Dear best friend,
I keep making excuses as to why I never wrote this letter, or why I couldn’t bring myself around to write it during the month I said I would. Sometimes I wonder if I mistake the anger I feel for you, as love. Other times, I accept the anger as a punishment for the mistakes I have made. However, as I try to blame my emotions on you today, like I have for the past few months, I can’t do it anymore. My mind has become numb trying to think of the reasons you could betray me like you did. However, after all this time, I start to wonder if there was any reason at all. There is no reasoning with you.
Eight years ago. New Year’s Eve. My best friend, also our mutual friend, invited me to your house. That was the first time I ever saw your place. The first time I met your friends and pets. The first time I met your parents. But at the time, you and I could care less about each other. You were spending your time at prep school, chasing the young life and getting your hands on anything you could grab. We were introduced, we talked, but it ended there. We were acquaintances. We had nothing in common, we didn’t even care to know one another.
Fast forward a few months later, I try to go clubbing with you and your friend. You ditch me at the corner of a road. We don’t talk for a year.
Life goes on and I meet you randomly at one of my brother’s hockey tournaments in Massachusetts. I can hardly believe my eyes. 500km apart and you are standing there in front of me. It’s coincidental and impossible all at once. That night you message me, telling me we should have hooked up in a janitor’s closet. I read your message with a look of disgust on my face. Who the hell are you? Leave me alone. I stop talking to you entirely, until our first year at university.
I enter my first year of university, bright-eyed and curious for learning and new adventures. I decide to head to a fraternity party that first Thursday night. While waiting for a lift, I peruse my FB wall and notice you are going to the exact same party. I call you (I have no clue how I still have your number) and you tell me you will see me there.
I see you there. You’ve grown up. Your eyes look different and you look like the best friend I never had. You look like a normal human being. We talk and catch up. We crack jokes. A few months later we get initiated into our respected organizations. We become acquaintances to friends to best friends, all in a short matter of time.
The years pass by with occasionally flirting and playful teasing, but nothing happens. We are happy to be in each other’s lives. When our hearts get broken, we turn to each other for support. We talk about each other with our mutual friends. They ask us if we ever dated. They ask us if we ever would. We see each other date the other’s good friends. We are honest with each other and give advice on relationships and life.
You take a year off and escape to Florida, find the love of your life, but you quickly come back for something that’s missing. But what is it? I’m dating your friend. We head out one night and I feel you staring at me. Why are you staring at me like that?
Skip to my best friend and our mutual friend’s birthday. I’ve come in from Toronto and I want to see you. I invite you to the pub at the corner of your street where the party is being held. We laugh and catch up. We grab a smoke. You tease me and then I see you looking at me just like last time. You tell me you care about me. You tell me how you feel about me after all these years. You see me as more than your best friend. I tell you I don’t trust you. For all those times I witnessed you as both the prep school and frat boy. For that time you ditched me at the corner of a street. Anyways, I’m dating someone else and your timing is way off.
Months of agony await and I run to lean on you. You are there for me in an instant. You give me objective advice, as much as it hurts you. I tell you I will end it with my boyfriend, but I lie and you cannot take it much longer. You call quits and we don’t talk for months. Time goes on and we become best friends and fight, best friends then fight. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends. You get tired of waiting for me. You finally give me an ultimatum. That summer I choose you.
We spend the summer growing our young love. We try to create a solid base before you leave for college in two weeks. We say we love each other. We talk about our years as friends. We talk about the journey that has led us to this point in time. We’re perfectly happy in each other’s embrace. It’s exciting and comfortable.
You leave for school and our communication dwindles. You try to find time to talk to me in between work trainings and classes. You apologize for missed calls and texts and tell me you still want things to work out. I make plans to visit you. You end up having to cancel for school opportunities. We agree life is chaotic, but we still believe in each other and want it to work.
Thanksgiving finally comes along and I am packing my car to drive to you. We make plans to double date with your friends. We have the weekend planned. I get there and hug you and kiss you like I never want to let go. You’re happy to see me. Proud to have me in your arms. But something’s off. You look tired. You look different.
The days go by and your mood changes. You treat me weirdly. You end up crying in front of me. I recognize you’re depressed and I try to help you. We spend the weekend around your friends, but always at a distance. I tell you I love you for the first time in person. You say it too. The weekend ends and I leave. You never even text me to see if I get home.
The hours turn into days, days into weeks and weeks into nothing. You’ve stopped talking to me. I wonder if it’s something I did. I spend a month in my bed crying uncontrollably, not understanding how you could do this to me. It hurts. It never hurt this bad. You told me we would be together forever. You waited by my side for two years when I put you through agony. So I tried to wait for you too, but you were already gone.
My family and friends don’t understand it. Long ago, they saw us as the real thing. They are upset with you for abandoning me at a time I needed you most. I don’t care what they say. I love you and keep defending you even when my gut tells me I’m wrong. My life crumbles. I stop eating. I can’t get out of bed because I have no energy. I call into work sick almost once a week. I see a psychologist because I can’t grasp you leaving me.
Slowly I pick myself up. I realize I am the better, stronger person. I rely on my friends and family to cheer me up. I end up crying less and become less bitter. I no longer try to make sense of your reasoning. There is no reason.
I come up with countless theories of why you stopped talking to me, but it doesn’t matter. To you, I’m nothing anymore. Just someone you categorize among your failed successes.
To this day, we have not talked for almost 4 months. You didn’t even break up with me. You have a new girlfriend. I hope she gets to see the side I saw, but not the one I witnessed towards the end of our relationship. I hope she brings out the best in you, which I couldn’t do. I pray she never has to experience a hurt similar to the one you inflicted on me.
There are those heartbreaks in life that leave us temporarily scarred. The ones where others are able to help mend the heart’s tiniest fractures.
But then there are those heartbreaks that destroy you within. The type that feel like a head on collision. The one that makes you realize you need to reassess your life. But most importantly, the one that makes you realize who you truly are.
This is to you my best friend, for allowing me to see my true potential. For pushing me past a point I never knew I was capable of. I hope one day you read this letter and understand I am not bitter even after I had to accept closure without a goodbye.
3 months later…
You wanted closure and apologized for falling off the face of the earth. You told me it’s fine if I hate you, because you would hate yourself too.
I told you I don’t hate you because I don’t even know you. Goodbye best friend…