To The Friend That Disappeared

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I thought I had met the most amazing person right before my senior year of high school. Not only did we work together all summer, we navigated the end of our general education together. Despite all that we had shared, one day they decided to disappear, to unexpectedly remove themselves from my life. I needed to consolidate all that I would say to them in one place so I can stop wasting so much mental energy on the what-ifs and the could-have-beens.

 

Hey there.

How’s it going?

It’s been over a year now since we went from talking for hours every day to complete radio silence. Is friend ghosting a thing? Because I feel like I’ve been ghosted and, yeah, it still kills me to think about.

I should be over you by now. We weren’t best friends; we didn’t hang on the weekends or go out for dinner or have those little adventures best friends have. But we did spend hours together, through the hundreds of messages, over the distance between your house and mine. Your words were powerful and I still remember some of our honest, raw, 2 am conversations. You are the only person I have ever met that consistently texts back as fast as I do. I knew that if I sent you a message, you would reply right away and our conversation would pretty much continue at that speed until one of us had somewhere to be. You even got your own text tone (special, right?) and I still can’t hear that little radar sound go off without all of these memories flooding back.

I wanted to share everything about college with you. When I met my roommate, I wanted to tell you all about her because I knew you’d like her. When I joined a sorority, I wanted to share my excitement with you because who would’ve guessed I’d be a part of Greek life? When I failed my first physics test, I needed your reassurance that my life wasn’t over. I also can’t believe I’m not discussing every aspect of this crazy election with you. You always had such great insights. We agreed on a lot, but even where our values differed we were able to have great debates. I loved when we got into the deep stuff, into the personal, because I feel that I was able to really get to know you. You let me in and I will forever appreciate that honesty.

You were the first (and only) person to make me feel, make me believe, that I was beautiful.

I truly saw such a change in my self-confidence after I met you. You encouraged me, you uplifted me. You are the only person that knows everything about me. You know about my childhood, my family, my dreams, my goals, and my fears. You know about my strengths, my weaknesses, my doubts, my worries, and my insecurities. You know my values, my firsts, and my never-have-I-evers. I knew I could tell you anything and I really needed that in my life. I still need that.

You were there for me when I was panicking over my graduation speech. You read through it and you listened to me practice it over and over and over because I was so nervous.

And I hoped you knew I would always be there for you. I was there for your thoughts about your future and I was there when you needed to talk about what your family had been through. I was there during your awful breakup. I didn’t push you, but I made sure I was there when you wanted to talk. I know how much it hurt and my heart broke along with yours.

I remember that last, three-message conversation we had. I hadn’t heard from you in a while, which was unusual, so I tried to lightheartedly see how you were doing.

And I met a wall.

I’ve spent days analyzing everything to see what I did wrong. Was it something I said, was there something I should’ve done? Or was I just a way to pass the time for you? Did I read too much into things? Was all of this just in my head?

I’ve never shared this personal struggle with anyone. Nobody knows how painful it is for me to not know what caused this divide. Why you don’t like me anymore. I shouldn’t have to sit here wondering if this was all my fault. You don’t get to decide that you’re done being friends with someone and just leave them guessing. If you weren’t ever going to talk to me again, I deserved an explanation or, at the very least, a goodbye.

You know, it took me three months to delete your number from my phone. Three. Months. I would jump every time I got a text thinking it was you and you would tell me all about how you lost my number or your phone was stolen or something. I had never been as attached to my phone as I was then. Still today, every time I get a call from an unknown number, I half-wish it’s you calling to explain everything.

After those first three months, I was angry. How dare you leave me in the dark? All I wanted at that point was closure. But a few months after that, I started to think that maybe some things weren’t meant to have that closure. Maybe this rough, yet clean break is for the best. It’s letting me let go of you. If you felt like there wasn’t mutual benefit in our relationship anymore, I can accept why you left. I just wish you had told me.

It truly hurts knowing that I can’t show you how much I’ve grown over the past year. It really hurts not knowing how you’ve grown. Did you end up going into the military? Did you ever make it out of southern Maryland? How’s your little nephew? How’s your family? Have your ambitions changed at all? I’m not a part of your life after high school and you aren’t a part of mine.

But I really wanted you to be.

A part of me is hoping you’ll see this on Facebook somewhere (even though you never use it) and you’ll remember me. I swear I see you on campus all the time, even though I know it’s impossible. I try and think of what I would say to you if I had the chance.

I guess maybe this is my chance.

If fate has somehow brought you to this little blog post of mine, I want you to know that I still care about you. You meant a lot to me because no one had ever been so real with me before or since. You were a person of substance and I really appreciated that. I hope you’re doing well. I know that if you put your mind to something, you’re going to do such great things.

I really believe people come into our lives for a reason. I faced a lot of internal battles in high school and you came and helped make my senior year great. You gave me what I didn’t know I needed to see in myself before starting college. Is some of that starting to wear off? Honestly, yeah. But maybe you removing yourself from my life was meant to teach me that I need to start loving myself. I can’t rely on someone else to make me feel like I’m worth something.

Maybe that’s why I felt the need to write all of this today. I don’t want to spend so much time thinking about what we could’ve been anymore. I don’t want to keep all of this built up inside me for another year. It’s rough knowing that I’m the only one still struggling with this; you obviously don’t miss me enough to return from the ghost world.

Thanks, I guess, for making me realize that I don’t need to depend on someone else for my own happiness. I should be able to let people in without fearing that they’re going to disappear like you did. I don’t just need to find another person of depth, but should help coax that out in others. And thanks, again I guess, for seeing me through the end of high school. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

“You can’t let bad endings ruin great stories.” via

 

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  • Beautiful. Brave.

    I just wanted to tell you that I know what it is to lose a friend like that, what it is for it to hurt you much more deeply and for much longer than you think it should, and I feel all of your pain with you. You’re not crazy and you’re not alone. Take all the beauty and self-belief that your friend made you feel, and do great things with it. Okay? xxx

    • Amanda Reigel

      I definitely think that so many people go through this, but all end up feeling alone in ‘recovery’. I’ve come to realize that we really aren’t alone in these kinds of experiences and I’m glad that people are opening up and sharing their support. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment! <3