'My close friend of eight years overheard me saying horrible things about her.'

This story starts like the beginning of a cruddy reality TV show, like a Made in Chelsea-esque special.

It was the last day of the Splendour in the Grass music festival and myself and seven friends had spent the past five days camping in a very hot, humid and dripping tent.

We’d gone to high school together and had known each other for around eight years. However having just come back from another trip, myself and my good friend Rosie* were getting on each other’s nerves.

We’d just gone from sharing a small Airbnb apartment together to sharing a tent with five other people.

It was a year when it was constantly raining and the festival was a mud bath, the tent would leak water and things were just a bit gross, dirty and soggy.

Gradually throughout the festival we butted heads. They were petty things, in hindsight, cringe-inducing things. Things like who could use whose battery packs (a rare commodity at music festivals), which acts we were going to see, the placement of muddy gumboots, and whose turn it was to zip up the tent.

Image: Getty.

Despite this, the peace was kept. There was an occasional passive aggressive remark here and there, but nothing serious. However on the last night of the festival, something utterly mortifying happened.

We had all split up, and arrived separately back at our tent after the final band had finished performing.

Two of my friends, Elliot* and Paul*, were already there. They'd come back from the festival early and told me that Rosie was really, really drunk. She might have taken drugs, they said.

The problem was that she knew she had to drive us back to Sydney in just three hours time. It was a nine hour drive.

This news, combined with the bubbling tension, annoyance and pure agitation I'd experienced at Rosie's hands the past four days, spurred me to launch into what can only be described as a full on bitch-fest about her behaviour and my problems with it, and her.


I said I was really disappointed in her behaviour. I called her selfish, and I definitely aired the built up dirty laundry of travelling together. There were also probably a few swear words thrown in for good measure.

What I didn't realise was that Rosie wasn't, in fact, drunk. She hadn't taken drugs either. She was a metre away, quietly laying in her sleeping bag. She'd heard every word I said.

I didn't notice her until I walked over to my own sleeping bag, and saw her huddled body beside it. The boys didn't realise that she was in the tent, and they were playing a prank on me. Why? To this day nobody knows.

But Rosie heard everything. Everything.

Same same, but different... Is it ever a good idea to bitch about someone you work with? Or are friends with? Perhaps this is what Peter and Karl Stefanovic should realise about venting in an Uber? Post continues after audio.

As I apologised profusely, the rest of the group returned and tried to soften the situation.

At one point I looked over and saw that Rosie's cheeks were wet. She had been crying.

I felt awful. Beyond awful. Please can the ground open up, swallow me whole and plunge me into the fiery depths of hell kind of awful.

The next morning, we packed up the tent and made the nine hour trip home in a silence occasionally punctuated by awkward attempts at small talk.

This story isn't uncommon, and similar things have damaged and broken up friendships. Misdirected texts, inappropriately CC'ed emails, inappropriately venting and letting off steam to mutual friends.

If she had actually been drunk, my anger would have been justified, but I should have known that Rosie wouldn't have done that.

The recent, national headline-making story of the Stefanovic brothers complaining to each other in the back of the Uber begs the question, when do you overstep the line between venting and just being a dick?

Maybe the line lies between being able to acknowledge that you've hurt someone you care about, and taking responsibility for it, instead of skirting the issue.

In the end we decided that our almost eight year long friendship was worth more than a miscalculated moment and careless words.

I acknowledged that I shouldn't have reacted so aggressively and said those things behind her back, and she knew that I didn't have truly bad intentions.

We talked it out, made up and moved on. Forgave and forgot and actually have brunch plans this Saturday.

If you wanted to get all Nora Ephron about this, that moment could have destroyed our friendship, but instead we levelled it into a very minor speed hump.

Onwards and upwards as they say.

*Names have been changed.