Fast forward to arriving at the party. At first, it seems it's going to be a smooth night. Tamra accepts my gift, and even takes me on a tour of her plans for the gym. Phew, it's all good! For a moment.
Then we all sit around the couches and the awkward silence begins, topped with several under-the-breath comments. I'm wishing I could leave, yet I know that I am in a no-win situation no matter what I do. So when dinner begins, I'm simply trying to be the quietest, non-person there. Vicki thanking Tamra for allowing me to come is both uncomfortable and strange, and it sends the night into a tailspin. I try several times to diffuse the situation, and all I want to do at this point is run away. It shocks me that Gretchen pounces on me within six seconds of Tamra and I arguing. It shouldn't have surprised me, especially since before the party she said I am "asking for it" by going back and sitting at the bully's lunch table. She called herself that name in that moment, not me. Well, if the shoe fits. . .
Then Heather jumps in when I'm already trying to diffuse Tamra and Gretchen. Now looking back I should have walked out. But I was in defense mode. I realized I became numb to Gretchen several months ago, but it really opened my eyes to how cold her heart truly is when she clapped as I was being thrown out of the party. That moment was so surreal for me. Tamra, Gretchen, and Heather are all screaming at me. I am scared Tamra is going to hit me when she walks over to my chair, and then my ex-friend is clapping while I'm getting thrown out of the party. I was crushed. I felt like I was at that lunchroom table at that moment. I was humiliated, yet so relieved to get out of that environment. Get me away from the line of fire. I was emotionally and mentally prepared to be there for Vicki that night and stand by her until the end, but honestly I was glad to leave early.