Dear Ex-Best Friend,
I’m still not completely over you yet, but since you think that I ruined your entire life, this is a letter that I will never send to you.
You were one of the best things to have ever happened to me, but you were also one of the worst. We were both struggling with mental illness, and sometimes it felt like I was drowning, stretched out too thin when you came to me with your depression. I tried to help you, but it was hard when I was simultaneously trying to fight off the urge to kill myself. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. You never offered to help me with my struggles, and I don’t begrudge you for it, because honestly, I think that you had it much worse than me. It was wrong of me to expect you to comfort me, when I comforted you. Someone told me once, that you don’t walk into relationships with expectations of another person.
We had a fight on the first day of school. You did something that hurt me, and I retaliated by giving you the cold shoulder. A few days later, it turned ugly. You told me that I stuck my nose into things that didn’t concern me, and that you wanted to meet new people and have new experiences. That day, on August 26th, we were still fighting. You were at work, and I was sitting in the basement, playing xbox. You wondered if our friendship was even worth it for you anymore, and asked me what I thought. Maybe I should have fought harder, but instead, I told you that if you thought our relationship wasn’t worth it anymore, then it didn’t matter what I thought, and that I was leaving the choice up to you. I asked if you wanted to end our relationship, and you send one word.
From then on out, it was a blur. I remember there was a sinking feeling in my chest, and everything seemed to tilt to the side. I felt numb. Our conversation after that was like we were divorcing. We decided that gifts were ours to keep, and we negotiated a time and place for you to give me back everything I had lent you from when you were in a neck brace over the summer.
I remember asking, “Should I take the friendship bracelets and the framed picture of us I gave you back?” and I remember being so confused when you told me that you would like to keep them, and that you would be willing to pay to keep them. That was confusing.
It hurt so much, because when I asked why you were doing this, you told me that it hurt, and that you didn’t even know why you were doing it, and that you hoped you were making the right decision for the both of us.
The Sunday after you broke up with me, I was hanging out with some other friends, and the first thing Maegan said to me was, “Hey, —– is in my Gym Class, and it was exactly like talking to you.”
I remember my throat constricted, and I felt my eyes begin to sting, but I did not cry, even though I wanted to.
We were friends for only two and a half years, but somehow it felt like more than that. We told each other secrets that we had never told anyone else.
Do you remember that one time that my neighborhood had a mudslide warning, and I had to pack up all of my valuables? I took all of the cards and letters you had sent me, and the elephant plushie that you had given me. Then, when the coast was clear, I still had adrenaline running through my veins, and I called you and we talked for 5 hours, from 12-5 AM?
We had a lot of 5 hour talks.
I still worry about you, you know. I’ve always been afraid for you, ever since you told me about how you almost killed yourself one weekend, because I never responded to your texts.
I remember how once you told me how you hadn’t eaten anything in a while, and that you just didn’t feel hungry. I talked to you for two hours, and afterwards, you said, “You know what? I feel kind of hungry. I always feel better after talking to you.”
I remember when you came out to me. I remember during one of our late night conversations (you always revealed more at night) you told me more about your depression, and that you also had a crush on me. I remember being stunned. I texted you back about the depression, mentioning nothing at all about the confession. I’m not sure if you even remembered that you did it, but I’m sorry for being a coward.
I was there for you through it all. I tried, at least, to the best of my ability.
When your dad died, I didn’t know what to do. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help you. I know that you had a complicated relationship with your dad, and I know that you think that you didn’t treat him well enough, and even now, you still feel guilty about it.
On the day of his funeral, I had to wake up early to go to a State Orchestra Festival, and right after I performed, I got changed in the school’s bathroom, and drove all the way to your Dad’s Funeral. I remember feeling so lost at the viewing, because I had hardly ever seen you cry before. You hate crying, and I just wanted to wrap you up and take all of your burdens. I remember crying at your dad’s funeral, because I wanted to be able to help you more. I felt useless. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to comfort you more.
I remember when you told me that there was something wrong with your Atlas Bone, and that you could have almost died. I remember when you got your neck brace on, and I went over to your house to try and distract you. We played some stupid Monkey Ball Game, but I had a blast because I was with my best friend in the entire world, and I thought that we could get through anything together.
I’m sorry that I put you through a lot of unnecessary pain too. I’m hot-tempered, stubborn, and petty. I got hurt by the simplest of things, and I lashed out at you when I was hurt. I know that almost all of our fights were started by me, and now that I’m looking back on them, I realize how petty and immature I was. I was angry at the world, and I took it out on you. I’ll do better.
What we had was such a strong friendship, but 3 months later, it’s waxed into something hard and bitter. I remember texting you afterwards to invite you to a club meeting, because I didn’t want you to feel like you couldn’t come just because I was there. You were very curt and rude in your response, and I remember asking you, “Are you mad at me?” and in very blunt terms, you told me, “You wasted my life. You kept me back from doing so many things, and meeting new people.”
That’s not how I saw things. I remember inviting you to parties, but having you turn them down. I remember inviting you to hang out with some other friends, and you told me that you only ever wanted to hang out with me. Maybe it was partially my fault, for gradually not trying anymore.
So, now you hate me. The most confusing thing about this though, is that a month or so after you broke up with me, you listened to a playlist called, “I’m sorry for fucking this up for the both of us.” and now a tumblr blog that has the URL that’s very similar to your Instagram Username and a description that uses your top five emojis started to follow me on tumblr.
I don’t know what to feel anymore. When we first broke up, I had dreams that we were still friends. Now, I know that it will never happen. I still have all of the letters and pictures that you made for me, and just the other day, I found your old Chemistry test I helped you study for, from a year ago, just in my backpack.
Regardless of the pain that you put me through (I’m sorry for hurting you as well) I still hope that you have a happy life. I hope that you find someone that you’re desperately in love with, who will never hurt you like I did. I hope that you get to travel the world like you wanted to. We were naive girls just last year. We had naive ideas of going to College together, and sharing an apartment, and I wanted a dog, and you wanted a ferret. I hope that someday you can look back on your friendship with me and smile, and that it doesn’t leave a bitter taste in the back of your mouth.
My mom says that ever since you’ve broken up with me, she’s seen me grow up. I hope that’s true. I hope that in the end, I made you a better and stronger person, just like I know that regardless of what happened between us, you helped me become the person that I am today.
So, thank you. I hope that you have a happy life.
(Some part of me selfishly hopes that you won’t forget me)
your ex-best friend.