Whispers Behind Her Back

You can barely hear them.

She can’t hear them at all, and I like it that way.

They’re soft and intermittent and I can almost always ignore them. Sometimes I can even silence them with a look or an explanation or sometimes with just a tiny shot of snark.

Mostly they’re the whispers of strangers and who cares what they think? She doesn’t notice them and even if she did, she wouldn’t understand them. If she did, she’d probably just smile and reach out her hand because she’s gentle and kind and forgiving like that.

Sometimes I also want to reach out my hand. But in a more, “come over here so I can slap your head” kind of way.

Though my daughter has many friends, last year she made a new friend and this relationship was special. This little girl had just moved to Canada with her father while her mother remained overseas. Her new friend came over to our house often to play and attend parties and she called Avery on the phone. How excited my little girl was to have the phone ring—for her. Between Avery’s delayed speech and her friend’s broken English, it was the Broken Telephone—the IRL version. It was terribly sweet and ridiculously funny.

Now well into the school year, Avery has gotten over the disappointment of not being in the same class as her bestie. I have tried since the beginning of the school year to arrange a play date, but our invitations have been repeatedly declined. I’ve come to learn that the mom is here now and Avery’s friend told me she will not allow her to come to our house.

I can’t claim to know the true reason why, but in my heart I know. Perhaps I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe they’re just extremely busy? Or there’s possibly something else going on that I don’t know about? 

But the rejection and the not knowing causes the niggling whispers to gnaw at my eardrums. Even if they’re faint or spoken in another language, I can still hear them and they’re not always easy to ignore.

When Friendships Fizzle
Toxic Friendships

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