This is the goodbye I never had the courage to tell you.
No, – the shame, the desire. After all,
what are farewells but another way of saying
“This is your fault”?
What separates self-love from
selfish? Where is the line drawn?
Is it the crease between your lips?
Where there lingers nothing but apology;
No, – bitterness, nostalgia. For what is the end
but another beginning? This one free
of you. Bared teeth, mouth wide open.
What separates friendship from
envy? Love from anxiety?
Is it the slit between my legs?
The pebbles skirting my feet?
The plane tickets without your name?
This is the fall-out I never had the will to fight.
No, – the excuse, the silence.
– B.F.F., Sade Andria Zabala
We have known each other well for a number of years that I trust you understand why I’m writing this.
Lately our relationship has felt like walking on eggshells. Once upon a time we were a safe space where it mattered zero if we were farting, if we were experimenting with crazy hairdos, if we were naked, if you were changing your perspective of the world, or if I was obsessing with a new hobby. There was mutual trust, respect, and authenticity. We were there for each other.
And then it stopped.
To be specific, you stopped.
I know it sounds selfish but it seems like you stopped trying. It has felt that way
the last years recently. The text replies came less and the seenzone-ing came more. The excitement we both shared when hanging out became replaced by an ominous sense of resentment – of what I still do not know.
Perhaps I read the vibe wrong. Perhaps I’m “paranoid” as you said. Perhaps I was also insensitive towards you, but I’ve always counted on the fact you loved me, truly loved me, to never be intentionally callous.
Thus I don’t understand why when I enthusiastically share a new interest in something, you meet it with disinterest. Why when I gush about what I love and hate, you cut me off to change the topic. Why when you’re hanging out with someone else, there seems to be more genuine laughter tumbling out of you. I don’t understand why you insist on telling me news about people I cut off from my life that you know I’d rather not hear or talk about OR why you tag me in sweetly captioned #BFF social media posts when I have not seen, heard, nor felt that amount of tenderness from you in real life as of late.
Do you know what stings most?
You once confessed you felt isolated and helpless because you didn’t like your other friends (the ones you regularly hang out with). When I asked, “So why do you keep being friends with them?” You said, “Because I have no one else.” They left you out yet you exert more effort to maintain a friendship with them than with me.
So now I’m going to stop trying, too. I’m going to stop choosing people who have stopped choosing me a long time ago.
I won’t allow you to ignore my boyfriend
(now husband) on the pretext of him being “just another guy you’re boy-crazy about.” I won’t allow you to dismiss topics I’m passionate about as “just another Facebook post for attention.” I won’t allow you to give your anxiety as an excuse, again, to trigger mine – like the day I hugged you goodbye after pretending not to notice your friends’ cold-shoulders and you stood there, arms at the sides, not hugging back (do you even know that literally gave me, and still continues to give me, vivid hurtful nightmares the past three months? you would have had you cared to ask, but I guess you don’t give a damn).
Maybe I’ve complained too much about the petty stuff. Maybe I developed principles you didn’t approve of. Maybe you’re unhappy about the juvenile ways I acted out when we were growing up. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I guess I’ll never know, will I? I’ll never know because you talked more to other people about your problems with me instead of hashing it out with your “best friend.”
Here’s the thing:
best friends never talk bad behind your back no matter how bad shit gets.
No matter how pissed you are at each other.
You’re right, I’m more selfish now. More selfish, shameless, and self-loving: which is precisely why I’m dumping you because relationships are a two-way street. We give and we take: and I’ve been giving and giving emotionally while you’ve been taking and taking and sometimes blocking me off altogether.
So screw it.
I’ve outgrown you. I will no longer subject myself to your eye-rolling, nostril-flaring disdain when I say I want to try to change for the good and believe I am making progress.
Yes, I fuck up a lot, still. Yes, I notice when you are turned off by something I say/do. Yes, I have also been ignorant, but I cannot continue to walk away from the rotten parts of my identity when you belittle the steps forward I make. I cannot improve when you don’t actively help because you would rather bemoan me when I screw up.
I cannot be a better person when you constantly remind me you believe I will never be.
You may continue to think I am as tiresome, malicious, and immature as ever. That’s fine, but I will not stay long enough to passive-aggressively receive it from you. You may sell my secrets to your new friends.
You may even let them read this and mock me together over coffee. I don’t care anymore. Hopefully it can buy you their transparent friendship.
I’m sorry if I ever failed you. As much as our last years have disappointed me this was still difficult to finally say because it really feels like I’ve lost a sibling.
I’d be lying if I said, “I will always love you” because at some point you stop loving the people who hurt you. And I wish I could say “We can still be friends!” but this isn’t that kind of break-up.
Despite this, I hope you know I sincerely wish you happiness.
I hope you can learn to laugh again around people you don’t secretly detest. I hope you can find joy in your heart without having your hands dig for sorrow. I hope you befriend people who will cherish you without having to whisper bitterly about you. I hope your mother quits comparing you to others because we both know there is a goodness in you most people can not bring themselves to exercise.
Perhaps one day we’ll stumble into each other’s lives and become genuine friends again. For now, all I know is I cannot continue to healthily grow as a person while I’m with you.
May the next chapters of your life allow you to blossom.
It’s okay if I’m not in it.