One week ago today was the last time I heard your voice. The last time I’ll ever hear your voice. Because I messed things up in such a monumental way that no matter how desperately I want to redeem myself with you I know I became dead to you on the afternoon of the 7th. The disappointment is still crushing. The pain is still raw. The finality of it all too much for my soul to comprehend yet. You were my friend. I fell in love with your soul through words on a screen and hours and hours of conversations about a whole lot of nothing and a massive amount of everything. There was nothing we couldn’t talk about. And today would’ve most definitely been a talking day because of your drive. I wonder if you thought about me at all as you made your way through horrible traffic this afternoon. I wonder if those thoughts were filled with rage, anger, and hate or if there was any part of you – even the most miniscule part of you – that missed how effortlessly we talked and laughed and shared and pondered together. Now I’ll never know.
I ate a popsicle for lunch a few minutes ago. Okay, I’m not going to lie – I ate two popsicle for lunch. Don’t judge – they’re only 15 calories each! And then it hit me that we talked about those very same popsicles on our last phone conversation. We talked about the brand and I kept telling you it was the “Popsicle” brand in the yellow box and you kept guessing what kind it might be. You guessed Rocket Pops and all kinds of other frozen treats on a stick. You said you could picture the box but you couldn’t remember what the brand name was. I was like “It’s POPSICLE! That’s the brand name! Popsicle!” You made me laugh. It’s memories like this that make a huge wave of sadness wash over me.
Most of our moments weren’t deep or meaningful and quite frankly I’m sure most people would find them extremely uninteresting. But that was okay with us. We were two pretty average people with a stable and happy home life, jobs, kids, and both of us had a quirky sense of humor. That’s what attracted me to your personality in the first place. You were so witty and clever and funny and I enjoyed the back and forth banter so much. In the beginning our newfound friendship made me feel more alive than I had in a long time. Again, I have plenty of deep, meaningful relationships in my life so I wasn’t necessarily lacking there, but you just added such a spark to my days. I looked forward to hearing your voice or seeing your name pop up in my inbox throughout the day. You were my daytime person. My escape. My advisor. My encourager. My Schmoopy.
I wonder what I was to you? You told me so many times how much you loved talking to me because you got to express a side of yourself with me that you never had with anyone else. You told me things you’d never shared with anyone before. Do you miss that at all? I mean, I know it doesn’t matter because you’ll never speak to me again as long as I live, but I just really wonder these things. There are times when I’m left alone in silence and my thoughts will drift to you and for a second I’ll wonder if I made more of all of it than it was. As if maybe there’s a chance that it didn’t mean anything at all to you. But I know better. I got to know you pretty well over those months. I cared about every little thing going on in your life. I wanted everything in your world to be more vibrant. I wanted you to experience higher highs and lower lows and stop muting anything that felt remotely like a feeling. Because you have the best heart. You’re a kind and decent man. You’re thoughtful. And smart. And determined. And a caretaker. You are all of those things, and that wouldn’t be possible if you were simply void of feelings. You’re full of them, they’ve just been packed inside of you quietly and patiently waiting to slowly release if the right person came along that you could share these things with. I got to be that person for a little bit.
I believe that if things hadn’t gone off track like they did and if I hadn’t shared those words – those empty and careless and indefensible words – well, I think our friendship would’ve kept growing. I think we could’ve helped each other in so many ways. Both of us have great “real” lives. Our friendship was like the buttercream icing on a vanilla cupcake. A cherry on top of a sundae (except I hate that kind of cherry so that’s a bad example coming from me). An industrial sized fan when your air conditioner goes out. A gel-filled cushion for a massive blister on the bottom of your foot. The “hoppiness” to your beer. Surely I’m making a point here? You were a welcome and delightful surprise. I loved having you in my life. I’m so sorry for what transpired. You’ll never know. I’d give anything to have my buddy back. I miss you already.
I waited for the phone to ring for our typical Tuesday talk – even though I knew it wouldn’t. I feel like it will take a long time for me to stop waiting for the phone to ring on afternoons when you commute. The laundry list of things I wish I could tell you and talk to you about continues to grow. Unfortunately, I know it will grow to infinity – and that makes me so sad. I’m so sorry for what’s happened.
I hope and pray things are going well for you. I’m still so worried about how things played out on your end. I want to be the one that’s there for you. Instead I’m the one that caused it. I despise myself for that. More than you’ll ever know.
Thinking of you with love in my heart, friend.
Currently playing in the soundtrack of my mind: Call Me by Blondie. For obvious reasons.