"And here's where I'm going to be nitpicky…"
Are you kidding me? You have to be kidding me? I'm spilling my heart and soul to you, and you're going to be nitpicky about it?
"It's nice to hear about it four years later, when I could have done something other than make an ass outta myself."
She's not really doing this to me right now, is she? Here am I, hurting but trying to fix things, and she wants to play the blame game? I don't want to hold those four yeas against her, because I know it's not her fault, but she wants to put the blame on me?
Should have been a sign, though, I'm not very good at reading signs.
We were best friend in school. We hung out together, every day. We had the same classes, and when we didn't, we would find each other at lunch. We were both writers – she was my inspiration for the longest time. We co-wrote a series together for Power Rangers. We'd talk about anything and everything – sharing our ideas, our thoughts, our feelings. We were so close, until we weren't. One day, she just… stopped trying. And for the following four years, I continued to try.
"I'm saying something now," I tell her, over the internet of course, because now, that's the only way I can reach her. "I don't want to be the one making all the effort. I feel like I'm bothering you, like you'd rather be doing something else, or talking to someone else. Maybe that's why I didn't bring this up before, because I thought you didn't care, but I'm trying to now and I want to fix it."
And I truly did. I wanted to be friends again. I wanted to put the last four years behind me. The neglect I felt, through some fault of my own, would be a thing of the past if I could believe she would start to put some effort into out friendship again.
She didn't answer. Another sign that I ignored. I didn't want to believe the friendship was over. I didn't want to believe that the years we have spent growing together, calling each other twins, and sisters and best friends was gone.
Just like that. In an instant – well, four years in the making, but it was felt like an instant.
I reached out to her again. I couldn't let it go. Maybe that's my fault.
"I tried to make it work, despite my own feelings," I messaged her. "My feelings started in grade eleven, but the real problem was in December. Maybe you don't remember, but I waited by my phone for days for your call, trusting that, in spite of everything, you'd come through for me. When you didn't, it really broke me. I don't think I've ever felt that badly before."
For the record, that was the worst someone has ever made me feel.
"I'm willing to fix this. You're worth my time, but I have to be worth yours too. I don't want to beg, but I want an answer from you."
She answered – short and sweet.
"At work. I don't have the time to answer but I'll be off work at nine. We can talk then."
I'm an idiot. I'm a huge idiot because in spite of the neglect I had been feeling for four years, through some of my own fault, but mostly due to her unreliability, I waited for her. I waited for nine, I gave her some leeway so she could get home, so she could eat.
But she never messaged me.
I messaged her the next day with a short and simple message – mostly as a critism to myself.
"To think I waited for you again…"
The expression fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me comes to mind here. At this point, I'm just hurting myself. Though she's making promises she knows she won't keep, and I'm sure she's avoiding me because this is a difficult conversation, I should know better. I should know better than to wait for someone I know isn't going to follow through. I shouldn't wait for someone who had proven, even before this, that she can be two-faced. I shouldn't wait for someone who doesn't care or respect me enough to be honest with me.
But I did, and I let myself get hurt. It's not really her fault anymore.
She gets back to me. I'm not sure why. Guilt? Maybe she's like me, and wants to cause herself pain too? It's all excuses, though. She tells me how she's been disappointing a lot of people lately. At least I'm not the common denominator there. She's got some blame to take there, and I think she tries to accept that, but she doesn't. She hides behind excuses. Her excuse for not reaching out is that people would just be disappointed with her excuses. There's no honesty, no responsibility. It's excuse, and excuses for those excuses.
And then she says this.
"I want to make the effort."
She's feeding me false hope. With one hand, she's giving me excuses and telling me she makes promises she can't keep and she's unreliable and she knows it. With the other hand, she tells me exactly what I want to hear.
Like an idiot, I believe her again. It must be that I like the pain. After all, who else would fall for this bullshit over and over again?
"And I know what you're thinking. If you give a shit, it's not that hard to pick up the phone."
She's right. I mean, no one's perfect at it. Sometimes life gets in the way and despite your best intentions, you forget to reach out to a friend. First, it's weeks, then months and then all of a sudden, you're strangers to each other.
But the thing is, if you do care, you reach out. Eventually, you send a quick message, or make that phone call. You say hey, what's up, and that's all it takes.
But she didn't do that. She never made the effort, not since that day – not since that last message. And I'm to blame for my heartbreak. I'm to blame for how I feel because she told me, exactly how she would let me down, and like an idiot, I chose to have faith in who she used to be, not who she became.
As the years passed, I have mixed emotions when she comes to mind. I remember the fun we have writing the Kaylee Series together, but I also remember the frustration I felt when she promised to finish a chapter, and then didn't (foreshadowing the end of our friendship). I remember trusting her with things I didn't share with most people, but also worrying that she was two-faced – friends to my face, but hating me behind my back. I remember feeling supported by her, knowing I could trust that if I needed her to be there for me, she was, but also feeling abandoned by her when she would skip class and leave me to suffer through over an hour of boring religion lessons by myself.
Through the years, what I remember most, though, is the pain I felt at the end. The pain that was self-inflicted in a way, for trusting her when even she told me not to, but also the pain she caused me. She told me how much she cared. She told me she wanted to be friends, that she wanted to fix things, and make an effort. She told me she still considered me one of her best and closest friends.
I believed her. Not anymore.
To this day, that's the worse my heart's been broken. I've had relationships and break ups. I've suffered loss, felt guilt and fear and shame. I've suffered from debilitating injuries and painful illnesses and while those have all caused me to feel tremendous pain in their own way, nothing can quite compare to the pain of being let down, repeatedly, by a once close friend.
I wish her well, but I also wish that she misses me. I wish that she misses me more than I miss her. Because when I spoke to her, I meant what I said. When she called me out for not talking to her about this sooner, I admitted that was my mistake. I took responsibility for that and I didn't make up excuses for it. When I said I was willing to put this behind me, I meant it. When I said I wanted to be friends again, and that I would continue to be loyal, I truly meant it. I would have done anything to be a good friend to her, and she couldn't show me that same respect. Instead, it was excuses and empty promises.
So, I hope she misses me more than I miss her. I hope when she thinks about me, she knows that she lost a good friend. It might be petty, but it's true.
And at least, when I miss her, I have the comfort of knowing she wasn't a good friend. I know that I'm better off without her. I have a good life, with good friends I can depend on. Friends I know won't leave me with excuses and empty promises. Friends who won't let my hurt myself believing their crap, because they won't spew it.
I wish her well and I miss her, but I hope she misses me more.