Once upon a time, we were friends. Not the best of friends, but friends nonetheless. We invited each other over for dinner, we traded secrets, we drank our way through Sunday afternoons. And then that happened. You and I both know what I’m talking about, here. You kinda betrayed me. And I played it cool, inched away, no one blinked. But, pssst. Here’s a secret. Ever since that bond of trust was broken? I gotta tell you that I’ve hated your guts. I’ve hated you to the point that my number one fantasy was kidnapping you and shipping you to a remote island with no WiFi. I know, I’m a sick fuck.
When I would learn we’d been invited to the same event, I’d cancel. When our mutual friends spoke of what you’d been up to, I’d suffer from temporary deafness. When people brought your name up in conversation, I’d start spontaneously vomiting through my asshole. I mean, it’s that real. I pretty much couldn’t stand the fact that a vagina — a woman’s best friend — would let someone like you pass through its golden arches, bring someone like you into this world. Seemed like a failure for the entire vagina race.
We haven’t been close in some time now, but your name still inspires some pretty nasty, ugly feelings inside of me — that is, until recently. Because recently, you made a small gesture of kindness toward me. It wasn’t an apology, it wasn’t a parade — it was a simple, thoughtful sentiment that I interpreted as, “I’m happy for you.” Even though I haven’t had a nice word to say about you in years, you were happy for me. And you didn’t have to be, and maybe you didn’t mean it, but that small gesture dissipated the angst I’ve held on to for far longer than what’s mature or healthy.
Deep inside, I know we all make mistakes. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, the same way I’ve hurt people I haven’t meant to hurt. I know that anger is an emotion that does more harm to me than it does to whomever it’s directed at. But those reasons were not enough to make me stop hating you.
I don’t hate you anymore because I don’t know you anymore. We’ve both gone on to create new lives that don’t include each other, lives in which we both seem to be happy. I knew the you with the bleached blonde hair and the chalked ID. You knew the me with the thankless job and the hopeless crushes. We can both concede that however much we used to know each other, that place doesn’t exist anymore. That place is evaporated, stolen. And it’s not healthy for me — for anyone — to hate something that doesn’t even exist anymore.
I won’t be inviting you over for dinner anytime soon, but I want you to know that I don’t hate you anymore. I don’t even dislike you anymore. And when we run into one another, wherever and whenever that may happen, I want you to walk away knowing that I’m happy for you, too.