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Dear Stranger,

Do you remember me? Do you remember when we were inseparable friends who sought advice and assurance from each other? We found comfort in each others’ company; we felt safe. There was nothing we did not share with each other (almost nothing). In our closeness we became brutally honest, but we could take it, only from each other. The way siblings treat one another, brutally honest topped with love and understanding. We supported one another, defaulted to movie nights together, and kept no secrets. We were comfortable in our goofiness and rejection of the society’s definition of “maturity.” (Only those who keep the children alive in their hearts are truly mature.) We looked out for each other and solved each others’ problems like a team. We defended each other.

But now you are a stranger.

And often, I feel I am to blame. We are humans and we make mistakes. We are humans, and we grow and change. But I was naive. When you made decisions I saw as mistakes, I did not forgive you. The bigger your “mistakes” grew, the more I crucified you. I blamed you. Friends don’t tell friends “I told you so,” but I did. Slowly but surely I wedged a wall of silence between us. Slowly but surely I ripped apart our connection (some days I worry that I ripped apart your heart, but I know you are strong). I mounted my high horse when you needed a confidant, a shoulder, and advice. I shamed you when you needed forgiveness. And one day, the break was weighing down upon us; our demise as partners in crime, imminent.

And the guilt runs through my blood like lead, weighing me down as I walk along memory lane. I want to apologize but I believe it is too late. I want to apologize, but our former selves are ghosts in the past and we would not recognize each other as we stand today. And it is my guilt to live with, for not helping to carry your load (and only adding to it). Maybe I do not deserve the opportunity. And maybe it was a lesson. To remind me the better decisions to make. We are all human. We all make mistakes. We are all broken. We are all deserving of forgiveness. Because those who can forgive are the strongest. Those who do not are weak. And I have chosen never again to be weak. I thought I was being strong, and defending the weak. But hindsight is 20/20 and I was somehow blind to see your weakness.

Still I hope the best for you. And I hope someday we might cross paths and acknowledge our naivete and stubbornness. But I still want you to know that you were a great friend, whom I won’t forget, a best friend in the glory days.

Peace be with you, Stranger.

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