Tag Archives: friendship

Missing you.

I want you to know I was walking with a friend tonight and you came up. I’ve never talked to him about you.

I want you to know that when he asked, I couldn’t say your name. No one here in thisĀ  place has ever heard your name come from my lips.

I want you to know that what you did still hurts. I know it’s been six years.

I want you to know that the loyalty I have toward you is still very real. Sometimes that’s why I don’t like telling people about you. Because when I do, other people get mad at you. When I tell them what happened, no matter how bright a light I paint you in, they don’t like you. And I hate that.

He told me that, when it comes to friendship, once I’m friends with someone, I’m friends with them forever. I didn’t know people could read that about me. I wonder if he could feel it because he’s one of those people.

You were too.

The difference is I tell myself that he could leave me and disregard my friendship any time he wants. That’s completely his prerogative. If he decides he’s done being friends with me, it will be horrible. But it will be his choice and if he wants to make that choice, I will be okay with it.

With you, I told you I was afraid of people leaving me and you told me you never would.

And then you did.

I’ve learned, and am learning, to hold friendships closely but loosely. You were the reason I had to learn.

And still, I’m missing you.

-Melissa

 

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Robbed.

I could feel shock go through me. My eyes grew wide, my mouth gaped for a moment, and I asked him to repeat himself.

He did. He hadn’t realized I didn’t know.

How was I supposed to know? You haven’t spoken to me in over a year.

Tears came to my eyes immediately, but I quickly composed myself and focused my attention back to him. This wasn’t about you. This conversation was about what he was saying to me, about the life changes he was going through. And I could give him my complete attention.

A little while later though, my mind repeated the same phrase over and over again. Instead of your name, I kept saying “my best friend.”

But really? You? You’re my best friend? You? Of all people? You who left me without looking back? You who made one horrible life decision after another? You who deserted me? You who turned your back on the support I offered you? You who dismissed people who have always loved you? You who robbed me of the honor and blessing of sharing this life together with our other friends and family? You who I called brother unabashedly and proudly only to be tossed aside as if I were someone you knew for a day?

No. No, you’re not my best friend. ‘Friend’ is a sacred word to me and it will be reserved for those who care for me and allow me to care for them.

I have learned one thing within the past fourteen months: You are not the person I thought you were.

-Melissa

Missing you.

We make assumptions in life. And some days, you wake up and an assumption that you’d grown used to, suddenly isn’t so stable anymore.

It’s been over five years. Five years, nine months, and thirteen days if you want to be exact. Years that have changed me through heartbreak, transition, and opportunity. And I know they’ve changed you too.

Almost six years of silence.

I woke up this morning with an assumption firmly set in my mind. An assumption that told me there was no hope. An assumption that promised I would never again hear your voice or your laugh, I would never again see your face, I would never again have your friendship.

I woke up this morning to a very subtle change. And I could feel, can feel, it reaching for me. I can feel it’s thin, cold fingers, I can feel the brittle nails, wrapping slowly around my heart. This monster called ‘hope.’ Begging me to give in.

But I know hope. And hope is not to be trusted.

Didn’t you teach me that?

It was probably a mistake. It probably meant nothing to you. You probably thought I wouldn’t notice. You probably didn’t give it any thought at all. You probably didn’t mean to cause my assumptions to waiver.

Five years, nine months, thirteen days, and I’m still…

Missing you.

-Melissa

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

Missing you.

So… I still miss you.

That shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a conversation with you. It’s been a long time since you’ve looked me in the eye… Even longer since it wasn’t followed by quickly looking away when you realized I was looking back. Goodness, it’s been years since I’ve heard your laugh. Years. But I still miss you.

I never want to stop. So maybe that’s why I haven’t. But I never expected that it would still be this strong. That the pain would still be so real.

Then again, I never expected that, by now, we wouldn’t have become friends again. I never thought your silence would last this long. I always thought our reunion was just around the corner.

Now, part of me wonders if I was delusional.

But, when I was at my worst, those delusions gave me hope. And God used that horrible experience to teach me what hope was. And I’m forever grateful for that.

But that was years ago too. It’s been so long. And there’s a very large part of me that thinks if you and I tried to be friends again today, it wouldn’t even work. Because too much time has past. There’s been too much space, and my pain has completely filled it. And your walls have successfully kept me out. And, though I’m sure you’ve changed, I’m not sure you could even remove a single stone from one of the walls.

And that’s the other thing. Missing you is mixed with worry for you. Because I worry you’ve kept everyone else out. I worry you’re alone and lonely. I worry you’re in pain and too afraid to let anyone see the utter goodness you hold inside of you. I just… I worry.

