I know I’m selfish, not in a Kim K “selfie book” type of way, but in a “I forgot you exist because it’s all about what I want.” I love my friends, but some days I fear that they will walk away from me and the room of people who love me will soon get smaller and grow silent. This is the confessions of a selfish friend.
1. My phone is ringing, this is the second call from you. I’m staring at my phone juggling between decisions. Should I pick up and speak to you, or text you minutes later after I delete your voicemail telling you I was busy. It had been a while since I spoke to you and you sent me a message saying you weren’t going to try anymore. I quickly took myself out of that world where my actions don’t affect people’s feelings, and apologized. Truth is, I’ve been feeling so down and I fear you’ll figure it out if you speak to me. I wish you only called when I wanted to speak to you. I’m sorry.
2. Its lunchtime, we have to decide on where to eat. You are the “I’m down for wherever” type of friend and I am the “I’m going to ignore what you’re craving because it doesn’t affect me.” You’ll name a few things you want and Ill ignore them because I’m too busy thinking about what I want. This isn’t the first time you compromise, you compromise every time. I’m sorry.
3. I only need you when I’m lonely at 3am and need someone to say good night to.
4. I didn’t show up for one of my best friend’s birthday dinner. I forgot to think about the fact that this would hurt him. I sent him a text at midnight and he wasn’t too excited about it. I treated that day just like any other, I just left work and went home. It has been a few years, I still feel terrible about not being there. I know you needed me to be there, but I didn’t want to be there and that’s all I thought about then. I’m sorry.
5. You’re telling me about your day and something great that happened. I sit there patiently waiting for a break in your sentence, an open door so I can interrupt. I don’t think my thoughts are more important; I just can’t help bringing it back to myself. It’s all about me and I’m sorry.
6. You hate spoken word but you’ll come to an open mic if I’m performing. You hate art, but will go to museums with me. It’s all for my sake. I hate drinking, so I wont go to the bar with you.
7. It was almost 2am and we were on the phone. You told me that you loved me and I treated this as a compliment and said, “thank you.” The conversations that followed were the fall of our friendship and I know I was to blame. I neglecting your feelings, the ones you kept in your back pockets for years. I prioritized how I felt and I didn’t love you back so I threw away what you said the same way I throw away the receipts that collect in my wallet.
8. I don’t want you to be happy with someone else. I only want you to be happy with me.
9. We were best friends for 3 years until that night we were on the phone and I told you I didn’t want to be friends anymore. I ignored your many attempts to reach out to me and for the next few months I hid inside myself when people asked about why we stopped being friends. I didn’t have enough courage to tell you that I was down and each day felt darker than the next and I blamed our friendship. I was tired of getting high and pretending like it was still fun to me. I felt myself slowly breaking. I was entering the new world of college and starting a new chapter, I failed to realize that you would still need me. I never said sorry, but I’m saying it now.
10. It’s late and you have to be up early for work, I still decide to text you. I tell you how down I’ve been and how each moment feels darker than the last. There is a bleak world waiting for me once I’m out of bed. You tend to me like I am a crying baby who doesn’t sleep at night tell me what I need to hear and my world is at peace again. But when you need me, I have 5 excuses to explain my absence.