Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! I will try to get every one of them in, and hey I might even work a little Zombie Bunnies into the mix.
The prompts to choose from for today:
A: What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told? Why? Would you tell the truth now, if you could?
B: Tell the story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3….)
Sure there are ‘small’, ‘white’ lies, but can you really keep them that way?
I was in 8th grade and we had to fill out our High School application forms. I was zoned for school ‘A’, which had a well-earned rep as being a rough school, to which I had no intention of going. I wanted school ’B’ which my sister was currently attending- though it was assured she would have no real intentions of socializing with me, it had a good reputation (more on this soon!). Still, the guidance counselor convinced me to apply for school ‘C’, which had higher academic standards and a lower percent of acceptances, and I did so reluctantly. I told my best friend at the time that I had applied, and he was ecstatic – he had applied as well; he was following in the footsteps of HIS own sister. He already had the school jacket!
About a month or so later, we started getting the letters with the assigned schools. Yep, I got into school C. Only 9 applicants from our school got in. Regardless of this, I was committing myself to B. Knowing that everyone got their letters at the same time, I wondered what I would say in the almost certain chance he got in.
Sure enough, the next day when we met to walk to school, his excitement was the giveaway.
“I got my letter, I’m in! Did they take you too?!”
“Naw man, they didn’t.”
His jaw dropped, joy turning to frustration as he unleashed expletives and tirades about the unfairness of it all. Yeah I felt like crap. I assured him it was ok, since I had a good ‘fallback’ plan, but that didn’t work, of course.
I felt like a rift had opened up at that time. The summer came and went, we started our schools, stayed close and hung out some afternoons. From time to time though he would still mention how much the situation sucked. Would I eventually tell the truth? Time heals all wounds right?
In order: Yes, and Nope.
What made me finally confess that I had been accepted, late into that freshman year? Maybe I figured it was water under the bridge. When I did tell him though, the look of shock on his face was enough to prove me wrong. He shrugged it off somewhat, but the rest of that time we spent hanging out (very likely playing video games) was spent with the tension fogging up the place. By that summer he had started hanging out with other guys (not mutual friends at all) and our friendship faded. By the time high school ended we had no contact with each other at all.
What would it have changed for us? Would we have had each other to lean on, rather than work to make a new set of friends? Would I have been able to stand up for him when he was robbed on the bus? My own time at School B grew more precarious, as it became a rough school as well; having been robbed in the hallway, that experience would not have transferred to the other one, and my academic path may or may have been affected, as I stopped really caring about grades, over personal safety, especially after another student was stabbed/killed in the staircase a year later.
So after many, many years and social network fads later I eventually found him on Facebook. I sent a friend request and it was immediately accepted. We caught up on backstories, and life events that I think we both would have liked to be around for. There is no animosity, and we concentrate on the good memories we had (getting pizza, renting movies, going to Yankee Stadium, collecting baseball cards, playing and beating Zak McKracken & the Alien Mindbenders [the best game ever created, IMO]), and though he doesn’t live in the country, if he happened to be around, we agreed to meet up, even entertaining the idea of hitting up the old pizza place.
Maybe time does heal all wounds, you just might need a lot more of it.