You might think it’s silly, but I knew in third grade that Amanda was going to be my best friend for life. We were inseparable. I was standing in line waiting to play a game at Showbiz Pizza and Amanda let me cut in front of her. Afterward, we spent the rest of the afternoon laughing and playing in the ball pit. I was excited to find out that we went to the same school. Every day we’d eat lunch together and she seemed content to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about. You know, as I sit here and write this out, I can’t help but miss those days.
For almost seven years we had never had so much as a single argument. That all changed when I asked a boy in my math class if he’d like to join me for coffee after school. I don’t know if it was jealousy or maybe just that she didn’t like the guy, but from that day on it was all but impossible to go longer than a few days at a time without Amanda criticizing me for being with Kevin. In retrospect, I wish I had never talked to the guy, but hindsight is 20/20 ya know?
One thing was clear to me from the beginning; Kevin hated Amanda and Amanda hated Kevin. I felt like I was this object on a pedestal that each of them seemed to be fighting for. This all came to a head when Kevin thought it was be a good idea to prank Amanda and it resulted in a trip to the hospital. The final tally left me with a fractured skull, a rather disfiguring scar that stretched from my brow to my hairline, and minor brain damage. Also, I have to take seizure meds for the rest of my life. Mistake or not, that basically killed any feelings I might have had for Kevin.
I was more than just angry, I was devastated. I was going to be a model and an actress. All of that crushed by a boy who had seen one too many movies and thought school pranks were a good idea. Amanda was ready to kill him. Every day she’d offer some new and exciting way in which she’d destroy him. At first I told her to drop it, but as the wounds healed and the scar became more prominent, I finally told her to do whatever she wanted as long as she stopped talking about it. That was a mistake.
Not going to lie, when Kevin paid some kid to bring me a note, I almost thought it was sweet. I might have read two sentences before Amanda ripped it out of my hands and said, “Does that little shit think he’s gonna get away with this?” I should have spoken up but honestly I was conflicted about how to proceed and honestly the thought of Amanda going off on him made me smile. I suppose that’s why I said yes when she invited me to the Fall Formal. I knew something was going to go down, but I wasn’t sure what.
I’ve read both of their accounts of what happened. If you haven’t guess by now, both of them are full of it. Kevin sold Ketamine, pot, and pills. When we were dating, it wasn’t uncommon for him to gift me a joint every now and then. I watched Kevin put the powder in the punch bowl. That’s why I told Amanda to go get the school security officer. I even opted to dance with him while she waited. I could tell it upset Amanda that I sent her away while dancing with Kevin, but someone needed to keep him busy. I don’t know who he was going to try and leave with that night, but there’s only one reason you’d put that much Ketamine in someone else’s drink.
Amanda came back with drinks and I watched Kevin nervously drink from the cup. He was guilty and he knew it. Amanda had brought me water; I don’t wanna think about what might have happened if I hadn’t seen him dose the punch bowl. I took Amanda’s hand and led her out of the gym just as the school security officer came to grab Kevin. A chaperone was already emptying the punch bowl. Three kids ended up in the hospital. That wasn’t a prank, Kevin was going to end up hurting someone. I suppose that’s when it first clicked in my head that there was something very wrong with Kevin. On the surface he was very articulate and charismatic, but underneath that was a darkness than scared me.
The next three years were a dream. Amanda went back to being happy and cheerful all the time. We got into the same college and she even snagged us jobs at a local used book store. There’s something to be said for spending four to five hours a day with your best friend and getting paid for it. Each night I’d empty the register and tally up sales before putting all but a hundred dollars in the deposit bag and running it to the bank two blocks away.
One night I headed out to drop off the deposit bag when Kevin came out from behind me. He was drunk or high or something. I don’t know. What I do know is that he was shouting at me and he said something about me setting him up with the cops. I tried to hand him the deposit bag hoping he’d go away and the creep tried to hold my hand. I had never been happier to see Amanda than when she ran up and kicked him in the junk before emptying a can of pepper spray into his eyes. She led me by my hand back into the store and we let the cops deal with him. I would have been content never to see Kevin again, but Amanda had other plans.
