Chris M.

A dubstep song—I don’t know which one, because they all sound the same to me—played on the iPod that she snuck into camp. We were in the grove, far from everybody else, in between the cabins and the archery field. Another girl lit a match and quickly put it out with her bare hand when a counselor drove by. I was glad because I wasn’t sure if she was joking about trying to start a small forest fire in the grove of dead birch trees. A screamo song started playing. “Andy Six is so hot,” said the girl with the iPod.

I’ve found a group of girls at camp that I mostly like, but they scare me a little. They’re my age, but they seem wise beyond their years. They seem to know everything. They have boyfriends and stay out late and get in fights. Is this some sort of test, or a PSA? I’m supposed to find a group of girls who are just like me—don’t smoke, don’t skip school, don’t do anything deemed “bad” by the middle school guidance counselor—but these girls seem really fun and exciting, and they actually accepted me into their circle. One of them even gave me her Facebook password so I could secretly log on to her account for her during my weekly computer time, which I am only allowed to use to write my Rookie articles. As I write this, I’m still debating whether or not to do it. I don’t think I will, but she will be so mad, and friendship is sort of rare for me.

When one of them asked me if I had ever cut, I said no, and she asked why not, as if it was something one did to be cool or to prove something, rather than because they are struggling with depression or feel trapped or something.

So recently I’ve just been thinking about whether these girls are good to be friends with or not. They haven’t really done anything bad, much less to me, so I don’t have a reason not to be their friend. On the other hand, they don’t seem to be very productive or supportive in the areas that matter to me, like school or mental health. And I don’t actually share their interests, like their taste in music. I guess I’ll just stay out of trouble, but not cut them off completely, and see what happens. ♦