“Oh my gosh! The water turned to blood!” 9 year old Tina flung open the bathroom door and ran toward the living room, her waist length black hair streaming out behind her.
My heartbeat thumped ferociously with fear as I dashed out hot on her heels.
We gasped for air in the living room.
“Did you see it? The water turned red like blood!” Tina’s eyes grew wide as she looked at me.
I shook my head. I hadn’t seen anything, but fear shook through my limbs. Did we really conjure up a spirit by reciting “Red Rum,” three times into the bathroom mirror? Had we turned the faucet on in the bathroom? No, I knew we hadn’t.
“Let’s go look. Maybe she’s in the mirror.”
I shook my head. If we’d been successful, there was no way I was going back into that bathroom.
“Come on, Mel. It’s not that scary.” Tina took my hand and lead me down the hall to the bathroom door. She tried to pull me into the dark room but I dug my heels in feeling the indention where the carpet ended and linoleum began against my toes.
“No way, Tina. I’m not going back in there.” I whispered.
“You’re such a chicken.” Tina pressed her nose in close to the mirror. “Whoa! Did you see the water’s been turned off?”
I backed up shaking my head no. “Nope. I never saw or heard the water turn on, Tina.”
Her brown eyes glared at me. “You calling me a liar, Mel?”
I rolled my eyes. “No, I just didn’t see it is all.” I turned and headed for the living room. “I need to go home. I’ll see you later, Tina.” I hollered back as I reached for the front door knob.
I kicked a small rock down the concrete road towards my house. Tina lied. Why did she always pull stunts like this to scare me? Like the time last week when she told me that a photograph “just appeared” in her bedroom out of no where from one of the abandoned houses by our bus stop. Both abandoned homes contained stacks and stacks of photographs strewn all over the little homes. But did one just magically show up in Tina’s bedroom? I doubted it.
Maybe my mom was right.
“There’s something about that girl that I don’t like. Maybe you should find some other girls in the neighborhood to play with, Mel.” She’d said.
Mom never came right out and forbid the friendship, but she tried to discourage it. Who else was there to play with though? There were only four girls my age in a ten block radius and Tina lived a half a block from our house.
Being home alone all the time filled my heart with loneliness. Desperation for someone, anyone to call friend won out. Years of manipulations, horror films, and creepy rituals filled years of friendship for the two of us as girls. When my mom moved us two hours away, the relationship began to crumble because of the separation. It would be four more years before the bonds were completely severed.
Have you ever had a destructive or manipulative friendship like this? What would you do if your own children chose a potentially dangerous friendship? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.