A Friendship Divorced
It feels like a divorce.
Or maybe a little abandonment.
Like I have been discarded.
But really, more like a divorce, or at least what I imagine a divorce would feel like.
Today is the end of twenty-one years of a friendship. It started as rivalry in middle school choir, but it became a friendship that was as strong as I’d ever known. For years, we weathered big storms, spent a lot of time talking about guys, and planning vacations, both real and hypothetical. We have movies and songs that were “ours,” books that we borrowed from each other and never returned. We spent holidays together. We were a team. We talked about the future as if we’d always be a part of it.
Like what happens in many divorces, the dissolution was slow. Life had us in different places for too long. Communication decreased, and eventually, I found myself with other friends to turn to. If she did, too, I don’t know about it because communication just wasn’t happening.
We hadn’t talked in a few months, hadn’t interacted for more than a month when yesterday, she messaged and asked if we are still friends. I didn’t know how to answer. Today, I responded that we aren’t friends like we used to be, but that if things change, we can be.
Maybe it wasn’t the right answer, but it’s the truth.
And though she didn’t respond to me, she unfriended me and took me off her Twitter. Just like that. More than two decades of friendship – all of my adolescence and all my adulthood to this point – is just over. I’m not angry. It wasn’t quite unexpected. We fell out of friendship.
I don’t dislike her or wish her ill. I hope she’s happy and does well in her career. I hope she has new friendships that encourage and guide her. I’m sorry that there are things I’ll miss out on, but I hope that life brings her a lot more adventure.
The hard part now is feeling a little unmoored. Even if we weren’t “besties” anymore, I didn’t really think there would be a time when it would end. I hoped it was just a season of friendship rather than the denouement.
There really aren’t words or concepts that easily label the end of a long friendship, especially when there hasn’t been a big fight. How do you understand it when such a thing is just… over?
I have to reorganize my thinking to try to figure out a post-her world.
I have to figure out what to do with 21 years of memories and photos that are no longer framed on the window sill.