to my ex-best friend

photographed at the sfmoma in san francisco, california

I thought our friendship was forever. I thought that it’d last a life time. I was wrong.

We met when we were three because we had both just moved into our grandparents’ homes. We lived two blocks away from each other and our bond was instant and effortless. From the beginning, I believed that you would be my best friend till the end of time. We got through elementary school, middle school and our first two years of high school together. Whenever we drifted even the slightest, one of us would pull the other back in.

I remember jumping off the stairs with you at your house and I remember when we would climb onto the balcony at my house. I remember when I helped you prepare for your advanced choir audition in middle school; I made you stand in the bathtub because “the acoustics were better in there”. I remember playing badminton in heels with you in front of my house before our choir concert and spraining my ankle; you took care of me the entire concert. I remember spending every single first- and last-day-of-school with you and your family. I remember playing volleyball with you at the park near your house. I remember the mean kid who would stare us down whenever we would sit at the benches. And I remember spending pretty much every single one of our birthdays with each other.

But then came our third year of high school. Nothing was different at first but then something happened. I guess we both changed. We met new people and we both began growing in different directions. Change is inevitable. But it was hard for me to accept that change was leading me to lose my best friend. We managed to make it through junior year together but senior year is when the real damage begun. We still hung out, but there was something different about it all. We surrounded ourselves with new people. You did so because you really felt that connection. I, on the other hand, pushed to create those connections because I felt lonely and I felt like you just abandoned me.

I pushed so hard and fought so hard for our friendship. I didn’t want 14 years of friendship to be thrown away so easily. I kept fighting but I felt like I received nothing in return. Us hanging out felt so forced — something I had never felt with you ever before. It scared me so much but just when things were going bad, you gave me a sliver of hope. The hope was false.

I guess deep down, I already knew that the close bond we had before was gone, but I couldn’t face the truth. I wanted to preserve our friendship so badly; I was willing to do anything. But, there is grace in letting go. It was time for me to let go of a friendship that no longer existed. I had to stop fighting for it.

Sure, we still shoot each other a text every once in a while, but it’s not the same. Who knows if you’ll ever read this, but if you do, I hope you know that you will always have a place in my heart and life. Miss you and love you always.

N.