We don't say the words, not out loud anyway. There isn't the usual utterance of its not you, its me. There are no apologies or explanations. No definite goodbyes or clean cut endings.
We are simply left wondering what happened?
I should know better by now. Really, come on, I am not a naive school girl anymore. I have been down this path a time or ten. And admittedly, it does not hurt as much this time ... but it does hurt. The ending of another grown up friendship.
I guess it hurts because each time I think this time will be different. We'll be best friends forever - just like Lucy and Ethel. Or Jennifer and Courteney - or even Oprah and Gayle ...
Well, without the fame, the cash, the cameras - of course. But we'll vacation together, we will bring our husbands, but really it will be all about what we want to do. We'll have spa days and girls only nights out ... We'll prop each other up when we're down. Be the only person to tell it like it is. Recommend great recipes, tear articles from the newspaper, trade weight loss secrets, buy each other trinkets when we are out of town.
It's like we are friend dating ... there is that, almost obsessive, need to check in daily. We talk for hours on the phone - sharing our hopes, dreams, fears ... our scars, our nasty truths ... things we would never dare share unless we knew this was forever.
hmmm. I laugh now. What is forever? In terms of friendship anyway. I know there are people who have friends for a lifetime. I am certain there is a secret to their ability to stick together forever.
I haven't discovered it yet. Heck, I haven't come close ...
Again, I have to say, this isn't how I thought it would be. I thought my friends from my 20's would be my friends always. But then we all grew apart - marriages, babies, new jobs, moves, divorces. There was a sting with each loss. An ache for what was.
In my 30's I thought I had found my forever friends - sort of like the adopted children who search for their forever families. We became each others families, when our own didn't quite measure up. But now, one by one, these friendships are fading as well. There is still a sting, an ache, with each loss. It just isn't as profound.
It could be said, and I will recognize it sooner than later, that these friendships come in and out of my life, our lives, at just the moment we need them. They serve a purpose and then vanish when life's needs change.
I didn't expect to lose this particular friendship so soon. I could feel it coming the last few months ... the canceled dates, the vague answers during conversations ... yes, I suppose I knew it was coming but like the naive teenager in love, I thought we could work it out. If I just tried harder, gave her some space ... I guess not.
This morning was confirmation of what I should have known ... I went to your door, we were supposed to have coffee and chat - kids in tow ... you weren't home. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, I waited ... LittleMiss crying because she knew this was her day to play with FancyGirl. Finally, I call your cell phone - you answer sheepishly, like you know the call is coming and will deal with it because you have to ... but ...
I know at that moment. We.are.done. You say you forgot. I know you didn't - we spoke yesterday. I hear it in your voice. I heard it yesterday too. Something in our friendship isn't working for you ... I have a guess, but that's all. I can speculate, but it doesn't change the outcome.
And although it does hurt less this time, there is still the ache for what was.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. - Ecclesiastes