Everyone's freshman year of college is tumultuous, but I feel like Karma owes me big after the Hell I went through during my last month of my first year at Colorado Christian University.
The first semester was great. I made a few good friends instantly, which I think is fairly typical of freshman experiences. Throw a bunch of kids together who are away from home for the first time and uncertain of their futures and they'll find some way to bond. That's how I met Debbie and Andrea. Debbie lived next door and although Andrea lived off campus, for all intents and purposes she lived downstairs with her friend Kim. At the end of my first semester I moved in with Debbie and when I returned from Christmas break I found out Andrea had moved on campus and into my apartment.
I remember getting back to campus after the break and walking in to find Andrea moving in. I was really excited about what the rest of my freshman year would bring and I couldn't wait to share it with my friends. Then on January 18th, five years ago tomorrow, actually, my life changed forever. I met my first love.
Admittedly, it was a little overly intense in the beginning. Well, actually the whole relationship was a bit over the top, but that's a whole different blog. To make a very long story very short, my friends turned on me at some unknown moment. I came home from Ron's apartment one day to find Debbie and Andrea waiting in my room. They told me they'd turned me in to the powers that be (or Resident Director, in CCU speak) for spending the night with Ron.
This was confusing on a number of levels, not the least of which that I didn't know it was actually against the rules. Things had been tense between Debbie, Andrea, and me for a while. We didn't go from best of friends to mortal enemies overnight. And although I blamed them for a really long time, in hindsight, i think we were all too immature to handle the effects of growing super close to people and then growing apart soon after.
I started to become a different person fairly quickly after leaving home, but the changes weren't dramatic until after I fell in love with a guy 5 years older than me. I've spent the better part of the last 2 years letting go of all the shit that my relationship with him did to me, but I never really tried to reflect on the wounds inflicted on me by friends until now. I didn't really have to deal with it, because I just stopped seeing Debbie and Andrea.
I spent one more semester at CCU after all the drama happened. The fall of my sophomore year was probably the loneliest time of my life. I was stuck at an institution that no longer welcomed me surrounded by people who had heard a variety of rumors about my personal life. And of course, that semester I had a class with Andrea.
During the first week of class she gave me a letter she'd written apologizing for not coming to me before turning me in and for not being fair. I accepted her apology, because...well...I didn't know what else to do and I wanted to put the whole thing behind me. After that we became tentative friends.
Through myspace, that great addiction of my generation, we've kept in touch over the last year or so. Our communication doesn't extend past blog comments or the occasional message, but knowing that she's within reach has always left me feeling torn. I find myself thinking of her in these really unfair terms. I haven't been able to see past this image I have of her standing across from me in my bedroom telling me that I was making a huge mistake with Ron and that she had told on me. Being in love was so exciting and so scary and all I really wanted was to feel like I could share that with my friends and be myself, but I couldn't because of the school we were at. And then in the end, it didn't matter that I didn't tell them what was going on because they made their own assumptions.
I still don't know why they handled things the way they did and I still think they made a really selfish, insensitive decision. But we were kids. Kids do silly things sometimes.
I know Debbie is in town somewhere, but I doubt she wants anything to do with me. I know she was really hurt by my not being around very much the semester I met Ron. I don't blame her for that. I totally ditched my friends for a guy, which is never the best way to handle anything. I wish I could say that I'm sorry.
Andrea apologized in the best way she could. I was still too hurt and bitter to really express to her how much she hurt me. It wasn't just about me getting in trouble. I had never experienced betrayal like that. I hope I never do again.
Now she's in California pursuing a career in music. I wish her the best of luck, I really do. Sometimes I listen to her music on myspace and her voice brings back the good times we had. Because up until the end we had a really good time together. I think that was why it hurt so much: I was blindsided. And that's stayed with me for so long that it wasn't until recently that I realized I wasn't hurt by it anymore. Even though I told Andrea 4.5 years ago that I forgave her, I don't think I really did until just now.
I hope someday I find a way to tell her.