"Sorry This is Really Random but..."
Creative Nonfiction by Camille Kennedy
“Sorry this is really random but…”.
The majority of the texts I send are prefaced by those six words. And if they’re not there, I probably thought of including them. I include those words in front of anything from asking how someone’s doing to wanting to talk about last night’s Nets game or asking for advice about yet another unrequited crush. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized how much I used those six words.
Quarantine has brought quite a bit of change (I know, that’s such a shocking statement. wow Camille). For me, one of the most surprising and unwelcome changes has been drifting apart from some of the people I considered to be my closest friends. I mean, I knew that friends sometimes drifted apart and especially since some of them were going off to college. I knew that this was a tough time for everyone. But still. I started realizing that I was always the one trying to start the conversation and reaching out first to my friends from school. I began to feel like if I didn’t do or say anything that nothing would happen. I tried to reason with myself. Maybe I was just overthinking everything and being stupid.
So, in an attempt to try and prove myself wrong, I put my theory to the test and stopped texting first. I realized I was right. I could go weeks without talking to my friends and when I texted them to see how they were doing, they didn’t seem to notice. I started looking forward to the precalc assignments that were posted every Monday morning. That meant someone would want to talk to me again. Even if those someones were the boys in a precalc groupchat and the talking consisted of me sending answers to the precalc work. And that hideous green monster emerged when I saw their Instagram stories. Because they could hang out at a firepit together and make plans but none of them could remember my birthday. I tried so hard to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they thought it was another day. Maybe they’re just really busy. Maybe I did or said something wrong and that’s why things feel like this. Even when I asked if there was something I did and explained my feelings and was assured that it wasn’t my fault, nothing changed. And when I finally saw them again everything felt so different.
We went from laughing so hard that we nearly got kicked out of cross country study hall to making awkward, slightly strained small talk at a captain’s practice. We went from talking all night to me starting off every text with an apology because I don’t want to be a bother.
Despite all this I still pick up my phone and type those same six words. Maybe one day I’ll learn that if they’re my friends, I shouldn’t feel like a burden and stress about sending a simple text.
But until that day comes, I’ll continue to say, “Sorry this is really random but…”
Camille Kennedy is a rising senior in high school. She has a special love for basketball, running and is an aspiring woman in STEM. You can find her on Instagram @camilleekennedy_