And you would tell me to stop. And you would say you were fine. And you would say that you like living just the way you are.

And I would be able to see through your lies just as clearly as you saw through mine.

I don’t know why you did what you did. It doesn’t make sense, Tyler. You and I had a friendship that most will never understand. Didn’t you realize that? Didn’t you see how well we understood each other? Didn’t you feel the comfort that came from our friendship? Didn’t you know that I would love you, literally no matter what you did? Didn’t I tell you that on more than one occasion? Didn’t you promise you’d never leave?

And was all of that what scared you and sent you running?

We’re less than two months away from it being four years. This is why I’m convinced that, though there may be stages of grief, grief never actually ends. Because, if it did, would there still be tears in my eyes? If it did, would my heart still ache at the thought of you?

I love you, best friend. Haven’t I proven you can’t change that?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Love.

I want to live in a society where men and women can be great friends and no one assumes they’re in love. This of course comes from the way that I love. I get deeply attached to people and that is so often misunderstood. So often, people assume that I like whatever male friend I’m hanging out with or gushing about. And maybe that’s the problem– that I do gush over some of my guy friends. When I do that, it’s hard for others to believe that I genuinely don’t like them in the “I want to date you and marry you and live happily ever after” way.

One part of me understands that. I can see why the way I talk about or show care or attach myself to some of my male friends could be misconstrued as a romantic affection.

But the other part of me just gets so frustrated. Most of the time, the frustration is aimed at people who don’t believe me, no matter how many times I tell them. But today, the frustration is toward me. I’m not mad at myself or anything, but it’s just frustrating. Because I know people are confused because I honest to goodness cannot describe how I am feeling. I can’t put into words the difference between being in love with someone and loving them deeply but feeling no romantic attraction. And it’s hard for me to describe how deeply I care for these friends because I know it will be misunderstood.

For example, I had breakfast with one of these friends today. He talked almost the entire time so I was privileged to just listen and watch him as he spoke. I was able to sit and stare back into his blue eyes with pupils that, quite honestly, are much larger than what I’ve seen on anyone else. It’s like he’s in a black room and his eyes are searching desperately for light. I was able to observe the way his brow pulls together sometimes when he’s confused or didn’t quite hear me, the crease in his forehead slightly off center. I sat fighting a smile from forming because I was thrilled to be sitting across from him and to be listening to the way his voice rose and fell gently as he explained his new job to me. The way he automatically took the check and the smile on his face as I convinced him to let me pay. His short burst of a laugh. The fullness in my chest at the happiness and contentment of being near him again…

And now you think I’m in love with him.

And I understand that! But you have to just take my word for it.

It’s just… my heart doesn’t quite beat on it’s own. Instead, it hears and replicates the patterns of the beating hearts around me. It seeks to create a beautiful harmony that our ears are simply not privileged to hear. And I can feel the pull– the grip– of other hearts on mine. Ah, I wish I could describe the feeling! But truly, there are no words. And while there is no romance, there is a love much deeper than can be expressed.

So, I understand the confusion. But again, take me at my word. Everyone else might be confused but, for once, I am not. My Lord calls us to love each other- he didn’t say only love those you’re attracted to. Never did he say to only cherish your crush. No. He said love your neighbor.

Plus, let’s be honest: If I liked someone, I wouldn’t be gushing about them. I mean, come on! I’m not that forward!

-Melissa

Missing you.

It’s hard to say when my mood dropped.

It could have just been when I realized how tired I was. When I noticed my energy had left.

It could have been when someone started paying a little too much attention to me, the alcohol in him letting him speak more easily, more freely than normal. It could have been when he made a place on the couch for himself beside me- too close to me- and then talked my ear off. About nothing. The strongest parts of his personality showing themselves without apology. Mind you, those are the obnoxious parts of his personality. It could have been when I literally moved to a different part of the house and he followed me. Three times.

But it could have been when I turned to my friend and, from the side, with the light just right, he somehow reminded me of you. Of the smile I missed terribly. I’d had to squeeze my eyes shut against the familiarity and turn away.

I’m not supposed to miss you still. It’s been three and a half years. I’m not even the same person you knew. I’m not supposed to still get glimpses of you when I least expect it. When I haven’t even seen you in months. But I do. I can’t even say I wish I didn’t. Because I feel like I need to remember you, because I never want to forget you. Because, honestly? Remembering you might be painful, but the thought of forgetting you is so much worse.

Missing you.

-Melissa