“Can you take a moment
Promise me this:
That you’ll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in…”
Growing apart is something I would’ve never pictured happening to us. We’ve braved more storms together than alone, and pieced each other back together with seemingly no effort. Relationships, breakups, marriage, even the poignant experience of losing loved ones. In my mind, nothing in this world would ever tear us apart. We are warriors. Or, well, we used to be.
It would have been so much easier if we’d had some sort of major blowout argument and never spoke again. Rather, we just slowly drifted apart. The text messages became shorter and less frequent, and I started to realize that I was the only one making an attempt. What used to be hours of conversation somehow turned into one worded text messages. Interactions and conversations that were once authentically carefree became… awkward and forced. I can’t help but wonder how long would we have gone without speaking if I’d never reached out. Nonetheless, I persisted with my efforts because I just couldn’t rationalize what was happening. I thought our friendship was bullet-proof, a precious bond that could never be cracked.
Sometimes I find myself sitting around, thinking about who we were. Scrolling through and smiling at photos of two people that I no longer recognize. These young, vivacious girls who were so full of life, not giving a damn what anyone thought. You were my travel companion, partner in crime, and my own personal human diary. There was not only authenticity, but also mutual respect and trust. We weren’t just best friends, you were my sister. Some friendships are transient, but ours wasn’t. We’d been best friends for most of our lives, more than 15 years. Your family was my family, and vice versa.
Do you remember how we used to make up our own words and code names, so that no one would know what we were talking about? Or how in middle school we would coordinate outfits so we’d be twins? What about when we would pitch a tent and sleep in my front yard, pretending we were actually camping in the woods? During the school year, we had sleepovers every single weekend, all the way to our senior year. We carpooled to school every day, because we had to be together every waking minute. Even when we were old enough for boyfriends, Friday nights were for them and Saturday nights were for us. We used to talk about the cute little old ladies we would be, sitting next to each other in rocking chairs. How did something so right go so wrong? We were the epitome of best friends, and had a friendship that was envied by all. Everyone knew that wherever one of us was, the other would be too.
Sick to my stomach, I sat and cried every single day for weeks. I’m not even sure how to describe the way it feels, other than just… empty. Horribly lonely, sad, and empty. I’m not perfect, we’ve both made our fair share of mistakes. The difference is, I didn’t give up, you did. Even now, not a day goes by without you crossing my mind and me wondering how you are. I stopped following you on social media, but not out of spite or anger. It was simply because of the negative feelings I had each time I saw your pictures. Living your life as if I was never a huge part of it. I think about all of my plans for the future and how you’re in each one of them. I suppose now is the time for me to rewrite those plans.
The harsh reality is that I don’t know you anymore, and you don’t know me either. I’ll permanently have this void that no one can fill, because no one will ever replace you. But, I’ve finally decided to end this struggle of holding onto a friendship that you gave up on a long time ago. I’m not as important to you as I once assumed. But, this is where we are. Those two girls in the photographs are now very different women. You seem happy and that makes me happy. I genuinely wish you the best in everything you do. I hope your marriage continues to be as lovely as it was the day I stood next to you as your Maid of Honor. I hope that you have the most beautiful and healthy children, you’ll be such an incredible mother. Maybe one day you’ll tell them about me. I will always be here, and I’ll always love you.
“…And force us into a goodbye
If you have children someday
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name”