Last night I sat in silence and let the memories come find me.
I saw our college years, me carrying you like a monkey, our all-you-can-eat sushi dates, the breakfast dates, that one time we went to get coffee for European Labor Day, when we jumped in the fountain and had our own party in there, the McDonald’s late night trip that cost you a tire and a bumper, watching Dance Moms in your house while eating grapefruit, waxing your legs in the living room with an audience, locking you out of my room just to have you bang on the door for 10 minutes screaming as if you had been abandoned on the streets, karaoke mornings, karaoke afternoons, karaoke nights, your laptop falling from the TV stand because karaoke had gotten too intense.
Montreal, Philly, New York, the lychee martinis on the Lower East Side, that pasta in Jersey City, our argument over whether or not real pizza has sauce on it, you telling me I had to accept that I’m a picky eater while I told you your taste buds had become too mainstream, the sleepovers, the countless times I hit you right in the face in my sleep or pushed you almost off the bed, the partition wall, Titan grocery run on your 23rd birthday, Mastika, Greece 2015, Rome 2015, hummus and dirty martinis with Blue Coat at Continental, espresso in the moka machine every morning, LSATs and GMATs, when you curled my hair for two hours, Atlantic City, Wildwood, burgers in the microwave at formal, bathroom runs on Mole Street.
Seven years is a long time to know someone, especially when you spend with them 85% of your days. Especially when you become like sisters, bickering one moment and belly laughing together the next. Especially when you begin imagining each other in the future: at your wedding, holding your children, celebrating your professional successes…
Sometimes friendships break, just like relationships do, and the heart cracks open just the same.
I think we grew apart far before we cracked. I think we were trying so hard to pretend like it was all the same, but it wasn’t. When I looked at your life, I could not find one similarity with mine, as if we had nothing left in common.
I miss you. Every day when I see something funny that you would appreciate, when I bullshit my way through life and can hear your voice telling me to stop “sweetheart-ing” people to get things, when I wax my legs, when I drink my coffee, when I order my martini, when I see all the friends in common we still have. I keep missing you as if a part of me was suddenly gone, because it is.
No matter how much pain I feel, though, I know we can’t go back. I know that we caused each other too much pain to ever forget it all. Your last text to me keeps repeating in my head like a sick curse. I have learned that you cannot rebuild on mud.
So today, on your 25th birthday, I want to tell you in this letter all the things I would tell you in person if I could. I want to wish you a day of happiness, surrounded by those who matter, in which you are reminded of the amazing life you were given and all the blessings you were offered. I wish for you nothing but success in every aspect of life: not the success that your family expects you to reach but whatever type of success that you choose for yourself. I hope that even when I’m not there you’ll remember what I always told you about being able to accomplish all you set your mind to… I hope you find real love, the type of love that makes you blush and makes you want to talk about them all the time, the love that makes you mushy even though your personality is far from cheesy. I hope you grow into a satisfied human being, proud of her accomplishments, I wish I could see you become a mother, I know you look forward to that moment. I hope it is an incredible experience and that maybe one day you tell your children that you used to have an almost-sister, and that despite her not being in your life anymore, you cherish all the memories of the beautiful friendship you had built.
That is what I will tell mine.
Happy birthday, dear friend.