An open letter to an ex-best friend

I got the invitation to your wedding today. Has it been nine years?  I remember the first time we met. I was convinced that you thought I’d been following you, as we entered the gym, we sat in the same row and wound up in the same class. I remember our first conversation, we were waiting in line for our welcome BBQ’s and I shyly invited you to join me. I remember our first sleepover, where we stayed up late gossiping about boys. I remember our first trip overseas; the excitement, the fatigue and the culture shock. I remember our fights, our petty arguments, neither one of us wanting to relinquish and our prides got in the way, always wanting to be the sole victor.

Maybe it’s a result of our competitiveness that we’ve grown apart. We both strive to be of a higher caliber than the other. Maybe it’s the fact that we never fully respected each other. We took each other for granted, a loyal companion thrown away the second a better offer came around. Maybe I was too hypocritical. I judged every action with cynicism and failed to see the repetitions in my behaviour.  Or maybe it’s just plain old distance. I  didn’t want to be in a controlled environment, switched high schools and shamefully chose academics over religion. Different universities across the country only separated us even more.

We’d use to talk for hours on the phone, and now a simple one line text from you is rare. We’ve been reduced to acquaintances, the type that meet up once a year for a coffee date. We exchange fake smiles and feign enthusiasm or sympathy depending on the occasion. There’s a new wall between us but it strangely has the same boundaries as before. That familiar competitive spirit, that age-old yearning for praise.. And yet it’s redefined with new experiences and polished with a false sense of maturity.

I guess that’s why our friendship ended. Because despite the intimacy, it’s hard to form a bond with a jealous heart. Is it sad to say that I knew this would happen? Unspoken but communicable, we both knew we were going to cut ties. Our dodgy behaviour, purposefully missing phone calls, cancelling plans.. It was a bit all too easy wasn’t it?

Even then, I still miss you. I miss the way you could read me like a book. I miss the way we knew each other inside out. I miss our serious talks, our petty arguments and our silly code names. I miss talking about our future, our dreams and wishes. I miss gossiping and trading stories.

But it’d be greedy for me to want more, to pursue the past. We’d both put in so much in this relationship to fully commit to walking our separate ways.  Yet we’re both too scared to rekindle our friendship for we know what the other is capable of.

Friendship, relationships… Aren’t they all just a bitter paradox?

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