I console Erin when her boyfriend ignores her. She IM’s me and makes a weird comment or two and suddenly I know I need to walk up the flight of stairs that separate us and listen to her miseries. He didn’t call. He didn’t e-mail. She hasn’t talked to him since yesterday. He didn’t invite her to go with him to the place that I don’t remember the name of. He doesn’t know she’s mad at him. I’d know if you were mad at me, Erin.

Her boyfriend Mike is the stereotypical guy. Goes out with his buddies, doesn’t know much about feelings, but he isn’t mean to her on purpose. He doesn’t try to hurt her feelings, he just doesn’t know any better. Erin is the stereotypical girl in my mind. If once, just once, she doesn’t get her goodnight e-mail it’s the end of the world. Where could he be? He must not love me.

Out of the shadow of Erin walked Karen. They are friends; they almost lived with each other this semester. Karen isn’t stereotypical. She grew up on a horse ranch in Texas, and she’s going to Europe this summer to chill out with her best friend from high school, some cute girl whose name starts with a C.

Hey, guess what? I’m going to Europe too! Yeah, you wanna meet? Yes? Awesome!

Now I’m meeting her in Europe. Karen is excited about life, she wants to go places and do things for the sake of doing them. Her excitement excites me, and now I am doing something I wouldn’t have dreamed of.

Then Erin IM’s me and I don’t know what to say. She tells me she thinks she failed another test (the last time she told me that she had the 2nd highest grade in the class). I know it’s going to somehow become a “he doesn’t love me” tale, but nothing I say seems to convince her otherwise. She hates it that she sits by the phone waiting for him, but it rarely occurs to her to call him. I tell her, and she says she knows, but it continues.

Two different people, both attract my attention. One forcing me to be a pillar of support, the other a partner in crime. Erin is being deserted by her friends; Karen is deserting everyone to go live in Eastern Europe.

I hope when people look back on knowing me they see me as the one who would ride off into the sunset for the sake of riding off into the sunset. I hope they see me as that kid who made people do things they were happy they did, who made others greater because of his presence.

Erin, I want you to stop. Stop being worried. Stop fretting about those tests. Stop being angry at Mike. It’s not Mike! It’s you! I don't know what to say. You are shattered by this year, I've watched you go through it. I hope you have a good summer Erin, I really do. I hope you get through next year okay too. I'm not worried about Karen, but I am worried about Erin.

I'm worried about you, Erin. I showed you this site before, I let you read my nodes. If you are reading this I'm . . . sorry.

On a side note, today marks the two month anniversary of my loss of self respect.