I don’t like social media. I mean, I had a Myspace but it was all drama all the time. With the exception of Twitter, I don’t do the whole social networking thing. Apparently, Amanda had made a Facebook account in my name and even added most of our friends from high school. She had even set her main account and my account as being in a relationship. I thought it was weird, but in almost fifteen years of being friend she’d never so much as made a pass at me so I figured it was probably harmless.
Little did I know that she was catfishing Kevin using my pictures and pretending to be me via instant message. One day I was feeling particularly down and she invited me to join her for a walk through the city park. I wasn’t in the mood for it, but she assured me that it was just what I needed to feel great again. Turns out Amanda had set it up so that Kevin would be there waiting for me. It wasn’t enough that I never wanted to see the guy again. Amanda made it to where I never wanted to see her again. Kevin was convinced that he had been in an online relationship with me. Instead, I started having a panic attack and he got into a shouting match with Amanda that ended with a bystander jumping in and tackling him to the ground.
Amanda stood there laughing and I said, “Did you have anything to do with this?”
She got that same sheepish look on her face she’d get when I caught her stealing my shoes or dresses and I just knew. I knew she had set this whole thing up to punish Kevin and that she didn’t really care how I felt about it. I had a long time to think about our friendship after that and over the next few days I came to realize that there really wasn’t much of a difference between Kevin and Amanda. Both were obsessed with me. Both seemed intent on hurting the other. Neither of them seemed to actually care about my feelings. For Kevin I was some prize to be attained at the end of some quest. For Amanda I was at best a love interest and at worst an emotional dumping ground. I grew tired of all of the manipulation and lies. I packed my bags and moved in with my friend Aunt Susan.
The next few years were nice. I made friends at work. I even helped a girl named Charlotte work up the nerve to talk to this guy in her math class she kept gushing about. I regret that. Charlotte and I became fast friends, and then I met her new boyfriend, Kevin. I didn’t have many friends and frankly I didn’t want to be alone. Kevin sold me a good line and I bought it. He told me about his mental issues and his medication. He told me about how he’d been going to college and working. He even apologized for the things he had done while delusional. Like I’ve said before, he’s incredibly charming when he wants to be.
I started dating a guy from work and Kevin didn’t even bat an eye. James was a great guy, but when I told him about my past with Kevin, he instantly hated the guy. Still, he made it a point to pull Kevin off to the side and hang out with him when we went over to see Charlotte. Again, for almost six months Kevin never so much as said anything cross to me and never so much as flirted with me. By all outward appearances, he seemed completely and totally absorbed with Charlotte. I let my guard down. That was a mistake.
It all comes down to that fateful night. James went out of town for a military thing and I opted to stay with Charlotte and Kevin. I was sitting on their couch watching Netflix when someone used a key on the front door and walked in like they owned the place. It was Amanda. She was wearing a gun on her hip and dressed in all black. I looked up and said, “Amanda, what are you doing here?” There was a look of contempt in her eyes that I had never seen before. She reached for her gun and I screamed.
Charlotte came running out and Amanda shot her point blank in the head. Amanda turned to me and said, “What, you won’t be my friend anymore but you’re besties with the skank that’s fucking Kevin?”
That’s when Kevin ran out holding a knife I stood up and said, “I’m just gonna go in the back room and let you two sort it out. That’s when Kevin grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled me into a headlock with the knife at my throat.
He said to Amanda, “You took mine, it’s only right that I take yours.” Deep searing pain that burned white hot became all I could think about as he plunged the knife in and let me fall to the floor. I watched as he darted out the back door. I tried frantically to keep pressure on the wound my blood escaped onto the floor.
Amanda didn’t even stay behind to check on me. She ran after Kevin and left me bleeding on the floor next to my dead friend. Those paramedics saved my life, but those cops are idiots. I heard they let Kevin go and kept Amanda. Even now I have James sitting by my bed as I try to rest up. This is the second disfiguring scar that psychopath has given me. I won’t let him close enough to leave a third.