A Belated Farewell

Disclaimer: The following is anything but typical. It is very personal. Alas, a blog is “a personal website.” Skip if you so desire!

I dreamt of you today. You told me you were moving to California, and that I should try and make it back for your house party to say goodbye. I couldn’t tell you where we were exactly, just that it was cold, there was snow on the ground, and it was definitely suburban. Not quite Westfield, but something along those lines.

You seemed so happy. Your face lit up as you told me – your smile so big that your mouth was slightly open and your eyes crinkled at the sides, all big and blue. Your cheeks were all red and you looked like a little tomato. People on the street probably thought that it was from the cold, but your cheeks were always rosy. It was the most normal thing in the world. I even bothered you about how you’d keep up with expenses and where you’d be staying – worrying like always. Then you ran up ahead, jumped in a car and yelled that you’d meet us back at the house.

The walk to the house was typical, but I kept picturing your eyes. When I was across the street from your house I woke up. Only then did I realize why I was focusing on your eyes. Those eyes have been closed for two years, and I never did get to say goodbye.

We were complicated. Lord knows, we all were. Actually, better put, we were teenagers. When I think back on those years my heart aches. Most of my memories are around the three of us, the “Exclusive”crew, and the times we spent together. Not only the crazy stories, but the quiet times as well. I remember us ditching school and driving over to your house, pounding on your door pretending to be the cops, then coming inside only to fall asleep on your floor. The three of us – the best friends. We had stories upon stories of hilarious, death defying, law breaking, down-right silly adventures. Stories aside, we had talks, just you and I. We talked about life, school, relationships… all the things that friends talked about. You were part of my family.

Then I left. We graduated. It was time for college. I knew it then that when I left that you saw it as a betrayal. You both did. I tried so many times to reconnect, to let you know that I wasn’t gone, but only a bit farther away. Hell, I tried to get you both to come live with me, expense free, but somehow it was always came back on me – that I left.

Things were never the same after I moved away. We talked from time to time… tried to make plans that rarely ever happened. After what happened between her and I, it was tough. There was a void whenever we talked – it was hard to know what to say. We spent plenty of time just the two of us before, but I guess it became the elephant in the room – taking up all of the air around us. I still can’t believe that the last time I saw you was at the gas station. We talked for a few minutes, and all I could think of was wanting to leave.

You’ll never really know how badly you hurt me. It was on Mother’s Day weekend, three or four years ago. You both ganged up on me – beat me down with your words in the only way you knew to make it really hurt. I’ll never know whether you actually believed the things you said, or why you wanted to hurt me so badly. Over the years I kept track of you both, and every time you struggled I would try and reach out – give you a hand to pull you out of the chaos. I knew you needed help and every time I tried you slapped it away. Somehow me leaving was the only thing you grasped on to, both of you, and somehow that hatred brought you two closer together. 

I know its selfish to still be angry with you. I had been hurt in so many ways before, as we all had, but somehow what happened that day took a piece of my soul away forever. I decided to never again try and reach either of you. I decided that caring that much about someone is dangerous and not worth the heart ache. I decided that it would never happen again, and from that day I was broken just a bit beyond repair.

We think back on the hard times in our lives, and know that each took a little piece of us. Each tragedy a stone on an ever building wall. Similarly, every joyous occasion like a rock chisel, chipping those stones away. Such is life. The building and breaking of a stone wall. The tragedies making us stronger, building us into the people we are today. The joyous memories, lifting our hearts, healing the broken pieces of our soul.

Sometimes I wonder how we survived those years, but then a piece inside my heart breaks when I realize that in a way, we didn’t. Our friendship didn’t, and since you aren’t around, it won’t ever be fixed.

After two years of you being gone, I guess this is my goodbye. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come back home and visit your grave, so I decided to say what I felt in the moment, right after seeing your face. I’m sorry I didn’t come to the funeral – I hope you understand. Let’s just say that the stone wall was a bit too high. We talked about heaven once and what kind of perks would be in store. I hope you are getting all of those perks and more.

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