the rat

I knew long before I even met her to stay away. I wish I had. I wish I'd listened to my instincts.

She skulked down the hall, the most miserable looking human you've ever seen. Hunched shoulders, sunglasses hiding her wary, pinched face. Unsmiling, awkward greetings in the elevator. Someone introduced us, and the moment she was out of earshot warned me that she was drama. But I'd have to learn that the hard way.

A friendship born not of mutual interests or shared values, but of need. Neediness, on both our parts. A recipe for expectations unmet, boundaries broken. So many red flags, so quickly. Her constant, exhausting crises. Her shameless selfishness. Always what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go, who she wanted to see. An absolute refusal to respect my limits.

I'm tired, think I'm gonna bounce. 

Huh? You're just going to leave?? Fine, whatever, I'll go too I guess. Unbelievably bratty. As if she couldn't fathom my having different desires from her. Pouting, oh god the childish pouting. The same stupid scenario again and again. Juvenile fury with me when I'd want to end the night before her, even though I urged her to stay out with the others. But no. Foot stomping her way home just to prove some point, just to be a martyr.

God but she loves an excuse to feel victimized.

Sell out. Snitch. Liar. Opportunist. Backstabber.

You're making my life hard, she whined. Can't you see that? A stunning, gobsmacking lack of empathy for my own problems. You're making my life hard. My life in this huge, glorious apartment, my life of multiple vacations a year, my life of family and resources and opportunity.

Gross ingratitude for her blessings. Stomach-turning entitlement.

I guess it killed her that I beat her to the creative punch. Because oh did I ever. I was planning on it. I was going to, she said.

Oh? Is that so? How much have you written, in six years? How many pages? What's that? Zero?

Talent is as talent does. Or doesn't.