I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a friend I used to have, a friend whose soul I just understood. We connected on a creative, spiritual level, and the friendship we shared was one of the closest, most meaningful ones I’ve ever experienced. I shared everything with her, and she became my biggest fan, biggest cheerleader, biggest love. It’s hard to have that deep of a friendship and then watch it slowly slip away.
The details matter very little, honestly. We drifted apart because we both had busy lives at separate colleges. We had boyfriends, friends, career choices to make. But lately I just can’t stop wishing I still knew her.
Because I don’t know her anymore. I know absolutely nothing about who she is, what she does, where she is. I have a draft of a novel she wrote shoved in my closet somewhere, and I remember what she said she wanted out of life, but I don’t know her. I don’t know if she changed her career plans and moved to Argentina, or if she’s engaged, or if her family is well. I don’t know how her brother’s doing or if he loves college as much as I hoped he would.
It’s a part of life, drifting away from someone, slowly and maybe a little bit purposefully. I should make some gorgeous statement here about how I know everything will be all right, how someday I’ll stop feeling so sad whenever I think of her. Or maybe how I’ll find her number and call her up and we’ll chat about the old days. Everything will be fine.
But I don’t have her number. I have an extremely old email address, which I used a while back to contact her, to no reply. I don’t have an address. I don’t have Facebook. I can’t just intrude on her life like that anyway, because it’s just not possible. So there’s no hope. I’ll never know her, and it breaks my heart because she was my best friend. The best friend you could ever hope to have — passionate, loyal, protective, creative, beautiful. I miss her. I don’t know if she misses me.
Sometimes, there’s no hopeful statement to close with. Sometimes you just cry a little and wish you’d never said the things you said, wish you’d never done the things you did. Sometimes you just have to be an outsider, completely in the dark about the life of someone you were supposed to know until you grew old. Sometimes you have to crumple up the joking speech you were going to make at her wedding, because you were going to be her maid of honor, and your children were going to call each other cousins because you loved each other like sisters, like more than sisters because you chose each other’s friendship.
Sometimes you just disconnect, and there’s no way to fix it. Sometimes you just have to live with the regret.