To All the Friends Who Walked Away – An Open Letter

Dear Friend,

Did you not know? Am I the only one who was aware of the unspoken rule? Friends don’t break up. Friends are the good kind of relationship. Friends are safe.

You were not safe. You were anything but safe. Physically maybe, yes. For a time maybe, yes. Emotionally, you ripped yourself away from the home you built in my heart. Now I’m left with no one to live in my home. Is that worse than being homeless? I’ve never been homeless so I don’t know.

I do know that having a home full of warmth and love ready to give, isn’t very warm. It’s cold. It’s cold and empty and it hurts.

Other people have toured the home of my heart. They can see the places where you made yourself comfortable. They can see it by the reflex I make when they try to have a seat. My heart won’t let them if it’s not sure that they’re here to stay. This home is not for rent. It’s done playing landlord. My heart is looking for owners.

It would take preference to previous renters though. If you knew that there was still a place for you, would you come back home?

Enough with the personification.

 

Do you think the distance is too much? I can see how that would be. I can also see how we could make it work, if we really wanted to. Even when we were in the same city, it was our talks on the phone and ongoing text conversations that were really the core of our friendship. I know your love language is quality time though. Do you remember the times we spent days together and the moment I left, you’d call me? My car wouldn’t even have taken me out of the parking lot yet, and you missed me.

I still miss you.

Did it hurt you that we made plans for the next season of life together and I backed out? I really did believe in it as much as you. I really did picture summers in leggings and t-shirts, drunk on life. I miss those days we didn’t have together. I just wasn’t ready. I needed more time.

Now that I see the way things panned out for you, I’m not sure it would have gone how we pictured. Maybe that’s my fault. Maybe that’s just what I tell myself to get by. Did everything go differently for you because I wasn’t there? Has this all hurt you just as much as it did me? If it did, I may find it easier to get by. The sad thing is, I don’t think it did. I don’t think you even know.

You’re not the only one, you know. I have a history of friends coming and going. It’s done a lot of harm because it always causes me to question myself. I must have done something wrong, said something wrong, not been enough… for you to walk away. For all of you to walk away.

So was that it? Was friendship with me that exhausting? Was life with me so unbearable that you had to abandon the friend code and go rogue?

You know, if you called me tomorrow I’d pick up right where we left off. I wouldn’t even bring up the fact that we haven’t talked in years. I wouldn’t even remind you that the last time we talked you didn’t even ask how I was.

I was good. I was happy. But I wouldn’t have told you that. I wouldn’t want you to think that my life has gone on swell without you. Because as much as it has, it hasn’t. There’s always an aching inside, for the moments lost and the memories that fade.

Do you know how hard it is when you have two friends on two different sides of a story? I believed you. I hurt for you. But she didn’t have anyone else. That’s why I had to be there for her. She needed me. You had others. You were stronger. I knew you would be taken care of. If I could have cut myself in two, I would have been there for both of you. I wish I could have been there for both of you.

I’ll never forget the things you taught me. They changed my life forever. You walked me through a rough time in my life and you helped to show me the way. No one can take that from you. No one can fill that place. It will always be yours. And that place in my heart has grown stagnant, frozen in time, waiting to be touched by your sweet curiosity again. You live a life of wonder and our friendship brought that out in me. Anytime I adventure, you’re with me.

Remember that time you told me that friends come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Remember when you said that you were glad our friendship was for a lifetime? No. You don’t remember because if you did, I wouldn’t be writing this.

I don’t want to tell you how much it hurts me that you’re not around anymore. I don’t want to tell you for fear of what would happen after that. Maybe the exact thing I’m afraid of, is what is keeping you from me. If you knew how much it hurts, would you know how much you mean to me? Would that help you find your way back to me?

Some days, I want to put on a strong face. I want to act like I don’t want you. I want to pretend I don’t question myself every day.

They say you are the company you keep or whatever. So who are you when you can’t keep any company?

 

I think that’s what it all comes down to. For years, I spent everything I had being who you needed. I lost myself in you. Now the universe is forcing me to stand on my own. After years of losing myself in each of you, a piece of that person walked away when you did. It’s the part that’s been left standing after you’re all gone, that is who I really am. Maybe now that I can stand on my own, you’ll stop walking away. Maybe now that I know who I am, I’ll be okay with saying goodbye because it won’t feel like I’m losing myself. Maybe you can come back and you’ll say, “This is who I saw in you all along.”

Maybe not.

 

 

 

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