Lesson on Friends

Better know your friends or else you will get burned.” – Mary J. Blige

I was the new girl, but you embraced me with open arms. From that point forward we were inseparable. We were the kind of young girls who ambitiously dreamed of what our futures would be like – the colleges, careers, weddings, houses, families, everything. My Yahoo! inbox is still home to it all. Not to mention the art of note passing we mastered from class to class. An old shoebox is where our words live. But somewhere in the midst of navigating through adolescence, our friendship was silently dying.

Then the teenage years happened. We went down two different paths. We became two different young women. Our interests were no longer in sync, and I was fine with that. They said high school would change people. Shamefully, they were right in a sense. I don’t believe it changed you. It brought out the person you were growing to be. I’m sure you saw the distance just as much as I did. We held on for three more years.

The ultimate friendship sin is what you committed: betrayal. You may not have thought twice about the situation. I thought about it over and over. This was all unfamiliar. Angry at you more than him. Thinking in my head, “since when did we start going for each other’s boyfriends?” Guess I missed the memo. I remember taking a petty blow at you in your senior yearbook. “You’re still trifling,” I wrote. . . or something along the lines of that. Hurt and maturity did not coexist.

I was the one who had to let go of the ‘best’ in front of friends. If that stood to be true, you would’ve known not to cross the thin line where there’s no coming back. A friend wouldn’t consciously jeopardize a permanent over a temporary. I get it, a lot of high school was superficial and “didn’t matter.” But your actions spoke volumes that could not be left unheard.

The signs were there long before this all happened.

People mold themselves into who they want to be as they grow. Relationships of all dynamics alter; some wither away, some flourish. On this journey of finding and owning myself, I’ve come to terms with letting go of deadweight. If it’s as obvious as ‘what color is the sky’ then why keep it bounded?

You’re not the only one who misunderstood or undervalued my friendship. And I don’t hold that against you or them. My downfall was expecting more from someone whose definition of friendship was not aligned with mine.

I may never get an apology, or even an explanation, but I’m OK with that. Truthfully, it’s not needed. I will be forever grateful for the memories and lessons we’ve given each other.

Tags: friendship, personal growth, stories

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