I have more than two things to say, but I’ll start with apologizing and being grateful that you ever existed by my side.
Some of our friendships really stood out, but nonetheless, they still ended. Whether this happened because I thought that you would be better off with other friends, because I thought you had changed and I didn’t want to watch what I thought was going to happen as a result of that change, or because I didn’t appreciate the gift of you as much as I should have, I apologize.
Maybe I communicated to you about how I didn’t think our friendship needed to continue. More likely, I probably just slowly stopped speaking to you. I might not have even told you why. For the texts that never got sent and the phones that never rang, I’m sorry for the silence.
There are friendships that do not need to be revived. I’m not writing this because I’m looking to return back to the state that we used to be in. Whether that was a relationship or just a really great friendship, no, that isn’t what this is about.
It’s more about the gratitude that I forgot to give to you as being part of the continuously formative years of my life.
Once our friendships or relationships ended, I was out of there. We didn’t really talk, unless it was extremely random or through the internet. That’s how I wanted it. And it wasn’t fair.
It’s because I forgot. I forgot that at one point, whether it be middle school, all of high school, or just a few months in college, I spent a lot of time with you. I had many conversations with you. We laughed, we gamed, we got ready for dances, we had sleepovers, and we had love and respect that flowed between us. When these relationships changed from a storm of wonderful lightning laughs to a tepid puddle that occasionally got stepped in, I forgot how much we meant to each other. I moved on and didn’t look back that often. Our existence as a unit was a blur.
When I was around six years old, I ripped up a picture I had drawn in class. I felt terrible about it. It was gone- just like that. I could tape it back up, but it would not have been the same. Because of that moment, I have never done that again. To my friends that I forgot, just know that I still have the photographs of us. They’re on my Facebook, my computer, and they still hang up on my wall. Those pictures of us as we posed with one hand around each other and one on our waist with our wide-eyed, bright-eyed, sparkle-of-mischief-eyed smiles.
However, pictures do not tell the whole story. In a way, when our relationships faded away, the snapshots were a band-aid for my mind. The photograph’s got a thousand words to say, but that’s not nearly enough to describe the once-in-a-lifetime experience that we had with one another. Not a single picture can describe all of the highs and lows. Band-aids take care of our wounds for a little bit, but if we leave it on too long, we keep the injury from getting air. This letter is really me realizing how much I needed to remove the bandage and begin to remember again. It is so easy to forget. It can even masquerade as a nice thing- covering up the place where someone used to be and moving on. Not anymore. Remembering takes effort. It takes rebuilding places, faces, sentences, and details, even if you didn’t originally want to. It might even require being uncomfortable when you also remember that something has ended. However, thinking about how lovely our time together was outweighs the end for me.
I’m deciding to remember again, and I’m excited about it. It has cast a whole new glow on who we were. Maybe we are in different places in our lives right now, but none of our friendships ended maliciously. While they were good, they were great. They were filled with countless talks, with the same off-the-clock sleep schedule, with our obsession with swag and too-cool-for-you boys, with screaming on roller coasters and feeling our stomachs rise as the ride dropped, with eating hyped-up hotdogs way past midnight, with discovering new parts of life and cuisine, and with just being the person who would never leave.
You’ve given me so much to be happy about- then and now.
Thank you for being true friends.
*for The Odyssey Online*