have given it to her, but she was always in the middle of something, so he was hesitant.
“Remember, when we were younger how we used to be jealous of Krystal’s hair?”
The statement kind of came from left field. When we were younger, Ki and I had long hair, and Nay did not. Now that I was older, I cut all of my hair off and began to wear hair extensions similar to Nay.
“Um… no that was just you” Ki sighed.
Nay wasn’t the prettiest or brightest of the bunch. She never really cared about school – she was more interested her social life and physical appearance. Throughout our friendship, she would often make comments about me being tall and awkward, or about my feet being too big, because she was shorter than I with smaller feet. I remember desperately trying to squeeze into shoes that were a size smaller, because of her. When Nay made her jealousy comment to me that night, it kind of marked the start of the decline of our friendship. She simplemindedly laughed it off, and if I was younger I might have done the same. But now that I was older, I thought it explained too much that had happened between us and I couldn’t understand why my friend of so many years felt this way.
As we became more and more distant, Nay never ceased to surprise me. Shortly after the car incident she broke some shocking news to me over the phone.
“Krys – you should definitely come work at this club I’m workin’ at”
“Huh? Don’t you work at H&M?”
“Yea, but some nights I dance at this club”
“Um… like strip dance”
“Yea. It pays good money. You should definitely try it. You have the body and all… Well you’d prolly have to tone up” she snickered.
“You’re kidding right? Do you see me dancing naked in front of people. Trust me I wouldn’t make ANY money” I laughed it off – but this wasn’t even the worst thing Nay could tell me. After this, she began to tell me more and more things about herself (that I couldn’t even confront in my own mind) that made us more and more estranged.
Our friendship finally came to a ‘sad’ conclusion during my third year of college. She had begun to make up malicious stories about me, and tell a mutual acquaintance. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I never explained to her how I felt – I just kept it inside. I never answered her calls or texts again.
Sometimes I wonder how two people who grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same values could turn out so different. I mean – the first time I went back to church in my teenage years was with her! Her mother was an active member of the Christian church that was about two blocks from our houses. It was actually her that encouraged me to go to the prayer group with her. Until today, everything that transpired between us seems to be a mystery that’s not worth solving.
I resent a lot of my childhood days, and she played a humongous part in them. When I look back on everything that happened when we were younger, I often find myself angered about how heavy of an influence she was to me and how my grandmother was not able to be emotionally available for me. I know it’s not healthy for one to blame anything or anyone for their past actions, but damn it… someone’s got to take part of the blame. My grandmother always said, “Show me your company, and I’ll tell you who you are” – which has left me wondering maybe Nay and I are more alike than I think. Maybe I resent her because she represents parts of me that I don’t like – parts of me that I have grown to become estranged with as well.
Sometimes I wish I never met Nay and then other times I appreciate her friendship because it helped my growth into adulthood. I don’t think I will ever understand our friendship, or why Nay secretly resented me and always intentionally tried to hurt me – but I’m not sure that’s important to me anymore. All I can do is hope for the best in the future… for the both of us.