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    "I'm sorry," I said, and meant it.

    She nodded, her expression unfathomable. "Me too."

    There was a long pause.

    "Just two days ago," I said quietly, avoiding her eyes, "we couldn't even be in the same room without going for each other's throats."

    She turned away. "Yeah," she admitted. "But look at us now."

    I continued, "And just two months ago we were the best of friends. But look at us now." This time I looked directly at her, smiling mirthlessly.

    "But look at us now," she repeated. Her voice was bitter.

    I didn't know what to say. We both stood in silence for a while, pretending to listen to the babble of subdued voices from the graduation party.

    "You know," she spoke suddenly, "there's nothing about how life is today that I'd have predicted during our last years there." She gestured in the vague direction of our old school.

    I felt the smile slide off my face. I knew too well what she meant.

    "We all grow up," she continued. "We change. And most of the time that's a good thing." She finally looked me in the eye, and for the first time since our feud, the sneer had left her face. "Most of the time, it really is a good thing. But now I look back, and wonder."

    I folded my arms. "Look, whatever you think needs to happen here, just spit it out, alright?"

    Her sneer returned for a second, and then vanished again. "I don't think anything needs to happen here. I didn't come to ask for your friendship. I came for the same reason you did. To tell you that I'm sorry for what I did in the past. Well, and also to congratulate you for getting into the your first-choice school."

    I raised an eyebrow.

    "I know you don't believe me, but it's like I said. We all grow up."

    I glanced at her, then nodded. "Thank you."

    She took a step forward. "There's another reason why I came today, actually. I came to prove something."

     "What?"

     "I wanted to prove that I could come and speak to you. And more importantly, that you'd listen to me."

    She held out her right hand. Before I knew what I was doing, I reached out to shake it. It was hardly a tearful reconciliation, and I had a strong suspicion that she wouldn't have done it if there were anyone else around, but it was amazing, nonetheless. Our handshake, which somehow managed to be both bold and tenuous, was over in a few seconds, but the memory stuck in my mind for a very long time.

    I used to think that after this graduation day conversation we would have at least been on good terms, but we became almost strangers. When we happened to walk past each other in the corridors (it turned out that she'd applied to the same school as I), neither of us would say hello, or even acknowledge the other's presence. Although we never spoke or made direct eye contact, the tension between us soon became so unbearable that I avoided being anywhere near her altogether, and did my best to pretend she didn't exist.

    It was easy for me to forget her.

    Therefore it was with great surprise when I discovered, on my birthday the following year, a wrapped glass unicorn on my classroom desk. Scribbled on the wrapping paper were the words "happy birthday". There was no name written on the present, but the handwriting seemed familiar.

    I had a pretty good idea who had given it to me. I just didn't understand why.

    Allegedly, I cried after opening the present, in front of everyone. This is absolutely false. The rumor that I shut myself in the toilet during the whole of the one-hour lunch break, refusing to come out or see anyone, was also entirely untrue.

    But it was true that I gave her something back in return. It seemed only fair. On her birthday I left something on her desk too (no, it wasn't maggots)—wrapped and anonymous, of course.

    When we got older she ran for treasurer of the student body. I'd felt exceedingly uncomfortable when I scribbled her name on the voting slip (while telling my friends I was voting for someone else, of course). I didn't know why I did it. All the homework must have got to my head like champagne.

    A few months back I won an award for a painting I'd done. Someone informed me that she was seated in the third row when I went onstage, looking pointedly away but clapping all the same. I told him coldly that I had no idea who he was talking about.

    We still don't ever speak, but our strange, silent friendship continued—if you'd call it "friendship".

    In a recent Christmas card (unsigned) to her I wrote:

    Back then I was brave enough
    To stick up to bullies for you  
    But now I don't even have the courage
    To sign my name here.
    Merry Christmas.

    The reply:

    But don't I know you?
    Don't you know me?
    Merry Christmas.
I only wish it turned out this way.

Wowww. It's so unexpected and awesome to get a DD for something you wrote a year ago and forgot all about :) Thank you all for the nice comments; they made my day!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-09-24
Don't Talk To Me by ~henryruss explores an unusual relationship in short but effective vignettes. ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconduckloverx2:
DuckLoverX2 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Student General Artist
This is fantastic! Really, this is well-written.
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconduckloverx2:
DuckLoverX2 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconateendra:
Ateendra Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Made me emotional and laugh sheepishly. :')
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student General Artist
:)
Reply
:icondaystar-art:
Daystar-Art Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey there, it's Feature time! [link] :)
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconworldsworstdetective:
Usually I don't check out writings but I'm absolutely glad I checked this one out. Loved the piece and I'm sure plenty of us have been in some similar situation. Kinda in one currently, to be honest. Since I've gone through this multiple times, though, my only advice would be to talk to her (since I saw you mentioned in another reply you two go to the same school). You regret far more the chances you don't take than the ones you do. Worse case scenario, it doesn't work and you move on. Best case, you get her back in your life. Do you really want to wonder for the rest of your life what would of happened if you only tried?
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Firstly, thank you! :D

