I’m a junior in college, and I’ve just lost all of my friends. Last year “Evan,” part of my former friend group, asked me out. I said no, and he became increasingly mean. He cursed at me because I cooked our friends dinner one night and used onions, which he hates (I knew he hated them, but I spaced out and forgot). Another night we all went out to dinner, and Evan was short on cash, so I spotted him. When I asked him to pay my back in front of our friends, he cursed at me for embarrassing him. Our friends (four other men and women) would admit in private that Evan was out of line, but they never interfered. They hoped we’d work things out between the two of us. I explained to them how badly Evan scared me when he flipped out and asked them to stand up to him when he lost his temper. For reasons I’m not sure I’ll ever understand, they wouldn’t. I walked away from those friendships. I’m starting to make new friends, but I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. I’m not a transfer student, so I should have good friends by now. I don’t know how to explain what happened to new friends. I’m also not sure what to tell mutual friends who ask me why I don’t hang out with Evan and our gang anymore—or even worse, don’t know I’m not friends with them anymore. Do I owe anyone answers? And what do I say if people ask?
—No Good Answer