Song Diaries: Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls (2006)

The friendship trials of an aspiring emo teen.

Song Diaries looks back on songs and the memories they carry for the writer.

We change as we grow older, it’s just a part of life. I, at least, would like to think I have changed from the person I was back in middle school.

It was during my middle school years (’08-’09) that being emo was a popular thing. Shopping at Hot Topic and listening to bands like Paramore and My Chemical Romance were all the rage. “Rawr” also meant “I love you” in dinosaur during those days, apparently.

I feel like a hero, and you are my heroine

Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

I was beyond happy and naive. Still, I went around calling myself a “rocker” and tried dressing in nothing but black to feign some misery. I would always try to prove how edgy I was by insisting that the Jonas Brothers totally sucked (even though I liked some of their songs), and buying as many clothes as I could from Hot Topic.

I felt super deep, and “Hero/Heroine” by Boys Like Girls was one of the deepest, most romantic songs that I had ever heard (“Fall For You” by Secondhand Serenade at a close second).

“Hero/Heroine” hails from Boys Like Girls’ eponymous debut album. The lyrics in it are very simple and to the point, very much like other pop-rock love songs from the early 2000s. It is the story of a boy and a girl madly in love, and how that love made him stronger. I would repeatedly play it on my iPod and just imagine some guy with swooshy hair and a guitar serenading me with it.

Later in the eighth grade, I made friends with a girl who was basically everything I wanted to be: a true emo kid. Some of my friends warned me about her, saying that she worshipped the devil or such (we went to a Catholic school), but I stuck by her and we became very close. We would talk about music and share many inside jokes.

Through her, I discovered bands like AFI, Taking Back Sunday and Escape the Fate. We even gushed about Sonny Moore before he became Skrillex.

Since “Hero/Heroine” by Boys Like Girls was a song we both loved and often sang together, it became symbolic of our friendship.

Although I cannot pinpoint exactly when our friendship turned sour, I remember an instance in which she called me a whore. Our dynamic soon became that of her talking down to me and me just accepting it. Friends made fun of each other, but that was all that she did to me.

Once I was done with middle school, I was eager for a fresh start. My excitement, though, was short-lived; I soon found out she had enrolled at the same high school.

Her behavior got very much out of hand during our freshman and sophomore year. I never had a class with her, but there were many rumors about the crazy trouble she would often get herself into. I once heard she got into a fight with a teacher over a pair of scissors, another time I heard she cursed out our principle. 

I tried being her friend because I thought that was a good thing to do and that she needed friends. But our “friendship” was more like an abusive relationship.

She often called me dumb or made me feel I was. I couldn’t say that I liked something or else she would call me a poser. Though if she liked it, she would say, “you only like it because of me.”

“Sorry I’m not Gabby,” was another thing she would say when she got into arguments with our other friends.

I once asked her why she hadn’t added me on Facebook yet, and she replied with a harsh tone, “I only add people I’m friends with.”

I would pretend to be friends with her on days she was there. On the days she didn’t come to school, it was like my leash was off and I could finally breathe.

Things escalated during our sophomore year because of a boy. She hated him, and I befriended him. When she noticed we were friends, she soon decided that she liked him, too.

She was kicked out of school when they couldn’t take enough of her. I tried to maintain our friendship, but it ended the summer before junior year, as did my friendship with the boy. This ending was tough for me, but I healed.

I soon got over my emo phase and graduated onto listening to 90’s heroes such as Oasis and Mazzy Star. Though, on some days, I will jokingly listen to MCR and reminisce about the old days.

But where “Hero/Heroine” used to make me happy and remind me that I had a good friend, it now means nothing to me. It might sound sad and bitter, but I see it as development.

It’s all the in the past.

I’m a different person now. 

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