Friends.Friends comes and goes.

I’ve learned it the hard way.

Throughout my 17 years, I’ve made tons of friends and sat on the sideline watching as almost all of them walked away.

After getting bullied by my “friends” in middle school, my body unconsciously started building a self-defense mechanism. Whenever someone suddenly gets too close, I unconsciously push them away.

It was freshmen year, and most of the people I knew either chose Fountain Valley High School or Westminster High School while I was the only one from my middle school that decided to attend Huntington Beach High School. I had a few acquaintances at Huntington Beach High School, but that was it. I was new, a lone awkward fish in a tank full of intimidating sharks and beautiful dolphins swimming around graciously.

I was scared.

I remember getting lost on the first day of school. I was running around looking for my health class, D-11, when I suddenly bumped into a group of teenage boys – roughly around 5 –ditching class. They helped me get to my health class and left, after making sure supervision wasn’t around first, of course. When I got into health class, people were already sitting with their friends and there really weren’t any place for me. Dolphins and sharks, I thought, as I walked to the back of the classroom. Halfway into class, our teacher suddenly assigned us to fill out a “get to know your classmate” form. A short girl with blonde hair and Asian features walked up to me and started talking to me, she was witty and joked about almost everything. She was laid-back, we talked as if we’ve known each other for years and by lunch, we were inseparable, her name is Katherine.

I realized then that this tank had other different marine mammals rather than just strictly sharks and dolphins. There are the whales, octopuses, orcas, sea lions, seals, sea otters and many more.


The groups of teenage boys I’ve encounter earlier would be classified as Orcas in my book. Orcas are known to be highly intelligent, sociable, protective of one another, and immediately come to aid of an ailing or injured companion. Katherine would be a dolphin, but a short beaked common dolphin, as they are familiar to other people and sociable, but they always return home.


When I told Katherine about this, she laughed and told me to just let loose. Her exact words were, “Oh come on! You’re a high school student, a teenager to be exact. You’re supposed to learn things, get hurt and grow during the process. If you block out everything, how are you going to experience it and learn from it? Oh wait. You don’t.”

Katherine gave me that push, and each of my friends there (also including the group of boys that were ditching) pushed me one by one until I am where I am today.

A lot happened to me in 9th grade, I discovered I had some kind of health problem, my sisters were moving out and my best friend was moving to the UK, it was the lowest point in my 17 years old life, but Katherine, Tyler, James, Chris, Alex, Paul (the 5 ditching boys), Michael and Michelle never left, instead they stayed with me through thick and thin, to which I am entirely grateful for.

Thank you guys.

Ft. Image credits:


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