She wasn’t in my life for very long, but we crossed paths at a critical point in my journey; when I was making the transition from college life away from home to adult life close to where I grew up. I was looking for a good friend, but more than that, I was subconsciously looking for someone who was on my level when it came to having fun. Someone whose energy matched mine. Somebody who could party with me, ride with me, and just chill with me.
See the thing is, you can have many different kinds of friends, but it is so very rare to find those friends you can have uninhibited fun with and get into trouble with. Leaving college meant leaving those friends behind to a certain extent. I couldn’t just pick up the phone and drive over to them, or stumble across the hall in the dorm to their room.
So connecting with her breathed new life into me. After college, I thought I had to get serious and get ready to settle down. Get a job, marry my college boyfriend, and move in with him. But deep down, it wasn’t what I wanted. Being with her showed me that there was still fun to be had, fun in the way I knew how to do it.
We had some really great times; excellent parties, great drives, we even traveled together on several occasions. Her influence went far beyond just going out and having fun. She played a strategic role in bringing me back to myself. I was lost for quite some time and wasn’t being truthful with myself. It was around this time that I realized I didn’t want to be with my college boyfriend anymore. We just weren’t a true fit. And soon after, I found my way into my future husband’s arms.
She folded pretty well into everything that was going on. We had a great circle of friends for a time. But things changed somehow. I was falling in love as her relationship was coming apart. She needed me. But the problem was I needed me, too.
So we started to argue. She’d be upset if I didn’t hang out with her. I was trying to balance it all and I kept coming up short. I remember her saying some truly horrible things to me, things nobody ever said to me before. In retrospect, I think that she was saying a lot of it to hurt me so that I could hurt as much as she did.
At some point, I couldn’t take what felt like verbal abuse anymore. I couldn’t let her hurt me anymore. Nothing I said or did made a difference. I couldn’t break through, and I couldn’t let her try to break me anymore.
So I said goodbye. And while part of me felt a sense of relief, I was deeply saddened by the loss of her in my life. I knew what I was losing but I had to say goodbye.
As the years have gone by the pain has faded away but I still think of her from time to time. I wonder what kind of trouble she’s getting into. I wonder what kind of trouble we could have gotten into together. I wonder if she thinks of me. I wonder how she remembers me.
I’ve thought of reaching out but her stubbornness rivaled mine and I just don’t know if we could ever have another chance. So for me, I choose to hold on to the good memories we made together. The fun friend, a kindred spirit.