you tell me you don’t “get” it. your smile curls up at the edges. “Why don’t people just be happy?” you ask, sticking your fork into our takeout food box. “It’s that simple,” you say. I close my eyes and try to explain.
picture the person you hate most in this universe. you hate their crooked smile and their annoying voice and their little habits that get on your nerves. you hate everything they do and everything they are and yet everyone’s always talking about how great this person is - as if nobody else can see something you can. this person makes you mean. this person makes you angry. you’re generally kind and nice to everyone else - but it’s this one piece of trash you just can’t handle.
you are assigned this person as your responsibility. you are in charge of their life and their success. you have to do their homework and get them out of bed and keep their friendships going. you have to make sure their parents are happy and make sure they get to school on time and make sure they fulfill all their extracurriculars. you have to feed them right and pay attention to their needs and somehow, despite the fact you hate them, you are told to make them happy.
you don’t want to do any of these things.
this person is your archenemy. they’re really sweet on the surface, but you know better. they are a liar, a cheat, a cruel person - and yet you have to put in all of this effort to keep their life moving. no reward, nothing.
you know this person doesn’t deserve anything they get so maybe you start to sabotage them. first it’s their homework because it’s just not important and nobody notices when they don’t turn it in. then it’s the clubs they wanted to be in. you’re too tired to make them stay after school so you start heading home just so you don’t have to deal. you stop working so hard on those friendships, start going for days without speaking to anyone. when nobody calls you out for it, you let more and more slide until the only thing this person has left is their body and themselves. and what do you do when you can’t hurt their lives anymore? you hurt them.
the thing is, if you’re me, if you’re battling the same thing I am - that person I hate so much? that person I have to deal with every single day no matter how hard it gets? that person everyone says “they’re so lovely why would you hate them,” that person I know should have nothing, that person I despise more than I could express?
That person is my own shitty self.