Secondly, well, the situation is a tad bit more complicated than that. But it doesn't mean I don't tell myself to do it, everyday. One day I will :)
Reply
:iconcatalystofthesoul:
CatalystOfTheSoul Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This I like. :)
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
:)
Reply
:iconirismystery:
IrisMystery Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Student General Artist
This particular writing is something you make people remember for a long time. Beautiful.

:+favlove:
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much! :D

You really should say that to my English teacher :P
Reply
:iconirismystery:
IrisMystery Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
No prob. Hmm, maybe I should say it... :3
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012   Digital Artist
I really like how it's so simple; a slice of life about an unusual friendship. :)
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:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconricken4003:
ricken4003 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012
Your writing seems so effortless, though I'm sure it wasn't. Well done!
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you! This was one of the rare pieces I kinda just typed whatever I felt like writing at the moment, because I was applying for this really prestigious writing camp and my portfolio was due soon. (It was rejected though.) Most of my other stuff comes with considerable effort, so I guess writing is not exactly my real forte. Ah well :P
Reply
:iconricken4003:
ricken4003 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
Rejected?! Dang.
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
it was okay though :)
Reply
:iconburntchurro:
burntchurro Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012
Lovely work!
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconkailani-e:
Kailani-e Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This is amazing. I can't believe you didn't get this DD earlier. I lost my best friend, not exactly the same way, but she changed, and now, well, she still thinks we're friends. I don't know who she's kidding. Anyways, this is amazingly beautiful. Thank you for this ^^
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
I know how you feel! It's just frustrating, isn't it? And thank you!
Reply
:iconkailani-e:
Kailani-e Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Yea... It's like ARGH! How did you become like this! T___T How did we drift so far apart.

Your welcome! ^^
Reply
:iconvampirec-d:
VampireC-D Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Student General Artist
So emotional...Great writing, dear! :)
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconhopeyouguessedmyname:
Hopeyouguessedmyname Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'd love to send this to my ex...
But I'm not speaking to her and I'll be damned if I will let myself lose this battle just to prove a point. There's nothing wrong with pride and self-respect. If someone doesn't deserve to be your friend or partner then you gotta be tough, no matter how much you miss them. And I just totally got all emotional on a DD lol
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
You've just described exactly how I feel in my current situation!

And emotional? I'm flattered :P
Reply
:iconkoibeato:
koibeato Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Student General Artist
i didnt really like this other than the fact that it kept my attention throughout the whole thing. thats a good skill
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Haha I don't like most of my writing too; thanks anyway!
Reply
:icontoatoneart:
ToAtoneArt Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Professional Writer
This is truly inspiring, and I only hope my writing is as good to someone out there. I am humbled.
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you! I believe in your writing; you just have to keep going :)
Reply
:icontoatoneart:
ToAtoneArt Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Professional Writer
I feel sort of bad now. I'm a published writer, with a novel series starting at the end of the year...and I feel so humbled by your work... You really should try publishing, dear. I think it would be good for many others to read your talent!
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Congratulations on your novel series! What's it called?

The publishing scene in my country is really quite pathetic though. I don't know. And I'm only 15 :S
Reply
:icontoatoneart:
ToAtoneArt Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you! :3 Tales of Atonement. I have character references on my profile, if you want to check them out. ^^

Ack! I'm sorry to hear that. But your age...eh, as long as you have a parent willing to work with you. :D
Reply
:iconchubbibunnies99:
ChubbiBunnies99 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so beautiful and very well written! Congrats on the DD. :)
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconchubbibunnies99:
ChubbiBunnies99 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012
This is the kind of writing that you keep reading to the end ^^
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much :D
Reply
:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
You're very welcome ^^
Reply
:icontoatoneart:
ToAtoneArt Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Professional Writer
Agreed!
Reply
:icontasorius2:
Tasorius2 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
^^
Reply
:iconhauntedshadowslegacy:
HauntedShadowsLegacy Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so well written... The DD was well deserved.
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
It came as a shock, really. And thank you! :)
Reply
:iconhauntedshadowslegacy:
HauntedShadowsLegacy Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: and if ya ever need anything, I'm always here! ^^
Reply
:iconjailbreakfiend:
JailBreakFiend Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I love this so much. And relate to it in too many ways. Congrats on the DD.
Reply
:iconhenryruss:
henryruss Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconjailbreakfiend:
JailBreakFiend Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You're very welcome. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read this.
Reply
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