Do you ever have one of those? A fade away friend? At one point in life you are the closest human beings on the planet, and you wake up one morning with the person not even crossing your mind. Strange, isn't it?
It's so disheartening. I used to think it was my fault because I was never popular. We went through everything together. Same elementary school. Same middle school.
Thick as thieves until sixth grade, and then poof. She was gone. She had left me for a group who had never batted their eyes at her.
I was never good at making female friends, so I regret to say I hung out with all of the trouble-making boys at the time. It felt nice to finally be a part of something though.
I wanted what she had... or what looked like she had. Then, we reconnected. Eighth grade rolled around and it seemed like we were back on track. Same old, same old.
I had to leave town because of personal reasons, but I even helped her get to Europe, so she could study music.
All those times I stuck my neck out to come visit her despite my strict family rules, and not even once did she come see me. She still never has.
As we went into college, I thought she was doing fine.
When I went back to visit I learned she had tried to overdose... She used to cut herself... and she dropped out of college to work at a fast food restaurant.
I was fine with everything until I learned those last few parts... Because I always messaged her how she was doing... and she would just say fine. I thought because we were life friends she'd tell me, but she never did.... She was alone.
I tried my best to keep in touch with her, but she could never commit to anything. Even as kids. So, I gave her one last chance. I wanted to hear her stories, and help her through everything.
I asked her to meet me early in the morning before I had to return from break at a local Denny's. She agreed to since she had to be at work near opening. I was ecstatic.
I could finally rekindle the flame that I wanted to warm me up so badly. The flame of nostalgia. It's the best drug I've ever experienced. I was hoping to share it with her, so that she would know for sure she wasn't alone.
It would wash over us like a warm blanket on a cold winter's night. That was the feeling I wanted, needed... and I think she needed it too. I couldn't wait to get it back. To get us back.
So when I awoke, I left my family in town to meet her at the Denny's.
Seven rolled around and she hadn't shown up yet. So, I told the waitress to give me about ten more minutes since she always ran late.
After twenty-five minutes had passed and still no show of her... I started to imagine the worst given her past. I called her cell phone... immediately to voicemail.
I tried three more times just in case her finger slipped... but to no avail. I started to hyperventilate.
What if she had gotten in a car crash because of me? She could have been mugged on her way there.
What if she overdosed right after I spoke to her? Cut herself so deep that there's no return? So I did what I'd done in the past.... and called her mother.
My rapport with her mother stemmed from the fact that I insisted on calling her "Ms." out of respect, and always helped clean their house when I stayed over.
Having her number came in handy many a times throughout our lives together... but this was a time that had counted the most. I called... she answered with a tired voice. I couldn't blame her.
It was 7:30 AM on a Friday and she was receiving a call from her daughter's childhood friend. Not exactly her usual week. Regardless, she answered, and I was so thankful.
I told her I was worried, and asked her to wake her daughter up. She said that her daughter had moved out a while ago into her own apartment, so there was no way.
I told my friend's mother that I was unaware of the fact that she had moved out and apologized for the inconvenience.
I didn't have much time left before I had to return to my family's house, say my goodbye's, and hit the long road back to college. So, I did what anyone would do.
I cried in a Denny's bathroom. The tears hurt at first, but they eventually grew numb. I realized then where I stood in her life. No where. I'm not worth it to her, and that was okay.
I slowly cleaned myself up, and went back to my table. My waitress was so kind. I apologized for the long wait, and ordered coffee and the rest of my meal.
My original plan was to treat my friend to the meal since she was always low on cash. I even budgeted out money just for her throughout my stay. Now, I could use the money on myself.
I ordered whatever I wanted, and ate to my heart's content. I'm sure the waitress filled my coffee, and water cup, at least three times each.
We had lovely chats in between her checkups, and I left a hearty tip for most likely testing her patience at some point.
I took a cappuccino to-go for my grandmother since I knew she didn't leave the house much.
As soon as I had left, I received a message from my friend stating that she didn't plug in her phone the night prior, and that she would see me next time I was in town. But I wouldn't be back for another year or so. And she didn't respond when I asked her to visit.
I smiled sadly to myself, as she never responded. Upon return to the house, I immediately gave my grandmother the coffee so that my uncles, nor my aunt, would steal a drop from her.
I said my goodbye's to everyone, and of course watching my grandmother cry every time I leave is the most heart breaking. Even so, my classes and jobs awaited me.
After getting gas, I thought about my friend one last time. Snippets of memories were sewn together, and I was sad that I couldn't be a part of her life anymore, but I was also relieved.
It was always one-sided, so I didn't have to try so hard anymore. I could just be. This is for her memory, but this is also for me. So long my fade away friend.
I wonder if I'm your fade away friend too.