It’s Over

What I didn’t say to my ex-best friend, and why.

I meant every word, but not for one second did I believe she’d take me up on it.

She didn’t.

She didn’t respond at all.

In February, my high school best friend reached out to me on Facebook. It was not a joyful reunion.

I still hesitate to call her my ex-best friend, because it doesn’t feel right. “Ex” implies some kind of final break, whether clean or messy, and there wasn’t one. Our friendship just… Trailed off, and her message sort of acknowledged that, saying that she was trying to figure out why we fell apart.

I let it sit in my Messenger inbox for a couple of days because I couldn’t figure out how I should answer that. There was so much I could say to her that I knew if I didn’t then, I probably never would have the chance to.

The phone works both ways; the point is that somebody reaches out at all.

I could have said that our friendship fell apart because we let it. I could’ve said that I don’t even remember what our last conversation covered, or who initiated that contact — because I don’t remember. Even if it was her, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s my turn next to reach out, because it shouldn’t matter who reaches out to begin with. The phone works both ways; the point is that somebody reaches out at all.

I wanted to point out that even if we were friends on Facebook (we’re not) or if we follow each other on Instagram (we don’t) she still couldn’t possibly know what’s going on in my life because what I put online is curated, just like most everybody else. If it makes any difference, I stopped following her on Instagram when I noticed that she wasn’t following me, and I think this message came shortly after I sent her a friend request on my new Facebook—which I deleted not long after this exchange, even though I don’t believe that being Facebook “friends” carries any kind of weight anyway.

I wonder when being friends in real life stopped carrying any kind of weight, too.

If I look back, things really changed after she moved away for college, and it’s a change I’ve already ruminated on. In saying that, I’m not saying it’s her fault. I’m not trying to place blame, here, but it feels worth pointing out that, over the years, I have always been the one to immediately and entirely accept the blame for anything gone wrong with our friendship. I think there were plenty of times when I was at fault. But there were other times when, perhaps, both of us could have shared the blame.

That’s part of the issue I take with the message she sent me: if you read it carefully, there is very little to indicate that she accepts responsibility for anything that went wrong.

I wonder when being friends in real life stopped carrying any kind of weight.

“I know you’ve missed out…”

“I have been angry for awhile that you never reached out…”

“I still didn’t hear from you when I needed a friend…”

In fairness, she does acknowledge that “we let our friendship disappear” — but the wording lumps me in with her, placing just as much blame on me as she accepts for herself.

She acknowledged that she had missed out on important things happening in my life, too, but then immediately had the audacity to assume that she can have any inkling of what’s going on in my life—with or without any kind of online connection (genuine as she might believe that to be, whereas I can only see it as superficial).

I just don’t understand the logic behind that one, I guess.

If she had any idea of what was going on with me, she might have known that I would write this sooner or later, and she might know where to find it if she wanted to read it. But the reality is…

The reality is that when she didn’t respond to my message, it told me absolutely everything I needed to know.

It told me that if she wanted to truly examine the history and the remnants of our friendship, she would have been willing to do so while not hiding behind a keyboard and Facebook.

If she really wanted to talk, she could’ve texted or emailed me, but she hid behind an app that was created to foster connection, but these days only fosters regression in real connection between people.

If she really wanted to look at our friendship and either acknowledge it, say goodbye to it, or attempt to repair it, she would’ve been willing to put herself in an uncomfortable situation by actually speaking with me — or even just responding to the message that I sent to say “This should be too important to entrust to something like Facebook Messenger.”

But she didn’t.

I said before that I hesitate to say “ex-best friend” because I never felt like there was that final break to signify the end of it. But maybe that’s what my message and her lack of response signify together.

I sent my response on February 18, and I know she read it that day, because that’s the benefit of Facebook Messenger — automatic read receipts. But since then, radio silence, and I guess that tells me one more thing that I should’ve known all along: it really is over.

I like to write things that make people uncomfortable.

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