When Alex transferred to our high school for freshman year after going to the French international school lots of people assumed she was French. We all know the whole exotic turn on thing and boy did she seem to have it. Guys fell at her feet and chased her around. Until Alex I didn’t think it was possible for boys to drool more than when they saw Kate but I guess it was.
Funny thing is, Alex isn’t French, her parents wanted her to be bilingual and she had actually been on the same soccer team as Kate and me for a couple years. We had never spoken. Alex was shy, she almost never talked and since she didn’t go to school with the rest of us she was seen as an outsider.
However, once soccer preseason began we all welcomed her to hang out with us, we didn’t want her to feel like a total new girl when technically we had known her for a while. Some days people, guys and girls, would form a circle around Alex and bombard her with questions from all directions. Sometimes I tried to save her, telling the others to cool it because Alex was overwhelmed. Alex had never actually voiced that she felt overwhelmed so what I saw as a kind gesture she could have disliked me for it.
In the months to follow Alex officially joined our friend group. I liked Alex and all, she seemed cool but she seemed to be changing Kate and I didn’t like that. Since most of the other students at Alex’s old school were either from France or had French influences in their home lives, they tended to drink and smoke at much younger ages. Thus, while we were all having our first real sips of alcohol, Alex watch smugly as our faces twisted from the burn of cheap vodka.
I didn’t drink though. Not really, yes I have had a few beers and tasted alcohol but i had no intention of getting wrecked anytime soon. Too bad for me because maybe if I had nobody would have looked at me differently. People would have told me where they were going on Saturday nights instead of awkwardly avoiding the question. People wouldn’t have looked shocked when I held a beer two years later.
Granted, at this point, I had really strong negative feelings about drinking. I have no idea why. I didn’t personally know any alcoholics or somebody who was involved in a drunk driving accident. I think I associated it with the new Kate. The “hot” Kate, the Kate who had junior boys flirting with her. The Kate whose shadow I would fall even further into.
From the outside I watched as my entire friend group played a cute game of who can become Alex’s best friend. Spoiler alert: It was Kate. I watched as each of the three other girls in our group competed for her attention and the guys attempt to get with her. It was all almost comical. But I never laughed, I started greatly disliking Alex. Nobody had ever cared that much about me and God I started to wish that Kate felt even just half of what she did for Alex for me.
It was freshman year. Everybody was “finding themselves” and “growing up” a.k.a people were drinking and partying and had more work than they were used to so in turn they were more stressed and don’t forget the whole teenage angst thing.
One time, while Max and I were on a break, I remember him saying (to me!) “you know in the movies when a guy looks up and sees a girl and then it all goes slow motion because she is so beautiful? That’s what happens with Kate. I never knew it was a real thing before.”
So there I was, my two best friends Alex and Kate also doubled as the two hottest girls in school. Not just our grade, our entire school, even senior guys wanted them.
As you may have noticed I said Alex was one of my best friends in the above blurb but how did we get there you may ask….Well, Kate is my best friend and Alex became Kates best friend, we played sports together and had classes together and the same friend group, naturally it happened, though I still wasn’t Alex’s biggest fan.
I actually wasn’t anybodies biggest fan. Not even my own. None of my friends could be persuaded to stay in for a movie night on the weekends, they all just wanted to get drunk and brag about their stories until the next weekend where they would then repeat the process. Kate would snap at me or tell me how obnoxious I was. I imagine this is what Kate thought Alex/others thought about me and she didn’t want it to seem like she actually liked me if the “cool” kids didnt. Eventually, I stopped getting invited to places because I didn’t drink so “It would just be awkward if I came,” and “it wasn’t my scene.”
Who knew that just because I wasn’t throwing back shots meant that I lost my ability to interact with humans. I sure didn’t!