Sometimes I hate these open-letter articles.
I have to write it this way, though, because you don’t talk to me anymore. What used to be daily calls and texts turned into nothing. It hurts me more than I care to admit, but I’ll admit it now, in front of everyone.
I don’t mind slipping into the spotlight.
The truth is I’m sick of seeing all of our pictures everywhere. I know you see them, too. Yesterday I got tagged in one with you and it made my heart drop into my feet. Even after all this time.
So many people never understood our friendship, either. It always irritated me whenever people would joke about it. But it also made me kind of happy, too. Sometimes people aren’t supposed to understand everything. When people throw minor shots at you covered in the veil of a joke sometimes it just means you’re headed in the right direction. You’re going down a path they don’t exactly see. Little do they know that some paths lead to something great. It did with you.
It’s been a long Winter. Some days I don’t even notice you’re gone. Some days it’s as obvious as a splinter. It’s been weird without you.
I swear I’ve stood in front of you so many times thinking about what I would say. I’ve planned so many trips. I’ve imagined the airport, the car ride, what exit I would take, and how it leads to that McDonald’s right by your house I would always go to.
I know what I would say. I would say I’m sorry. Even though I don’t think I’m wrong I would still apologize. I don’t know why—it just seems right.
Maybe you’d stand there silently. It’s the only reaction I could imagine from you, given you haven’t thrown a word my way in months. Do you know it’s your fault, too? I know you, and that means I know that you’re aware.
Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever be friends again.
This isn’t the first time you’ve read something like this from me, if you’re reading. And you know what? I’ll continue to say these things. I won’t be afraid to. Maybe you’re afraid.
I’ll continue to bleed like this in front of everybody because that’s who I am. That’s what writers do. And if you want to stick to the sidelines and watch me bleed out then that’s fine.
But I know these words affect you. I know you’re looking down on me with some sort of stone-face acting like they don’t. I know this because we’ve walked with each other for too many seasons and shared too much pain. I know those who have abandoned their emotions really have the biggest hearts in the world.
I’m sorry if I led you to that point.
These are my words. These are my rules. Through them I break down the barriers of the whys and why nots. With them I shed light on ignorance and sharp glances from those who don’t understand my decisions. The people who don’t want to go there with me. The people who will just think it in the back of their minds. The people who don’t call me anymore criticizing my friendship with somebody that did. The irony.
All I know is that it was real. It was one of the realest friendships I’ve ever felt. And anyone who considers themselves my friend will take the time to understand it, because that’s a requirement in understanding me. Like a traveler who sees something they’ve never seen before, and doesn’t even know where to begin in understanding it, but decides to try anyway. That’s what they must do.
Because that’s what you did for me.