What it is to be a friend

I used to think that friends were there so you had someone to hang with, to laugh with, to do crazy stuff with—they were there so you wouldn’t feel lonely.

After years of, what I believe to be, personal growth, I realize friends are there because you have a level of connection. Maybe it’s an inside joke only the two of you get or an experience you’ve shared, whatever it is, there has to be some kind of glue that holds you together. The more shit you’ve gone through the gluey stuff keeps getting stronger.

So why is it that friendships can still fall out?

Honestly, I always thought that we had each others’ backs but I guess we were too young to know what it meant. Sometimes I remember the days we’d laugh at the most random thing we could think of. Don’t worry though, I don’t feel pain or sadness. All I feel was that I wasted too much of my time being there for you even if you could hardly do the same.

So yes, I never asked for anything and maybe you thought I didn’t need you to be there, but that was just because you never made me feel like I could ask. It never even felt like you would be able to help me.

I don’t see those years with hatred, like I said, all I see is wasted time.

I do know why it was we were growing away from each other, and it was that first time I said no. It must have been so shocking for you, hearing me say ‘No’ to you for the first time in years. You never said so, but I knew you were angry the next few days.

We’d met other friends, made other connections, I guess I wanted you to help yourself so I stopped doing everything you asked—and you asked for so much and always so sweetly. I wanted you to learn that you wouldn’t always have someone that would do your homework for you.

And I grew up.

You said I’d changed, that I didn’t seem like the same person, that I liked different things. I saw that too—I didn’t like studying just a day before the exam anymore, I didn’t like too much gossip anymore, long nights of staying up watching anime when I could have been studying seemed a bad idea. I grew up and I wanted you to as well. But you wouldn’t let me help you that way.

I wanted to teach you how to work things out yourself, you wanted me to just do the work. And then I wouldn’t help because I wanted you to learn. It was a vicious loop.

I understood nothing was working and I snapped one day. It was so sudden, years of friendship ended in one moment. There was nothing after, we’d gone from calling each other best friends to acting like we never met in a day. The next day we saw each other and looked away.

To tell you the truth, I don’t remember what your eyes looked like. I feel like I’ve never really looked at you. And yes I still hang out with my friends, laugh with them and do the craziest shit together but I don’t miss them when I feel lonely—I miss them in the middle of the day when the world is going through my mind, when I’m surrounded by too many people and I am having the greatest time, they pierce into my thoughts and I say to myself, “This would be even greater if they were here.”

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