The betrayal of a friend. It cuts deeper than most anything… | by Terijo | Intimately Intricate

The betrayal of a friend. It cuts deeper than most anything... | by Terijo | Intimately Intricate

The betrayal of a friend. It cuts deeper than most anything… | by Terijo | Intimately Intricate

It cuts deeper than most anything…


When I was nine years old, my father decided that we needed to leave our old, mostly white blue-collar neighborhood in Queens because an Off-Track Betting site had just opened right down the street from us.

He said he already could see the drunks, the hobos, and the generally morally corrupt men hanging out on the sidewalk outside the place and he didn’t want his five daughters to have to deal with that element of society.

So, he moved us to a mostly white, white-collar neighborhood on the opposite end of Queens. The new house was a huge old Victorian, with Oak parquet floors, two staircases, a full apartment on the third floor, and a total of nine bedrooms. It was also boasting a nearly one acre lot, which is practically unheard of in Queens, NY.

At the back end of the property there was actually an old barn and it was full of all sorts of interesting stuff. I used to love to go in there and just explore until the day that my foot went through the floorboard and I nearly went through to the root cellar underneath. A root cellar we didn’t know existed until that moment. I called and called but, no one could hear me, and I was stuck, unable to get my leg free from the broken board.

And then a girl, about my age, peeked her way into the barn door and called to me. I asked her to go get my father to help, and she declined, but, she did go get her mother, who then obliged me by heading for my house. Meanwhile the girl and I got to talking and we became instant friends. For a while, anyway. Her backyard connected to my backyard and we would frequently make the walk back and forth to each other’s houses, to play or to talk. And then we just stopped talking, and I don’t remember why. But, it was kind of a mutual loss of interest, so it wasn’t a big thing.

Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school, and we meet up again. And this time? We became instantly the very best of friends… We would spend hours and hours talking on the telephone, the way teenage girls are wont to do, and then we’d hang up and go meet each other somewhere and join other friends. She believed in me, she challenged me, she accepted me. She gave me an unconditional acceptance that I had never felt before.

And then the lies began… I, of course, didn’t know they were lies at the time. I believed every word she said.

She told me she had an inoperable cancer in her brain. And that it had spread to her stomach. She also said her parents knew nothing about this cancer, and that the doctor treating her was giving her pain medications that would sometimes make her sick. I believed every word until years later I realized A. She wasn’t dead, so how did the cancer not kill her? and B. What doctor is going to risk his medical license treating a 16 year old girl with cancer without getting the consent of her parents? Mind you this was in the late ‘70’s… This simply was NOT allowed. But I fell for it. Hook line and sinker.

Over the 5 years of our friendship, she told me she’d had an abortion no less than eight times. In actual fact, she’d had one. This was confirmed, again by her, many years later.

She told me that on the way to buy our tickets to England, to visit a friend, that she’d been robbed and raped. She was neither. She used the money I’d scraped together over the course of six months to go buy her favorite method to get high. And then kept the rest for herself. She confessed as much just a few years ago.

She told me how happy she was that I had finally found my boyfriend of six months, and tried to fuck him behind my back.

She tried to push me into doing cocaine with her, and it took the intervention of another friend, a coke-head and her dealer, to make her stop. He’s the one who told me about how she’d tried to sleep with my boyfriend, and told me that I needed to stay away from her because she was on a downward spiral that was going to be bad. Very bad.

She tried to get money from my mother once, and I had to intervene to make her stop.

After the incident with my mother, I tried to call her mother to get some intervention for this person who used to be my best friend, but, whom I no longer recognized. I didn’t get through, and it is one of my lifelong regrets that I didn’t try harder.

She descended into cocaine-induced psychosis shortly after the incident with my mother, and spent the next three years trying to come back from that. And she did come back from it, finished her schooling and is a nurse in the city somewhere.

I could not forgive her for all the lies, all the deception, and the betrayal. I heard stories about her from mutual friends, and every one urged me to stay away from her… Because it wasn’t just the drugs. It was who she was as a person that was the problem. The lies never stopped, the manipulation of people she claimed to care about never stopped, and my friends all felt that she would hurt me again if I attempted any contact.

I followed their advice until the day she contacted me explaining that she needed to atone for her sins against me and that she wanted to meet for lunch.

I was skeptical, but, I went because I also wanted answers. Why tell me she had cancer? Since obviously she didn’t. Why lie about all the abortions? Why go after the first real boyfriend I’d ever had? Why pretend to be my friend at all? Why not just walk away.

And the answers I got left me feeling winded. She told me that initially she’d friended me again because she thought I could be a threat. A threat? To what?

She said she thought I’d get more attention from our mutual circle of friends. She said I was nicer, prettier, and funnier than she was… And that she’d been attracted to me sexually for years.

And I was dumbstruck. She’d given me no indication of any of that. And then she told me that once she got to know me better, she saw that I wasn’t looking to steal any attention from her and so she saw that as an opportunity to gather more attention for herself…

And then she said she’d become so jealous of my boyfriend she wanted to make him go away by trying to seduce him. Instead, she made me go away, and she hated that.

She told me that my leaving our friendship was when she really started using the coke and spiraling down fast.

In other words? It was my fault for leaving her and making her so self-destructive.

And that’s when I saw it. She was lying. Again. Trying to manipulate me. Again. I almost couldn’t believe it.

She continued on, expressing a desire to re-kindle our friendship, have our daughters meet, and so on. And wouldn’t I like to come for dinner, and sleep over so we could talk into the night like we used to?

Um. No. I don’t think so. I haven’t seen her again since that supposed atonement lunch, during which she confessed old sins and committed new ones, but, I have heard through the grapevine of friends that she doesn’t understand why I won’t come over as she requested. Why I don’t answer her emails or texts. Why I want nothing to do with her, now or ever, and she’s never getting near my daughter.

Because once betrayed I am no longer kind. I am no longer funny. I am no longer nice. I am done with all of that.

She knew that once. Too bad she’s forgotten it.

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