To The Friend That Got Away: An Open Letter
To The Friend That Got Away,
Sometimes I think of you. At random times in my life, memories of us fill my head and it’s hard to tell if I’m angry or sad or happy.
Occasionally, when I’m driving my Subaru, I remember sitting in the passenger seat of your own, driving down dirt roads like we were rally car racers. And every time I listen to System of a Down, I can’t listen to “Question!” without thinking about you and crying. I typically skip over that song to save myself the tears. Just last night you popped into my head, but I’m not sure what sparked it this time. Maybe you were also thinking of me?
It often takes two to fuck up a friendship, and I think we’re both equally to blame for this one. At the time I thought I was doing right by you, but 20/20 hindsight is crystal clear, and I could have been more loyal to you on multiple occasions. There were so many times I just wanted to help you and you didn’t see that. And for those things, I am sorry.
I thought of you as a soulmate and a sibling, and as one of my truest best friends.
But you’re not without fault, either. Time and time again you broke my heart but I let you back into my life because I loved you. It wasn’t a romantic kind of love with butterflies and sexual tension, either. It was deeper than that. I thought of you as a soulmate and a sibling and as one of my truest best friends. I trusted you with all of my secrets and thought you did the same, only to learn that there were big secrets you kept from me. How was I supposed to know about these things if you never communicated them to me? How was I supposed to help? Because if you had trusted me with these things, I would have done anything to help you.
The last time we talked was when I texted you on your birthday in 2017. I thought that by reaching out we could start to mend the broken path between us; I desperately needed you back in my life and thought that maybe, somewhere deep down, you felt that way too. Instead, I was slapped across the face with a response telling me to never contact you again. You had moved on with your life; you started a new one where I was unwelcome, and because I still loved you, I respected that and tried to move on.
About once every six months I Google your name. I hold my breath and hope that nothing comes up. I mostly do it to make sure you’re still alive because, without looking on the internet, I wouldn’t know otherwise. Depression took control of you in the past, and even though I’m not one to pray, I ask the universe to keep you safe and to make you happy when you do pop into my thoughts.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we ran into each other. Would you ignore me, pretend that I didn’t exist? Would you panic and run away? Would we even recognize each other after all this time apart?
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or maybe I’m just stupid, but I would let you back into my life again in a heartbeat.
The saddest realization I’ve had about all of this is that you probably don’t feel the same way. You probably won’t ever read this and learn that I’m still hurting and that, even though I haven’t seen you in years, I miss you. I miss you so much. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or maybe I’m just stupid, but I would let you back into my life again in a heartbeat. I don’t know what your life is like now, or if you’re finally happy, but I sincerely hope that you’re doing okay. I hope that maybe, someday, you can find it in your heart to let me in again. Until then, I have our memories: the bad ones filled with anger, the sad ones filled with tears and an aching heart, and the ones that make me so grateful that you used to be in my life.