Not too long ago there was a picture floating around of Facebook that said scientists had discovered that friendships that lasted longer than seven years would last a lifetime.
This isn’t true. At least not for everyone. It definitely isn’t in my case.
I won’t mention this person’s real name. And I’m sure that if this person ever read this she would be pissed and probably deny the majority of it. But I really don’t care anymore. Caring too much is how I got screwed over in the first place. So, we’ll just refer to this person as Charlotte.
Charlotte and I met in 7th grade. We instantly bonded and became inseparable. We had a lot of classes together so naturally, we ended up spending a lot of time together. We also lived close to each other (5 minutes on foot) so I spent almost every weekend with her family.
We bonded over a lot of things. Classes, love for music, broken homes and how we both lived with our dads but preferred to be with our moms. We sang in the school choir together and shared books and cloths like we were sisters.
In eighth grade, one of us got our wish. Charlotte was moving back with her mom. I was upset at first but eventually happy for her and we promised to keep in touch. We did…..sort of. The problem was that I was the one making the call 95% of the time . At some point we started to drift apart and phone calls became few and far between.
In eleventh grade, she came back (my memory of this day is still perfect). I was headed to class. I couldn’t remember which schedule we started on so I asked my guidance counselor, who happened to be standing at the end of the hallway. I had Chorale first thing that morning. As I turned to head to class someone said, “Hi Rae.” I turned and it was her. I had no idea that she was coming back and somehow it turned out that our schedules were damn near identical. It was almost as if we had never been apart to begin with. Or like we had just taken a break but the intention was always to pick back up where we left off.
It was a great year. And if our parents had thought that we were inseparable before, we were 10 times worse this time around.
At the end of sophomore year. Charlotte moved back with her mom again. Just like last time, we mostly kept in touch if I was the one who initiated. Because I still lived near Charlotte’s dad, she told me that when she visited him, she would come visit me. We planned it all out over the phone. The day, the time, everything. She said that she would call me when she was close. I waited for her call. And waited and waited. She never called. When I tried calling her, I got her voicemail. The weekend passed and I hadn’t heard from her. This ended up becoming a recurring event. Then a few weeks would pass and we would start talking again but never addressed what had happened before.
Basically from then on we kept in touch on and off, but I was picking up on the pattern. Every here and there she would call me but mostly it was the other way around. We went without talking for a few years but my sophomore year in college I decided that I was going to try to fix this. I scheduled a trip to visit her over my Spring Break. We had a great time but we both knew that that trip would never have happened, if I weren’t the one making it. Either way, we kept in touch on and off for another year or so.
Finally, I got tired of it. I couldn’t do it anymore. Looking back on all of the years that had passed I realized (well I already knew really) that our friendship wasn’t exactly even. I was there for all of the big moments in her life, I supported all of her decisions, I tried to be the best friend that I could possibly be but got nothing in return. I was there when she came out to her parents. When her grandmother died. When here mom’s doctor found a tumor. When that tumor was removed. When she got engaged. When that engagement broke off. I held my tongue when I wanted to question how she had time to go the Rhode Island to meet some girl that she met online but couldn’t come see me. The same thing when she was flying to Miami. And when she was flying to California. Literally going across the country for an online relationship, when we were only between 2 and 6 hours away from each other.
So I told her that I couldn’t do it anymore. That this friendship wasn’t working for us. That I was tired of being the only one who tried. Of course, she said she didn’t know where this was coming from. I tried to explain how I felt and she ignored most of what I said. When I tried to get her to see if from my point of view she would never admit when she was at fault and say that it was the both of us. Of course we were both at fault but I could actually admit my own mistakes while she refused.
So we stopped talking for another year or so. Then, out of the blue I get a text message from her saying that she wanted to fix it and that she was really going to try. So I gave her (another) second chance. When we talked I would try to ask questions and stay engaged but I was only getting one word answers back. That’s not trying at all.
So I left one of her one word responses sitting unanswered and waited to see if she would text me again, start a new conversation, try like she said she would. And she didn’t.
So that was it. We haven’t spoken in months and the chances of us ever speaking again are pretty slim.
I guess I’m writing this because this is a part of me letting it go. I should have ended all of this a long time ago but I was hoping that something would change. I was hoping that I would get my friend back and instead trying to hold on to her caused more harm than good. When she texted me saying that she wanted to try I didn’t even believe her. I wanted to, but also considered telling her not to bother because we both knew it wouldn’t work. But I didn’t, and here we are.
I was never a big believer in the whole “everyone deserves a second chance” thing and well, this is why. I don’t have a huge life lesson or advice to give. All I know is that sometimes you just have to let people go.