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Everyone Thinks My Best Friend Went Missing, I Can’t Tell Them About What Really Happened

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Sophia Louise
Sophia Louise

I never meant for it to happen.

I know what little good that does now but I have to say that every day otherwise I’ll totally lose it. If I don’t remind myself that it was an accident, the careless actions of a little boy who had no idea the hurt he could do, that last shred of sanity will slip away like a scrap of paper caught in the wind.It was 1993. I had recently turned 11, that age where boys start to get hair in strange places and become incredibly mean to somehow compensate for it. I hadn’t gotten it quite yet – the hair nor the meanness – but I could sense it spreading through my classmates like some exotic virus. A few of them shot up a few inches in height, towering over me in gym class; Jeff Porter was sporting what he called a mustache but was really just a few weird kinky sprouts above his lip.

I waited for my own transformation with barely concealed impatience. The only comfort seemed to be that my best friend Kevin was in the same boat, bobbing sadly behind our peers on the treacherous sea of puberty. He used to joke that at least we didn’t smell as bad as the others, and that was true – they all seemed to reek like skunks, as though growing up caused you to develop stink glands along with underarm hair.

I liked Kevin. He could always make me laugh.

I liked him. I never meant for it to happen.

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