Eternal Detention: Jealousy

Stefan Dietze

Eleanor, Editor-in-Chief

“What do you think?” I ask Kyle Starr, my best friend. I just finished practicing my French presentation that’s worth a huge part of my grade.

“Très bien,” he replies absentmindedly. Kyle is just staring at his phone and not paying any attention to me.

“Kyle, your hair’s on fire.”

“Okay,” he replies absentmindedly again.

“Kyle, come on! Why aren’t you listening to me?”

“I’m about to get my high score!” Kyle looks up at me, annoyed.

“And it can’t wait?”

“No.”

I walk to the other side of my room to clean up. Kyle had been ignoring me like this for a while. He keeps making up excuses for not doing things with me. It started a little while after someone played a trick at school to scare me. We never  even figured out who did it . Kyle promised he would help me, but he didn’t. I decide to try and bring it up.

“Hey, Kyle could we maybe attempt to find out who scared me?”

“Maybe later, Brooklyn. I have to go. Henry is waiting for me.”

Henry is Kyle’s new friend. He just moved here from Los Angeles, so everyone thinks that he’s cool. Kyle always makes time for Henry. This is the third time this week that Henry has been more important than me. It never used to be like this. I don’t know how much longer I can take it.

***

Three days pass. Kyle stops talking to me. I figure he forgot about me, and is hanging out with Henry. I decide to get an explanation. Kyle only lives a couple blocks away, so I walk to his house and knock on the door. Kyle’s mom answers.

“Hi, Mrs. Starr,” I say sweetly. “Is Kyle home?”

“Hello, Brooklyn. He just got back from Henry’s. I’ll go get him,” Mrs. Starr replies.

Of course, Kyle was with Henry. I wait impatiently for him to come to the door.

“Here he is dear,” Mrs. Starr says as she pushes Kyle towards me. “I’ll leave you two alone.”  

“Why are you here?” Kyle asks as Mrs. Starr leaves.

“I wanted to talk to you. I feel like you’ve been pulling away from me. You’ve made promises you never kept. Remember when you said we would find out who pulled the prank? Remember that?” I’m getting angrier and angrier. “Why can’t you pay attention to me and not Henry? Why can’t things be like they used to be? You’re a horrible friend!”

My words hang in the air. We are both silent.

I wasn’t planning to say those things, but I guess I was just too jealous, but I do want answers. I want Kyle to know that this is important. I want him to know that this matters to me.

“Kyle, come on,” I say. “I really want an answer. What’s up?”

Kyle looks at me. He looks at me and takes a deep breath. I wonder what he’s so worried about. We’ve been best friends since K4. He can trust me with anything he has to say… I hope.

“The reason I didn’t want to find out who the scarer is because,” Kyle starts. “Um, because I already knew who it was.” Kyle looks up at me, trying to see what my reaction is. When I don’t say anything, he continues, “I know the person who did it is someone that you don’t particularly like very much… Look, Brooklyn, don’t get mad, but your mysterious scarer is, um, Henry.”

I explode. I’ve been holding everything in, but nothing is stopping me now.

“Henry? Henry! The Henry that you’ve been ditching me for every single day? That Henry?”

“Um, yeah. That Henry,” Kyle replies, looking a little scared, but I don’t care.

“What’s so great about him? Why not me? Why don’t you care about me anymore?”

I stop. Maybe this is a little mean. Then there’s a knock at the door. I turn to see who it is. Kyle opens the door. Standing in the doorway is Henry. I can’t talk freely in front of him.

“I have to go,” I mumble as I walk outside.

“Brooklyn, wait,” Kyle says. I start to turn, but I don’t want to talk to Henry right now. I hear Kyle close the door. He didn’t even try.

***

Later that night, I’m lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling. I have so many questions.

“Brooklyn, Kyle’s on the phone. Come and get it,” my dad calls up the stairs. I’ve been avoiding Kyle all night, but he was smart to call my house; he knew I couldn’t refuse once my dad answered.

“I’m coming,” I yell back. I grab the phone from my dad. I really don’t want to talk to Kyle, but I have to.

“Hello?” I say into the phone.

“I’m sorry, Brooklyn, I am, but you can’t run off like that. I wanted to explain why I didn’t tell you, but you never gave me the chance.”

I suddenly realize how bratty I’ve been. Who am I to determine who Kyle can and can’t hang out with? I’ve been so mean to him. He told me why he was ignoring me once I asked him about it. True, he wasn’t completely honest with me, but I didn’t tell Kyle that I was jealous. I open my mouth to apologize, but Kyle continues, and I should listen to him for once.

“I just didn’t want you to make me stop being friends with Henry. You can be a little controlling at times. I didn’t want to you overreact. Plus, it was kind of nice to be away from all your whining.”

Kyle’s words hit me like a punch in the gut. They hurt the most because I know that they are true. I wouldn’t have wanted Kyle to be friends with Henry anymore.

“I think there’s someone who wants to talk to you,” Kyle says. I hear the phone being handed off.

“Hi, Brooklyn. It’s Henry,” I hear. “I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for scaring you, and I’m sorry for taking your best friend.”

“No, I’m sorry Henry. I was jealous. I should have been more understanding. After all, who wouldn’t want to have Kyle as a friend? He’s great. I just have one question,” I say. “Why did you even scare me in the first place?”

“I don’t really know,” Henry says. “I guess I was jealous of you. You and Kyle always seemed to have so much fun together. I wanted a part of that, too.”

“I guess I can be a little intimidating. Well, now, I hope we can all be friends – together. Could you put the phone on speaker, so I can talk to Kyle too?” I hear the phone being jostled around.

“Hi, Brooklyn,” Kyle says. “So you’re not mad?”

“No,” I reply simply. “I shouldn’t have to control what other people do. Can you forgive me?”

“Of course I can,” Kyle says. “Do you forgive me?”

“Of course Kyle. I forgive you too Henry.”

“And I forgive you Brooklyn,” Henry says.

We make plans to hang out tomorrow. I’m glad that Henry is my friend now. He is actually pretty cool. I’ll try not to be too controlling, and I’ll try to be more forgiving. I have learned a lot from this experience. I shouldn’t be so scared of change. It will happen, and good things may come. Caterpillars change into butterflies. People can change into friends. Henry was change, and I’m pretty sure that he was a good one.  

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