Outcast Among Friends
Smiles. Whispers. Laughter. It’s what friends do. It’s what his does. Hers too. And mine. They huddle close, and share pictures. They just talk. I sit with them, watching as they exchange words. Words I barely hear. Sometimes, they look in my direction, and say something, I laugh with them, even though I hardly find it funny. I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel their warmth, or enjoyment. It feels like, even though I’m with them, deep down, they wish I wasn’t there. They tolerate me with them, really, is how it feels. As soon as I leave, I’m sure they’ll cheer: “Thank god, he’s gone!” or, “I thought he would never leave. Now lets have fun!”. I’ve never heard or witnessed these things, but I’m almost positive it happens.
I do have common interests with these friends. Even so, I feel left out from things they do. I feel like the weird one. The never ending third wheel. They all pair off, and either I’m stuck with a pair, or the one I’m with, asks someone else to come with us. I’m the last to know of every party, every movie, every inside joke. I need to be filled in. And I see them sometimes roll their eyes, or give me a look. “Get with it, Andy!” One of them will often yell in mock anger, which just shows true frustration. When I am invited on time, I always feel like it was a pity invite, and really, I’m just imposing on the others. They’re just trying to be nice to me, but hope I get the message soon.
They’ve changed from before. Or maybe I’ve changed. It’s no longer genuine with them. Then again, maybe I’m not being genuine. Perhaps they feel left out from my life. Like, they don’t know me anymore. That’s why, they don’t invite me so much. They feel like I’m different, and now I’m weird to them. Maybe that’s really it. It could be they are genuine, and trying to see what happened. Trying to have me open myself up again to them. I’m invited last minute because they’re not sure if it’s what I like anymore. They’re just trying to find out if I’m still with them.
I look up. They’re looking at me intently. One of them repeats the question: “That sure was a good game, at the park, right Andy?” They all look at me. Is that sincerity in their eyes? They want my opinion, but they always want my opinion on things, and sincerity can’t be hard to fake. But I must be open with them. Let them know how I feel. I speak, and they listen. Some smile, a few frowned. Then he started to talk, one of my friends. And this time, I listened to his words.