I believe life is like a story, one broadcast on the air at that. Like a TV series, our lives are narratives in seamless transition from beginning to middle to ending. From pilot episode to series finale, it belongs to us and no one else. We write it, direct it, and star in it. We’re the ones in control of the plotline, with us as the protagonists of our own stories. And of course, we’re the ones who decide who the major characters are and what role they play in our tale. Enemies, best friends, lovers, we decide who to cast into those roles… and for how long.
When we cast someone to be our close friend, we do so thinking he or she is the best individual to play the part. His primary role could be anything from listening to all of our complicated stories, tolerating all our annoying tendencies and rants about life, or lifting us up when we feel down. Whatever reason, we know by heart that the close friends we’ve chosen will excel in their parts. Because of this, we protect and cherish the people close to us.
They are the Chandlers to our Joeys, the Marshalls to our Teds.
However, these contracts don’t always last forever. What happens when a different production company offers our friend a better deal? What happens when one our lead actors gets relocated to a different part of the globe? Worse, what happens when our plot develops to a point where our once closest friend doesn’t fit the part as well anymore and someone else who can play it better emerges, or when a seemingly irreparable outburst between the protagonist and his companion breaks out?
Not everyone we were close to at one point stays forever. It’s a cold, harsh truth of life, one I’ve fought and fought over the years but to no avail.
I remember back then when we would talk for hours upon hours about god knows what. We clicked on the same topics, hated the same people, and had laughs about the most abstract things. Out of jest, we would peck jokes at one another about getting dumped or shooting an embarrassing air ball or failing an easy test. In the end though I had your back and you had mine and we could climb up waterfalls and defy all gravity together. I swear, I thought for a second it could be this way forever.
All that changed for some reason. What happened? Maybe it went downhill when we chose different colleges and made new close friends there. Maybe we lost it when you began dating this person who hated my guts, but you were too in love with the fucker to do anything about it. Or maybe we didn’t have each other’s backs this one time when we really needed it, and we never recovered since. All I know is, all reasons aside, we no longer play each other’s close friends in our stories, and we’ve since cast new people to take over.
Overall I’d say things have been going quite alright since you left. My new actors fit the bill nicely, just like you once did.
The progression of my plot has been steady, especially now as I enter my prime years. Yet for some reason, I can’t help but feel this unfilled void in my life. I can’t help but feel that while my new friends are awesome, there were moments of laughter only you could bring about, memories only you could trigger. Hard as the new actors try, they just can’t replicate that old feeling. I guess it just isn’t within their skillset, not within their résumé. Simply put it just isn’t the same.
Out of nowhere it hits me. Does our contract really have to end there? Is our connection really severed for good? Yes fine, I know you’ve been, for lack of a better word, “replaced” as my close friend and the same goes for me to you, but that shouldn’t entail that you’ve been removed from my story in its entirety. No chance in hell.
Your positive impact on the plot during the previous seasons was simply too great and will never be forgotten.
It’s true you were a bigger part of my narrative before than you are now. Yes fine I know we had our reasons for moving on onto different things. Despite that, know that you will always be a part of my story even if the current arcs and sub-plots feature newer characters. Before them it was you, and the least I could do is to open my arms and welcome you should you ever decide to come back or seek my help.
All I’m trying to say is just cause we don’t talk as much as we used to or see each other as much as before, that doesn’t mean that I’m not still here if you need me. That’s because I am and I always will be. Just say the word and we can bring back the old days in a flash.
Maybe you’re too busy with your new gig to come back now, or maybe you aren’t quite ready to return given the backlash that occurred, and I understand. They’re what caused you to depart, after all. But in the end, I hope you know that whether it’s a cameo appearance that lasts but one episode or a full-on reprisal of your role as a major character, my story will always welcome you back in, because no one else – regardless of how good – can play that role except you.