Substitute.

I walked away with twinges of sadness brushing my nerves, begging to be heard. I thought about the role I was falling into. I thought about who I was here. I thought about who I would be – and who I would be with – a year from now.

It’s my own fault really. I fell into this. I knew it was happening. I’m not a replacement. I’m a substitute. In a way — and I’m not truly comfortable using this word — but in a way, I’m a martyr. I believe in being there for someone, even if you don’t receive the same sort of friendship in return. I believe in being there for someone, even if you know it can only be for a while. Because the truth is that people always leave. And I must be some sort of masochist to befriend someone who I know will leave, and will leave soon. To fill in for the best friend they lost, even if they can’t fill in for who you’ve lost. Knowing their loss won’t last forever – probably won’t even last until the end of the year. And when that times comes…when they have their person back…I will reel at the loss I will then suffer and be painfully reminded of all of those I’ve suffered before.

It’s worth it I think. I can’t be exactly who they need. But I can be the person who walks alongside them until they can get the person they need back again. It might be horrible for me when it comes down to it. But…this isn’t about me. It’s about them.

I am not a replacement. I’m a substitute.

And they are not mine to lose.

-Melissa

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