Sometimes, people in our lives vanish, and it seems that those we hold close are really no more tangible than the early morning fog. We are left haunted, mourning the loss of both what was and what will never be. You feel unable to grieve; yes, you lost someone for forever, but they’re still alive.
That’s what ghosting is. When you bail without notice or consideration, when you drop out of a book in the middle of a sentence. It’s not a new phenomenon, and it certainly doesn’t discriminate. Whether you’re newly dating, or friends for years, they can disappear forever, even in the smallest towns.
As I blow the dust off of the sarcophagus of our friendship, I’m reminded just how long it has been since we’ve parted ways. I know nothing about you now, you are a static character in my mind.
For a long time I searched myself, trying to find which of my many flaws pushed you away. I reexamined past relationships, for certainly, you aren’t the first friend I’ve lost. I kept admonishing myself. How do I keep losing people? Eventually I had to come to the conclusion that, even if you genuinely love someone, you’re not guaranteed a spot in their life.
The bitterness you left with me has long dissipated, and in its place is now a forlorn sense of acceptance that our friendship will never come to fruition. We won’t be and haven’t been there for the days we said we would be.
You weren’t there for me when the tornado of my first real heartbreak tore through my life. I wasn’t there to ride out the lows and highs of wherever life has taken you. I won’t catch the bouquet at your wedding, and you won’t dab tears from smeared makeup at mine. Our children will not be friends as we had always assumed.
Inevitably, time has worn away my desire for answers. Life is different now. Things are busy enough that I can’t stop to glance in the rear view mirror. The place you left has been fulfilled by someone else.
But there are hectic Monday mornings, when I’m rummaging through drawers searching frantically for my glasses, and I come across an old picture. Suddenly the world slows down just a little. I quickly put the picture away, but on my drive to work, it floats up to the surface of my mind. Two young girls, unaware of a lot of the cruel things in this world, naively believing that they were sisters.
I don’t think there’s really an answer to the question that still lingers after all this time.
But I still wish I knew…