Do you remember when we used to hang out in your basement and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos? Or the many times we pretended to be superheroes on your trampoline? Or all those music videos we made together? The Saturday night sleepovers watching Mystery Hunters and Truth or Scare on the Discovery channel? I do. I miss those times.
I bet you don’t even think about me anymore. I don’t know who stopped calling first. I know you fell into the popular crowd – and I still liked dolls and imaginary games. I guess you just outgrew that stuff, and outgrew me.
I often wonder if we reconnected today, would we be able to replicate that closeness we once had? Would you even want to? Or am I just a part of your past now, happily forgotten? Is it weird that I still remember the good times and miss that?
I think the reason I have thought about you so long after we drifted is because I would still hear about you – I could never forget you because our parents still talked. Your dad and my dad would talk, and your mom sometimes called my dad to ask for advice. Another reason could be that in the midst of my depression I found myself reliving my past. So, there you go. Thinking about you. Hope you are well.
Do you remember when we were friends? I mean when we were really friends, not the type of distant sort of “honorary” friends we are now? When I talk about you, I give you the title of “best friend,” but you and I both know we haven’t really been that close for a long time now. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss that closeness, but sometimes I feel resentful. What tore us apart? I’m not sure exactly how we ended, but I have an idea of how it started.
It was a Sunday afternoon and the phone was ringing. My chest tightened in annoyance as it always does when my solitude is disturbed.
“Hello?” I answered, and my voice raised an octave.
“Hey!” A voice responded cheerily. It was you, Megan.
“What’s up?” You asked enthusiastically. I glanced at the clock on the wall.
“Nothing really, I’m just working on some homework.” I responded slowly, gathering my patience. “Why do you call?”
“Oh, homework!” You sighed, drawing out the words. “Well, I was going to ask you if you wanted to hang out, but I guess never mind then.”
“Yeah, I’ve got a lot of stuff to do, sorry.” I answered distractedly, fidgeting as I stood.
“Well, maybe another time then.” You responded, softening your voice. I could tell that you knew you were losing my attention. I instantly felt ashamed.
“Another time.” I agreed too quickly, pacing around the room.
“Alright. Well, good luck with your work.” You sighed.
“Thanks.” I said, nodding.
“Bye.” You sighed again.
“Bye.” I said curtly, and then placed the cordless phone back in its cradle.
Do you remember that conversation? It’s conversations like these that we started having that marked the beginning of our drifting apart. We started annoying each other. It wasn’t dislike. It wasn’t hate. It was irritation. Contempt. I began to feel annoyed when you called, exhausted after you hung up. It’s easy to blame you and say it was because you treated me like a little kid, you belittled me – and you did – but it was also me. You were condescending. You needed everything to be your way. But you tried. You talked a lot about academics, and how easy everything was for you, but you couldn’t have known how it affected me. You didn’t know that that kind of talk exhausted me because I never told you. I just let us drift away. Maybe I even pushed you away. And when the depression hit, I just stopped caring at all. I had a hand in destroying us, and for that I’m sorry.
I know our conversations in grade eleven and twelve turned to conversations like these.
“Hey Megan.” I said wearily, glancing at the clock.
“What’s up?” You asked. I knew what you wanted. Even before you asked.
“Not much, just doing some piano practice.”
“Ah. I see. So you probably can’t hang out today.” Sometimes you made it easy for me.
“Yeah.” I said, half meaning it. I loved you, but at the time social interaction seemed taxing.
“Grace and I have band practice tonight.”
“Cool.” I tried to sound enthusiastic, but the words came out sounding deflated.
“You know, Connor called me ‘Adeline’ the other day?”
“Really?” I tried desperately to sound intrigued.
“Yeah. Isn’t that weird?”
“Yeah. Weird.” I agreed.
“I guess those days are kind of over now.” I added, thinking out loud.
“Because we rarely see each other now. It’s like we don’t know each other.”
“Well, we don’t.” I said bluntly. “We’re kind of just phone pals now.”
There was a pause on the line. I instantly regret what I said. But then you answered.
“We could change that.” You said softly.
“We could.” I ventured.
“I have to go.” I said regretfully, peeking at the time. I hoped you didn’t hate me.
“Okay. Bye.” You hung up.
I stared at the phone for a minute, and clicked the off button. Maybe I put too much thought into these conversations. Maybe I didn’t put enough thought into these conversations. But I know that in time they stopped happening altogether.
I don’t know why I didn’t ever really tell you how bad things got. I guess I just wanted to shelter you from it all. I thought you couldn’t handle it. I thought you wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. And then, I just grew angry thinking that you had no respect for what I was going through. Remember when I began cutting? You couldn’t handle that. It was then that I stopped telling you things. I don’t hold it against you – it’s a lot for anyone to take it. I didn’t lean on you anymore. I don’t know if both of us changed or if it was just me, but I began to see you in a different light. You didn’t treat me well anymore, or maybe you never had. But I don’t think I actually believe that, or I wouldn’t be missing you like I do, would I? Though it did feel like a relief to see you go. I guess we just weren’t compatible anymore. Although in the end I was convinced I hated you, I only wish you well. But we both needed a clean break and to continue on with our lives apart. I still cherish the memories but know that you need to stay a memory now. I can’t forget the things you did to me and said to me, but I can forgive them. Goodbye, old friend.