This is the my second entry for GrowingSpang’s Oct Writing Challenge (you can see the challenge here).
Dear Former Friend,
Sometimes I wonder how you’re doing. In the past, I’d have clicked compose and emailed you, but I won’t do that now. I will hopefully never speak to you again. I’m not angry, not anymore. Okay, so, I did utter ‘heh, this bitch‘ when I last spotted you, but it was out of annoyance more than anything. At you. At myself. Mostly at myself. See, in all of the drama and overthinking, you have taught me an important lesson and reinforced the ones that I never forget. I’m going to list them here as a handy reminder for myself.
I was young when we became friends, and perhaps a bit naive. Despite my outer cynicism, inside I was just like anyone else. I wanted people to respect me and I them. Back then I was extremely forthcoming with my opinions, the way teenagers sometimes are. I probably made it clear that you ANNOYED THE HECK OUT OF ME. And I’m at least sorry for that. I’ve learnt some tact now. Still, despite the annoyance, I was happy to remain friends. I was aware that you didn’t always appreciate my honesty, at least not if your jibe about deliberately annoying me was to be believed. I suppose that was your checkmate. I deserved that.
Important lesson: SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO UTILIZE THE EJECT BUTTON
After that initial passive aggressive skirmish, things cooled slightly. I suppose I was okay with it. I had my life and you had yours. And then, I made the mistake of needing to take a break. One thing in life that makes me laugh is that people often don’t want to let go…even though their grip has been flimsy at best.
We didn’t speak, didn’t touch base, yet the thought of this break bothered you so much that I literally couldn’t get rid of you. Attention was lavished on me and I felt stuck. Trapped. The severing would be harder than anticipated and…maybe you did appreciate my friendship. In a way, I can see how my intentions were perceived as a threat but they weren’t.
If anything it was dark piece of foreshadowing that would come to haunt me later.
Lesson: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
Once I reversed my decision, you disappeared from sight. I saw you around, I emailed but communication was sparse and ultimately you would vanish. This wasn’t a surprise, but I still felt used. Eventually, I moved on and then it happened. I befriended one of your friends. This was fine; I had nothing against your friends. I actually liked this person, and somehow you and I managed to revive our friendship.
Now, as someone who often forges friendships with individuals, I know what it’s like to have Third Person Syndrome.That is when you are friends with two people who are close and often end up feeling like at least one of them perceives you as a threat, or in extreme cases, one of them confides in you over the other person.
Your friend ended up having a bad case of this.
And in some ways, I understood, but in other ways I blamed you for it. It seemed strange to me that I had someone marking you as their territory when we barely spoke. Eventually, the situation blew up because you apparently didn’t tell your friend to chill the eff out. Not only that, you let this person spread lies and claim that you felt a certain way towards me. I say ‘let’ because you denied it when I outright asked you, but as I later found out, you are a liar.
I no longer believe most of what you said to me.
LESSON: THREE IS PROBABLY ALWAYS GOING TO BE CROWD. NEVER BEFRIEND AN EVEN NUMBER OF PEOPLE.
During the midst of my short lived friendship with the Third Person, I was very aware that should our friendship falter, it would be because of them. I will admit that Third Person and I were very similar. Just not in a good way. We seemed to share interests but not opinions. We clashed. You claim that you weren’t aware of this, but at this point, I think you were lying. In the end, I wasn’t surprised that you indirectly sided with the Third Person. I wasn’t surprised that you were instrumental in the fight that broke out, and I wasn’t surprised that you Houdini’d your way out of it.
LESSON: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. AGAIN.
Following all of that, your conduct was nothing short of terrible. You claimed you were busy, came up with every excuse under the Sun, but not once were you honest. Not until I finally pushed you to admit that our friendship was essentially nothing. You told me you didn’t care to keep up with it but that you know, I was awesome and shit. You manipulated me and used me to feel better about yourself.
Out of all that happened, that is the part that I will never forgive, much less forget. I say this because even after that I accepted your flawed reasoning. Apparently my esteem was just that low. Once I felt better, I apologized to you and I apologized to myself for wasting time trying to maintain a friendship that I didn’t even want to be in anymore.
So. We’re done. Toast. Deuces. Nada. Nothing.
I’m sure if we cross paths again, you will say all of the same things. The niceties, the pleasantries, the, if I may be blunt, bullshit.
Even if I’m stupid enough to respond, I won’t believe it.
Still, in all of this, there’s one positive. The one reason why I allowed you to make me feel like shit for so many years. Once upon a time, you believed me. You inspired me to improve myself and to do what I love. I’m grateful for that.
So, I’m cool with you, Former Friend. You will probably always be ‘this bitch‘ to me, but as you know, that’s one of my quirks.
We had a good run.
Overall lesson: Never let someone treat you so badly that it impacts how you feel about yourself. Nothing in life is worth that. Friends come and go. Sometimes, resilience is key and clinging on and hoping it’ll improve is futile. So. Save yourself if you need to!