Fool’s Gold

It’s a strange phenomenon when someone you were once very close with is suddenly a different person. There’s an entire process that follows, which I guess is something like grief. If you’re like me, you go approximately fifty rounds of bullshit trying to salvage some semblance of what was there before, and then finally—finally—you reach your breaking point and you cut them out.

You stop talking to them. You block them from social media. You do your best to disappear from their life. You oscillate between being sad and being so angry that you find yourself fantasizing about causing them physical pain and overwhelming sadness and public humiliation. You compose an arsenal of malicious things you could say, even though you know the likelihood of actually saying them is slim. All the while, you question everything that ever occurred between the two of you. Was this really an unexpected change, or were you just naive? Is there any validity about what you liked about them, or were you just romanticizing?

So you go around and around like this in your mind until you finally run into them again. And let’s be honest, no matter how “over it” you are, no matter how relieved you feel to not have to deal with them on a regular basis anymore, you still feel a little let down that they didn’t show up as the person you used to know. Despite knowing that it would be in vain, you still had a tiny ember of hope that they would be better.

I’m not sure what the end goal to that hope is. What do we honestly think would happen if they did come back around again and behave as what we knew to be “normal?” What could they possibly say to excuse their more recent, abhorrent behavior? How would we ever be able to bury the hatchet without mentally marking the exact location of where we laid it to rest? Maybe it is this far-fetchedness that allows that tiny ember of hope to burn at all.

Or maybe, in some capacity, what we wish is not that they would be better, but that we would be satisfied with what they are. Maybe a little piece of us wishes that we could just accept their irreparable faults and be at peace with the same tumult that would inevitably follow. And we wish this because disappointment is one of the most cumbersome of emotions. Disappointment weighs on your shoulders and is not easily disposed of. But even if we could convince ourselves for a little while to care about and be involved with these people just as they are, we would eventually circle back around to disappointment. Because a few glittery attributes, a handful of shimmering intimate moments, are not enough to compensate for the gaping lack. They are fool’s gold: solid, sparkling, but ultimately worthless. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog