Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Lise Desveaux

On friendship
Lise+Desveaux
Vin Bhat

When my mom would ask me the question every kid has heard at least once in their life —  “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you too?” — I always said no. I responded this way partly because I knew it was what my mom wanted to hear and partly because I truly agreed. I would never take that risk for anyone. Since then, however, I’ve continued to ask myself whether I would be willing to take risks for others. And though I certainly wouldn’t die for anyone, I can now say that, yes, I am ready to do some pretty stupid things for my friends.

Growing up moving every two to three years, I became a master at building and tearing down relationships. Friends would only stay friends  until the dreaded time came — when leaving the school gates didn’t end with a “see you next year” but with hugs and lots of crying. Eventually, though, when this became routine, the tears stopped, and acceptance led to a more muted reaction. I started rationing my love, only sharing the most superficial aspects of myself and staying as detached as possible. I kept trying to convince myself that I was happy on my own, unwilling to confront the possibility of caring for people and then losing them. That mentality, starting as a defense mechanism, slowly became an integral part of my interactions with others. When I did want to open up, I started overthinking everything I said and replayed conversations in my head, wondering if I should have done or said  something differently.

I cannot pinpoint when I started getting out of my head, but I do remember one night junior year when my friends and I were around my living room table and were laughing to the point of almost peeing ourselves. At that moment, I realized that not once that day had I been scared of what they would think of me — these people were truly happy to be with me. With them, I was finally able to laugh with my mouth open, say aloud all the things I was so used to saying in my head and be completely honest about my struggles. Each time something exciting happened, my first instinct was to grab my phone and message them, and they were the first people I wanted to call when I was feeling sad. I was always so used to dealing with my emotions alone — my favorite two words had been “I’m fine” for such a long time that I didn’t really know what it meant to have people I wanted to count on. 

And, of course, it means that one day, I am probably going to lose them. Maybe it’s going to be a month into college when I realize, scrolling through Instagram, that we haven’t called in a few weeks. Maybe it’ll be  in five years, when we’re all busy and starting yet another chapter of our lives. This thought makes me sad, especially since we spend almost all our waking moments together now, but parting doesn’t seem scary anymore. 

I’m not afraid because I know this goodbye doesn’t have to be permanent.  We will create new lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to tear down our old ones. This one has become too precious to me for me to tear down. Instead, I can build on top of what already exists, continuously adding new people, places and relationships. I can’t say, “See you next year” anymore, but I can say, “Let’s call when you get there.” And I know that it will happen because I am willing to do that for them. I am willing to jump off that bridge and go out on a limb for them, even if there’s a possibility that I’ll get hurt. 

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About the Contributors
Lise Desveaux
Lise Desveaux, Centerfold Editor
Senior Lise Desveaux is a centerfold editor for The Oracle and has been on staff since January 2021. Outside of school, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, reading and shopping on Etsy.
Vin Bhat
Vin Bhat, Graphics Freelancer, Photographer
Freshman Vin Bhat is a freelance graphic artist and photographer for The Oracle. He enjoys playing guitar, programming, and listening to music in his spare time.
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