I was nervous about the holiday from the day we booked it.
The longevity of our friendship was already questionable and the thought of travelling to an unknown place for two weeks did not leave me feeling confident. Especially as I would be surrounded with 5 other girls, ones I wasn’t even sure about. N was positive, when we were alone she would know what to say to comfort or reassure me. I thought her words were genuine, why would I have any reason to think she was leading me into an emotional trap.
Corfu wasn’t exactly meant to be a sight-seeing holiday unless you translate that as a chance to ogle some attractive, sun-kissed men. Sunbathing and clubbing was the highest things on our priority list.
The trip started well and we settled into our hotel.
After one wild night four days into the holiday which resulted in most of us jumping into a pool at midnight (fully clothed), things began to change. It was clearly a bad idea to go swimming at night as over the next couple of days I began to feel quite ill. My asthma wasn’t as bad back then so my chest wasn’t tight but I had a terrible sore throat and fever.
Unsure of how to see a doctor in an unknown country, I looked to N for help.
She fobbed me off telling me I was over-reacting. She could see how unwell I was but there was no worry or concern on her part. It surprised me, I knew if it was the other way around, sunbathing would drop to the bottom of my list and my friend’s health would come first.
However, it was immediately clear that I was not one of her priorities.
The others suddenly became distant with me, only talking to me if N also did. I had no idea what was happening. My throat was burning for days before a painful cough also started. Mid-sleep, one night, I woke up coughing. I was sharing a room with N and her friend D. She was a confrontational, aggressive girl who knew how to turn on the sweetness when she needed to. I was always wary of her and constantly on my guard in her presence. My coughing became violent and I thought I was going to pass out.
“Will you just SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” screamed from the bed across from me.
I suddenly stopped, practically holding my breath out of fear to D’s anger.
N did nothing although it was clear she was also awake. There was nowhere to go and my coughs needed to be released so I slept outside by the pool taking my blankets with me. Luckily, it was a warm night.
After that, nothing was the same again. I was completely ignored for the rest of the holiday. I did not eat with them, relax with them. I was so ill I could barely leave my bed. They continued to go out clubbing while I stayed at the hotel taking painkillers to help the fever. It was devastating.
On a lonely night while I was chatting to the friendly family who ran the hotel, I noticed a man go up to my hotel door. I was puzzled, I had never seen him before. Men weren’t allowed to be brought back so the hotelier quizzed me on what he was doing. Together, we questioned the man. He replied,
“Is Ros in?”
“Why?” I asked suspiciously.
“Her friends told me to come and see her” he smiled.
See me for what?
I looked at the young guy, he was attractive and looked very eager to meet Ros. The smile on his lips gave it away. He’d come here for sex. They had sent him here for that. Did they guarantee it? If I had been in my room and opened the door to him would he have barged in and forced it on me. The hotelier shooed the man out. I was left horrified. I was uncertain of how involved N was in this decision making but she must’ve known. How nasty and vile were these girls?
I never confronted N or mentioned anything to them about my discovery. Watching their smug and satisfied faces the next day were enough to confirm their true ugliness. I did go out on one night with them later in the week after hearing them complaining about how pathetic I was moaning about being ill when the rest of them weren’t feeling good either. I went out to shut them up although I wish I hadn’t bothered as it was a pointless night where they continued to ignore me or push me onto sleazy guys. I remained in my room for the rest of the holiday.
N’s friend D went home from the holiday early. There was no explanation to me, an impression was given though – she was sick of my company. It was all so dramatic and allowed. N did not want to upset these people. I couldn’t believe her loyalty to me had vanished. She was very upset that D was refusing to stay and instantly blamed me.
I was just aching to get home. I couldn’t have wished away those last days any quicker.
As we waited for our Dads to pick us up from the airport, N spoke to me for the first time in twelve days. She talked to me in a monotone voice and reminded me how my father needed to drop two of the girls home.
I hadn’t made eye contact with her but at that moment I did.
Here was a girl who had turned her back on me and completely betrayed my trust. She had bullied me along with her ruthless friends for two weeks and she still expected me to do them a favour.
I would not degrade myself any further.
On the edge of my tears exploding, I left quickly as my father arrived.
I did not hear from N for several days. I attempted to make contact but she refused to answer my calls. With some hope, I assumed things might be different away from the poisonous girls but she too was poisonous herself.
Five days later, at my mum’s house, I received a text message four pages long.
N had mirrored what H did and wrote a list of insults and critiques about my personality. Worst of all, she too accused me of “blaming” my father for my problems. She insinuated I had lied about him all these years and the abuse was a deception. That hurt the most. How many people plan on disputing it? Why can’t they believe it can happen to someone they know? She of all people, with the stress of her own family, should have been supportive. I sat on my mum’s bed in horror. I was expecting an apology or at least an explanation and instead I was faced with an abusive message. My mother sat with me in disbelief, angry at this obnoxious, aggressive text and upset that she had been fooled by this apparently innocent woman. We both had.
I was distraught.
My mother attempted to calm me, saying that N was a complete coward, egotistical and desperate for attention from her horrible friends.
But I had always hoped that our friendship could rise above everything. It was not the N I had ever known. It was hurtful and cutting. But my mother was right. N was a coward. She could have said all this on the holiday and I could’ve defended myself.
But she was weak and chose to put me in a defenceless position. This way it would be her say only.
The end of her text message summed N up perfectly.
“I know you will show this message to everyone so I just want to wish you good luck in your future”.
How self-absorbed could she get! Did she think that it would redeem her from the vile list of insults? It actually made us laugh.
This summer will be ten years since that holiday and I am so thankful that N is in the past. She was an insecure, lonely, attention-seeking princess with no values or pride and I’m sure these last ten years have only extended that side of her personality. I know she has an abundance of friends and good for her! They all see what she wants them to see.
I am very lucky to have escaped that narcissist.