Originally I didn’t like her. She was always walking around the store – which partly was due to her job of dressing the mannequins and shop windows. You could hear her coming, laughter always following her and coming from her. Everybody paid her attention, whether that was with a cheery hello or a giggle at some private joke they shared. Everybody that worked there wanted to be her friend.
Honestly, and quite obviously, I was jealous. I never had, and still do not have, that extrovert confidence to talk to anyone and everyone and make them laugh. Make them want to be my friend. I was the green eyed monster who stayed in the cafe section, keeping clear of that particular fun wagon. As if she would want to be my friend anyway.
At work they had a scheme in which you could work at a charity for the day instead of being at work. You still got paid your salary, but instead of looking upon the faces of streams of customers, you could help out at a local charity. I volunteered – excited for my palms to not smell like old coffee beans at the end of the day for a change.
My mum was (and still is) one of the managers at the store. Mum told me the date of my charity day, and that I would be doing my day with somebody.
Yep, that’s right, her. I was irritated at such news. I had hoped for a day of peace, with only strangers to talk to that I probably wouldn’t see again. But no, instead I had her, the most popular person in the store, who I now felt like I had to impress, confident that I would fail at my attempts.
I was incredibly nervous that morning. We arranged to meet outside the store; I was driving us both there as she didn’t have a license. She hopped in and we began to make our way there, my phone acting as a sat nav to a community for the disabled which was located out in the countryside.
As I had guessed, she began nattering a little bit, which was actually okay. We could just about hold a conversation, though it was mostly small talk. Then I took a few wrong turns (bloody sat nav). So Jenna* took hold of my phone, telling me directions. We ended up going in a circle of country lanes. We shared a giggle.
A giggle! I was so excited. A potential friendship was blossoming. I could actually say to her at work “Remember that time when the sat nav took us the wrong way and we went in a circle?! Bloody sat nav!” A private joke!
We finally got back on track, and started talking about relationships (whether we were in them). It turned out that at the time both of us had broken up with long term boyfriends who had failed to treat us nicely.
Something else we had in common! This was friendship gold!
After arriving at the charity day, we were shown around by a very handsome blonde man. He gave us a tour of the place whilst speaking about the future of the place and all the good stuff that they do. Handsome Blonde Man then took us to our first task – gardening.
As we dug in the dirt, getting rid of weeds and so on, we chatted. We chatted mostly about our exes (and when I say chatted, I mean complained).
We were really bonding, and it was awesome.
The day went on really well. We kept talking and laughing throughout each task that helped out a different part of the community. I didn’t want to leave her side. I had been bitten by the Jenna bug.
Jenna mentioned Handsome Blonde Man as we started to leave, after saying bye to the other people we had met. He hadn’t come to say fairwell at the reception, so as we were about to sign out, I asked the reception if we could speak to him. I was going to get his number for Jenna.
If I got his number, and they began a relationship, I was guaranteed BFF status for life.
Jenna got a little embarrassed, knowing my intentions for getting him to come meet us. Handsome Blond Man arrived, and I told him that if he ever needed help from us again, to contact this number. I gave him Jenna’s number.
I bailed from asking for his number – it seemed incredibly forward of me. Besides, he was more Jenna’s age and type, plus remember BFF status. Priorities.
We left rather quickly, giggling at how he now had Jenna’s number. A friendship had blossomed.
Needless to say, Handsome Blonde Man did text Jenna. They sexted. Jenna had kept me in the loop the whole time, sending me a text for every text he sent. Jenna and I even arranged to hang out again – on a Tuesday as both of our shifts ended at 4.
Even though it turned out that Handsome Blonde Man was a complete dick head who had a very serious girlfriend, Jenna and I became super close. We met every single Tuesday at 4 in the cafe, having a drink and a snack, discussing our love lives.
Tuesdays quickly became my favourite shift.
Our Tuesday dates became cinema outings, or meals out, or dinner round Jenna’s. Jenna lived with her parents in a nearby village, and my goodness they were loaded. It was no wonder she didn’t leave the nest – their house was a palace. My visits became frequent enough for my face to be familiar to her folks.
One super exciting yet completely anxiety-provoking moment was Jenna’s birthday party. I had heard about these from Jenna and other chums at work. Her parents went to France every summer (because of course), leaving an empty mansion for Jenna to have a “big summer blow-out” as they say in Frozen. This year was the same as previous – fancy dress a must, a bouncy castle, and booze as far as the eyes can see.
And I was invited. An actual adult crazy-ass summer party. With me as a guest!
The party was cool as heck – though sleeping round other people’s houses is something I dread, I did it anyway because I didn’t want to miss anything. I would of missed one of our colleagues breaking a window, a lot of chain smoking, and a different colleague being covered in multiple objects in the bathroom whilst they lay on the floor.
Jenna and I did plenty of things together for months after. Though when I left the store, our friendship did take a little hit. Our regular hang outs became less regular.
When my 21st birthday came around, I celebrated both the weekend before and the weekend after. The weekend before was spent entirely with, you guessed it, Jenna. My mum and Jenna had organized a weekend in London, with highlights including a manicure, visiting the Ice Bar, and staying in a posh hotel. It was awesome. Jenna made sure to take a million selfies (that’s so Jenna). Those selfies were like a statement of how awesome our friendship was as well as how cool the weekend had been – though we did end up spending a ridiculous amount of money; a bike taxi charged us £120 for one trip. But that’s another story, that was mostly eaten up by drunken memory loss.
After that weekend though, it was getting harder to see Jenna. She always took forever to text back, and things were always being rescheduled to a later date.
Jenna then got a promotion at work which meant she was moving stores. She was off to work in London. It was a great step up for her career.
After that, I never saw her. We still texted a bit, but hardly as much. Her birthday came around, so I bought her a pretty scarf and birthday card. I texted her a happy birthday message, as friends do, plus a note to ask when she was free for me to give her her present.
I never got a response. Not ever.
I sent a couple of texts after that before finally giving up. It was heart-breaking really. I had considered her one of my best friends – and yet she didn’t even want to see me to get a free scarf.
It felt like being dumped, but with absolutely no explanation behind it. Just complete silence. I even had to turn off her notifications on Facebook – I couldn’t stand seeing her live her continuously awesome life without me. Just like I did with ex boyfriends.
I don’t think about her much anymore, but getting over our friendship was pretty hard. Harder than one would expect.
Jenna was great, and I hope she’s still doing good nowadays. I hope she has finally found a good version of Handsome Blonde Man, and ditched all the douche bags she used to date. I hope she still goes to raves and has hilariously horrendous hangovers. I hope she still makes everybody around her laugh.
I hope one day I stop being jealous of her, even when it’s been 3 years since I last saw her.
*= not her real name