We were inseparable. I remember how we logged hours and hours and hours talking about anything and everything, filling the late hours of the night with Facetime calls and anecdotes and secrets kept between just us.
But then our friendship shifted all of a sudden and gradually started crumbling. It could’ve been because of physical distance, how we never seemed to be in the same place at the same time, and that you moved far away from our hometown. That couldn’t have been easy for you. Before everything changed, I saw the way you talked about it, how you seemed defeated and the light left your eyes every time you thought about leaving.
But, realistically, it was because something happened. Something big we never saw coming and didn’t know how to handle, that left us fumbling for balance. Time has a funny way of changing friendships in the blink of an eye and ours was no exception. I know that I messed up. I know that. That afternoon still echoes in my mind, even years later, and it stings like it happened just yesterday. Things happened and mistakes were made that couldn’t be undone.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the way that things turned out, and I want you to know that I never meant to hurt you. I was young and immature and lost in my own world. I didn’t want to lose our friendship. I saw it slipping through my fingers and I should’ve tried to hold on for dear life, I should’ve taken those steps onto the thin ice. But I didn’t. I regret it every day. I still have those bright pink converse shoes, but I don’t wear them anymore. They stay in the back of my closet, standing for another place and another time.
I remember everything we did together. When we first met, it was in a public space with a hundred other people, so we didn’t really get to know each other immediately. But somehow we connected and the rest was a happy blur of texts and Snapchats and discovering how much we had in common. I remember all of the Target trips, McDonald’s orders, car rides with the aux cord plugged into your iPod (you always wanted to play me music you thought I’d like), things we said we’d do but never got the chance to.
It hurts to look back on, even though I know I could apologize a million times and never fix the space between us. It wasn’t a fun reality to face, to go through the first year of college without you by my side, and the next one, and the next one. But it happens. I know that I did you more harm than good, so really, I hope you’re living life the way you were meant to.
My mom still occasionally asks about you, what you’re up to, where you are in life, and everything comes rushing back like it was only yesterday that I saw you last. I shrug and say that I don’t know. I like to imagine, though, and it brings a smile to my face. I hope you still have that favorite sweater you wore everywhere. I hope you still freak out every time you hear your favorite song blare through the car speakers. I hope you have that favorite booth in the McDonald’s restaurant closest to you, and that you log hours with friends who make you happy.
You deserve it. Coming from me, that might not mean much, and I get that. I no longer have the privilege of being your best friend. We’re not in each other’s lives anymore, and maybe never will be again, but I still wish you all the best. You always said you wanted to make it big…and I know you will.
We used to talk about where we’d be in 5 years, or 10 years; anything and everything in between. We wondered if I’d make it to the flashing lights of New York or if you’d finally reach the sands of the California coast. Those cities are the real deal, with the rush of the crowds and busy street lanes and flickers of hope on every corner you turn. Our futures excited us and we always thought we’d be friends, no matter what. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
We both yearned for life outside of the Midwestern town we grew up in. I’ll be waiting to look up on the TV screen and see your name flash before my eyes, or hear it drifting over the radio, or maybe both. You were made for more, to move mountains and jump to the stars, and I know you’ll find exactly where you’re supposed to be. I know it.