A Thank You To My Fake Ex-Friends

Brook Cagle
Brook Cagle

I always told myself I wouldn’t write about you, that it would give you satisfaction to know that after all these years I still think about you every day. That I remember the exact moment when everything I thought to be true was actually a lie. When the friends I believed would be there on my wedding day, huddled around my bed as I held my newborn child and sneaking vodka into our afternoon tea when we’re old and grey, turned out to be fake, backstabbing strangers.

That day, that moment when I found out, there was this sudden rush of nausea, so intense it took over my whole body and I didn’t know whether to throw up or cry so instead I just sat there, my heart hammering inside my chest. This slideshow of all of the moments we’d spent together was flashing through my head, taunting me, as my entire world fell apart.

It was a different kind of heartbreak. Not like losing a boyfriend; it still lingers deep inside me. It doesn’t fade. It doesn’t stop hurting. I just learned to live with it.

I often wonder if when you gave me your cell phone, you wanted me to read your texts. After all, you told me I could look through your photos and that’s where I found the screenshot of one of my Instagram selfies. And we all know, girls don’t screenshot other girls’ photos to compliment them.

That was the first blow, three of you laughing about the costume I’d made for Halloween and making nasty comments about my nose; the one thing you all knew I hated about myself. I’d have been silly if I thought that was it, even though I wanted to believe it was.

I lay there that night, scrolling through reels of your jealous and hateful comments. Events I never knew happened because you didn’t invite me. I was ‘boring’ and ‘selfish’ and a ‘c*nt’ just because I was in love and had lost weight. I represented everything you craved but couldn’t have, and instead of being happy for me and trying to do that for yourselves, you made me into the enemy because it was easier than to accept your own shortcomings.

I sobbed as I read all of the dreadful things you thought about me, and I remembered all of the times we’d spent together. I felt so dumb for being so happy. I felt humiliated. And what’s worse, what really hurt me, is that when you found out I knew the sh*t you’d been saying behind my back all this time, you said I shouldn’t have looked at the texts. That it was my fault.

I had been friends with some of you since kindergarten, I’d shared all of my deepest secrets with you, and so many milestones in my life were wrapped up in you. I told you when I’d lost my virginity, when I got my first graduate job, when I met the man I thought I was going to marry. But little did I know, you hated me for it.

All I ever did was talk about myself, right? I thought I was better than you, more intelligent than you, thinner than you, more strong willed than you. I pushed every single one of your buttons. I was a walking reminder of all the things you didn’t have, and I was oblivious.

But still, I tried to rebuild the friendship with the only one of you who apologized but I couldn’t trust you. Every time you reached for your phone I thought you were texting the others, saying all kinds of awful things behind my back. And I knew in that moment, we could no longer be friends and it broke my heart.

I still look over old photos of us and I still check your Facebook accounts. Whenever I see you all together, it chips away at me. I wish I could be there. I wish you didn’t hate me. I wish I didn’t imagine my face in your group selfies. I wish I wasn’t still hurting.

But the truth is, you were never really my friends. Friends don’t beat each other down when they rise. They don’t use their success against them. They don’t say awful things behind their back and laugh at their insecurities. Friends do not judge decisions you make in the darkest moments in your life. Friends are meant to be the light. Friends can tell you you’ve done a terrible thing, but they hold your hand and they ride it out with you.

So I know I shouldn’t miss you but I do. I miss laughing with you, I miss parting, I miss “pizza Fridays” and “wine Tuesdays”. I miss feeling a part of something. I miss believing you cared. I miss feeling important to you. I miss every single moment when I thought you guys would be there for life.

I miss being ignorant. I miss it all.

But I don’t forgive you.

I will not apologize for going after what I want or for being proud of the fact or for expecting my friends to support me no matter what happens.

I guess in a way, I thank you for despising me so much because it pushes me to keep going.

I will keep off the weight I lost and I’ll chase after my dreams and I’ll look for a wild and passionate love. I will not hide my achievements to make others feel better. I will strive for greatness and so should you. TC mark

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