The Reluctant Mermaid

one woman unwilling to swim in the same direction as the others


I still miss her

We were soul mates. We loved each other and were devoted to each other solely. She was my dearness and I, well... I'm just not sure what I was to her- because she let me go, just like that she let me go. Of course, I hurt her- I was untruthful to her, I was suddenly not the person that she knew, not the one she knew inside and out.
We were 16, best friends for 4 years and then, like that... not.
I miss her still so much.

We lived in each others clothes, ate Smartfood and Andy Cap's cheese fries on Saturday afternoons watching rented movies themed on dance or gymnastics or some other silly girl thing. We named our future children, picked out the upholstery (matching each other of course) for our future couches, chose which street we would have adjoining houses on. We went to Florida and stayed with her grandmother, had pages and pages of memories that we wrote of that blissful silly time and the amazing laughter that we shared. She came with my family camping, when we still WERE a family. And then we weren't. We weren't a family and she went through that with me, her whole family, who had become my safe harbor went through that whole thing with me. And then I changed, as was probably expected with a terrible trauma and a tender age. I went nuts, crazy over boys, over illegal substances, over bad influencing friends... and I became someone else. And she tried to keep up with me, she tried to pull me back a few times but I was so far gone into the sea of my own pain that I couldn't hear her call from the shore.
And then it happened. I went too far and wound up crazed out of my mind, caught in the net of drugs and lies and hurt and she had to walk away. I know she had no choice- she had to walk away from me because I was hurting her- I was hurting myself and she had to stay the good one.
I. Never. Hurt. So. Much. At the same time that I felt abandoned, I knew that I deserved that. I've never stopped missing her. I've never stopped thinking of her, especially now that I have children with different names than the ones we chose all those years ago. She was suppose to be "Auntie".

She's back in town. I see her occasionally. She married the love of her youth and I am so happy for her, but I can't share that happiness. She zips around town in her powder blue convertible and I visualize myself in the passenger seat, head tilted back caught in a moment of hilariousness that only two lifetime friends can share. But alas, it's just a dream... a silly fantasy that fades the minute she catches my eye and her lips tighten in instant disgust and dissapproval. See... she hates me. She still thinks I'm that person, and I'm not. But she doesn't care, she's over me. I'm not over her though- I still tear up thinking of her and it's been almost 17 years. Last night in fact, I cried- I outright cried in the lateness of the evening while alone with my thoughts. Those tears spurred this post.

One thing that I did after she was done with me was to take those pages of memories that we had written out. I sealed them up in an envelope and gave them to a friend who was going to Paris and making a stop at Jim Morrisons grave. Jim Morrison was, once upon a time, a vehicle for me to let myself feel pain. Through the music, through his poetry- his dark, sad, angry poetry I found a way to release so much of my hurt. I felt like he took the words out of my mouth sometimes. The only difference is that his pain destroyed him. My pain allowed me to let go and move on. Well, somewhat anyways.
My friend carried that envelope to Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery, placed it on his headstone for me and took the above picture to show me that she had done so. For a while that helped me in the grieving process... but now, I see her. I see her and I want to talk to her. I want her to see me for what I am today, I want her to know how much I miss her... how sorry I am, how much I love her still.
It's hard for me to believe that despite loss of love relationships, loss of family and other friends... THIS is my greatest loss and my deepest pain.

Any thoughts anyone?


Just Jen said...

That is really sad. Could you write a letter? You write beautifully. Maybe explain your side and just maybe, she'll meet for a coffee and you two could catch up again. I hope it works out for you!

Anonymous said...

I was going to say what JustJen already said. Write to her or email her. At least that way you will know that you tried to reach out and not wonder if maybe you should have. If she doesn't respond then it wasn't meant to be. But at least you would know that you tried.

Tricia said...

Talk to her. Life is way too short.

I think I've told you guys about my bf from high school. we had a silly falling out over her not being in my wedding. We ran into each other and have slowly been rebuilding our friendship. Oddly enough, we picked up where we left off.

Tyra said...

First off - I want to tell you that you are a beautiful writer. I love to read what you write! You are so talented. One day I want to be able to express myself as well as you do. I want to write like you except spell all the words wrong!

Now more on subject - What do you have to loose by approaching her and telling her how you feel? If what you perceive is true and she does dislike you then what are you scared of, her disliking you more? How would that feel any different? But what do you have to gain by talking to her and telling her how you feel?

Your perception of how she feels is just that, YOURS. She hasn't told you these things. She may be hurting just as much inside and doesn't know how to express it. You have nothing to loose but so much to gain. She was reaching out to you when you wern't able to reach back. Maybe now its your turn to reach out for her. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

liz said...

i totally get this post, but from a different angle. I had a best friend in HS that I am still sad about sometime and miss, no one made me laugh more. only she was the one making different choices and sort of pushed me away for having to be 'the good one'. i have even tried to reach out to her over the years and never get a call back. I worry where she is now and what she has become, but mostly miss her and love her no matter who she is today.
maybe we should write our old friends a letter and put the ball in their court?