5th of January
It’s been a while since I’ve written and the past three months have felt like an year. I’m looking outside my window and the cool January rain has fogged up the driveway, giving it a very grim feel. What better time to write about what has happened to me? Let’s start from the very beginning, my junior year in high school to be precise. All was nice and well, as we were welcoming the new students in our class. However, one of them caught my eye, by the way in which they looked and dressed. They had red hair and an all-black outfit with a goth undertone, which I appreciated. They had only one headphone in, allowing them to hear what was happening around them. This I would later find as another sign whose meaning I overlooked. They stepped forward and introduced themselves as Robyn, a person who is very open and social, given the fact that they were forced to move all of their childhood because of their parents’ jobs, as diplomats. Another fact they mentioned was being non-binary, thus my usage of they/them pronouns so far. I liked them. Robyn was the person I’ve somehow aspired to be, but never could because of my social anxiety. For them, walking up to someone and starting a conversation ever so casually was a guaranteed panic attack to me. It was thanks to them being an extrovert, that we got to talk in the first place. At lunch, Robyn walked up to my table, where me and some of my friends were sitting and was soon chatting with Tony and Rae about their day so far. For some reason, I swear they were avoiding me, but I couldn’t really tell why. At one point, my friends had to leave earlier and change for P.E., leaving me alone with Robyn. “M, aren’t you going with them?” they asked me. I was surprised they called me by my nickname, like all my friends do. I told them I had injured my right leg the previous day and would have to sit on the bench. Robyn said their paperwork wasn’t finished, since they just transferred, so they couldn’t attend P.E. just yet. Robyn then proposed we sit on the bench together and watch our colleagues. As we went outside, I felt this weird sensation in me, but had to appear normal, so I continued. Once seated, Robyn asked ,,Tell me something about yourself M, why are you so shy?” I was shocked at the casualty which they were using when talking to me and yet my ego was not hurt. To sum this episode up, we talked for a while and delved into oddly deep subjects that one wouldn’t normally approach when talking to a stranger. At the end of the class Robyn looked at me and said “You’re an honest soul M, we should hang out more.” And just like that I was left speechless and very puzzled for the next few days, as we kept talking.
Fast forward two months, Robyn had already become a quite close friend of mine. We hang out at each other’s houses quite often and I started to care about them a lot. I’ve come to find out so many things about their past journeys and childhood. In those moments, Robyn was like a role-model, someone I so dearly aspired to be. I admired everything about them, the way they talked, the way they dressed, their relationship with their parents, their taste in music and so much more. I said I looked up to them then, because now, as I’m sitting here writing in this journal, a lot of things have come to light. So let me talk about the moment which changed it all. Before the winter break, there was going to be a big Christmas party held at Tony’s house. Everyone was invited. Of course Robyn and I went. As I arrived, I found myself lost in a crowd of people dancing around to loud music. It almost seemed like a frat party to me, but everyone was dressed so elegant. I was wearing a rather tight red dress, which made me a bit uncomfortable, but in rest it was all ok. I immediately started looking for Robyn by squeezing myself throught the rampant crowd. Soon, I feel a hand on my shoulder, as I get turned around to face a nicely-fitted and good-looking Robyn who hugged me. “Let’s go in the back” they said. The yard in the back of the house had a pool in the middle and bean bags to sit around it. As we got comfortable, Robyn pulled out an energy drink and took big gulps of it. She offered me some and even though I don’t touch the stuff, I said yes. Soon, I realised she had put quite the amount of alcohol in it, which was odd, because Robyn didn’t drink at all. Something wasn’t right. As the night went on and Robyn started getting progressivly more drunk, they took my hand and dragged me inside the house, leaning against me, while dancing. I felt a bit suffocated by the crowd. “What’s wrong with you?” I asked. Robyn looked at me in the eyes and said “Nothing, M.” For the first time, I felt something very odd in my stomach and I couldn’t quite explain it. After that, they went to greet some of their other friends and I lost sight of them. Half an hour later I started getting worried and went looking for Robyn. I went upstairs to see if they were there. In a dark room I see someone staying on a bed. I get closer and see Robyn looking at the ceiling with a blank gaze. However, they had changed clothes, their white dress thrown on the floor, as they had jeans and a tshirt on. “Ok, what is happening?” I asked. Moments of silence followed, until Robyn got up, looked at me and with tears in their eyes said “I’m leaving M… I have to leave now.” I hadn’t realised they were crying. To my very surprise, after Robyn explained, they had to move, as their parents don’t stay in one place for too long. What shocked me was the fact that Robyn had to catch a plane the very same night. I asked why they didn’t tell me, but Robyn seemed like they could’t talk. Sitting on the bed, I looked at them, as I was pushing the wild hair strands out of their face. “It’s ok” I said. Without any warning, Robyn grabbed my face and kissed me. I sat there in shock, but without realising, I leaned forward and kissed them back. What followed was a conversation I’m not ready to talk about now. All I know is that Robyn caught the plane that night.
29th of January
I was absent again, but now I’m back and ready to write. That night at the party, while talking to Robyn, I realised some things I’m not sure I wanted to know. Robyn never drank, but for some reason, they had a lot of alcohol on them. They don’t go anywhere without headphones. They had none at the party. As Robyn started explaining themselves, I saw that joyful innocence disappear from their eyes. Turns out, Robyn had a lonely childhood, with their parents always away and constantly having to move, they soon stopped making real friends, since they were going to lose them anyway. Robyn didn’t know why, but they got close to me, even though they knew the outcome. Now let me have my say in this. After thinking it all through, I blame myself for a lot. How could I be so blind and not realise how unhappy Robyn was. The constant music they were listening to probably wasn’t a passion, but a means of keeping them anchored in this reality. Robyn was alone. All the people they were talking to, Robyn knew they had to leave them behind. Robyn was far from being perfect. They were a broken soul, who desperately needed healing. They told me they drank at the party, beacause the goodbyes would have been too much to bear sober. I feel so much guilt writing this.
It’s the same day, only a few hours later. I’ve received a message. It’s Robyn. I haven’t heard from them since that night. I’m going to answer. I want to.
articol scris de Taisia Plesi
fotograf: Delia Ivascu