How’ve you been? There’s been a heavy silence between us, and I’ve been wondering what happened. Where did we go wrong?
We were good friends. True, we never shared our biggest secrets, or our darkest fears. But we knew each other well enough, and were inching towards what could have been a great friendship.
Do we really ‘drift apart’ as we call it? Or was it just a lack of understanding and patience on both sides? It started off small, but I knew that that it was the start. You’d ignore my calls, but when we came face-to-face, you said you’d been ‘busy’. Agreed, you may have been. But then, I’d make plans for us to catch up over a coffee, and of course, you agreed we’d meet at 4:30 at the cafe. I waited for you till 6. The coffee had gone cold. I called you again, but my calls went unanswered. I was panicking by now, because, in spite of trying to convince myself that you’d simply gotten busy, I thought you were in danger.
I dragged myself back to apartment, wondering where you could be, and if you were fine. I decided to skip dinner, and just before I dragged myself into my room, I decided to drop in and ask your roommate if she’d seen you around. I knocked, and the door was opened by you. You were with your new favourite, exciting, fun friends. I asked you where you’d been and why you hadn’t answered my calls, and the only reply was ‘I was busy’.
“I waited for you at the cafe, you know… For almost two hours”, I responded.
“Oh. Yeah. I had gone for a movie”, was the reply.
“You could have said something instead of making me wait”. My irritation was starting to show.
“Are you trying to control me? I don’t need you, ok. Stay away from me”, you said.
That hurt deeply. I was seething inside, and I stormed up to my apartment.
I wanted to scream and shout. I wanted to throw things, and I wanted to break them. I cried for a bit. I blamed myself.
After moping about like a loner for a few days, I started thinking deeply about what had happened. Was it really my fault?
I’ve always been an ambivert, meaning I can be perfectly happy all alone with a cuppa and a book, but I can equally be comfortable with the right crowd. Here, I have to be very frank with you, I did not like the crowd you were hanging out with. They were too materialistic, too sarcastic, with just the slightest sneer behind every playful insult.
As the days progressed, I made more friends, great friends, you know. If I was broke, they’d understand and give me company as I heated up a pack of noodles. If I was down, they’d break down the door with cake and doughnuts. They gifted me books, chocolates, love, and affection. And I gifted them back in equal measure.
I wasn’t ignoring your existence, all this time. I knew, like I knew the moment I saw your new friends, that they would get bored of you. I knew they were using you, and I tried my level best to warn you, time and again. You were too caught up in making memories, going crazy, partying all night, and deceiving yourself that you were living the fairytale college life.
The years sure flew by, didn’t they? We all graduated, and we all gathered to celebrate. I noticed your conspicuous absence, and I wondered where you were. I saw your friends, and they were still laughing and carrying on like nothing was amiss.
It was later, much later, that I came to know how you’d been cheated by those you held near. They had used you, made you spend money you didn’t have, on things you didn’t want, just so you could please them and earn that appreciative nod that you so badly craved. You were broke, desperate, lost and hated. Yes, I said hated. Because, while you were making your memories with shallow people, you hurt innocent people in the process, and that hurt them. It changed the way they saw you, and the way they saw the world. You lost the most precious thing you could possible lose: Love.
Today, fast-forward to 5 years later, I still have the old group of friends, and making more every day. Yes, there are people who I don’t really maintain friendships with, and there are those who don’t maintain friendship with me. From what I gather, you are a bit of a loner these days, having just a handful of people you could call friends. Being cheated by those you considered near and dear sure has taken a toll on you, I would say.
So, you ask what has brought me to speak now? Nothing at all. I just want you know that though we will never go back to being friends, I will be here. I understand what you’ve gone through, but that does not mean you must give up on the world. Please go back to being the bright, happy soul you were, before things went crazy. We were young and stupid, and we all tend to make mistakes. We can either live in the hurt of the past and pretend the world around us hasn’t moved forward, or we could take these situations and realise that, though there are a lot of bad people in this world, there are far more good ones. Open you heart and learn to accept the love that the world is trying to give you. Perhaps you will be hurt again, but now that you know you are strong enough to have moved forward once, you can do so all over again.
This is not an attempt to belittle you or take you down a notch. I just want you to know that, in spite of your mistakes, you are still a warm and gentle person, and I wish you all the love in this universe.
An old friend.
Note: Isn’t it strange? A person becomes not someone ‘you’ve known’, but someone you ‘knew’. There are only two scenarios where this could happen: Either they are no longer alive, or they no longer exist in your life. What’s worse?