Last night, at a food court by the roadside:
“I think I love in moments… asking for forever is just too much. Maybe I think this way because of my friendship fractures in the past… if I’m to be completely honest – when I think of K, sometimes I’m hit by waves of nostalgia and melancholy; maybe this is the only period, lifetime, of our friendship. Only this year. Because the thing with friends who are with us in our coming-of-age and era of becoming – sometimes it is simply because we’re at the right place, right time… right moment.
Because life is fluid. Eventually, we all grow and progress. We move on. We move abroad. We enter different life chapters. There’s nothing wrong with us, and there’s nothing wrong with our friendship… that moment is simply no more.”
“I don’t believe that. I think if we’re true friends – across time, distance and life events, we’ll still stay close friends. Because I think of you and keep you in my heart, and likewise for you, with me. Things change, life is fluid – but that fact doesn’t.”
“I… don’t know…”
“I think you’ve a wall… you built it yourself.”
“Because forever hurts. Because people disappoint.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I… maybe you’re right. I built that wall myself. But it’s because of the friendships in the past… the most affecting one was in my last year of high school – six months to graduating. We were seven girls then six because one moved to a boarding school. Six months to high school, one of the girls – who’s a good person, one of the kindest I know, so as an adult now I understand that what she did was simply not nice – wrote something unkind about me on her blog. But because she’s always viewed as a kind person – no one believed she could’ve pulled it off. They thought it must’ve been me. And those girls, the rest… when it came down to it – they chose her by siding with her. They stopped talking to me. None of them… stood by my side.”
I looked away, letting my eyes wander on the passing cars.
“I think I love in moments because to believe in a forever… I can’t. Not anymore. Even the best of people leave; this is just how life works – we live and die alone, right? I think because of what happened with these girls… when a friend chooses to stay – when a person chooses me, I think that’s significant? And when I think of a person like K, whom I’ve a lot of admiration and respect for as an individual, who chooses to keep me as a friend in his life even though he doesn’t need to – because he’s well-liked by everyone and easily makes friends – I appreciate that. I value that a lot. It makes me think… ah, I’m worth something. I’m okay as a person. I know I shouldn’t… because I shouldn’t need this external validation, isn’t it?”
“Why do you say that about yourself?” My friend questioned. “You need to think more highly of yourself!”
“Of those five girls,” I continued, “at the time I was particularly close to three of them. The one who did what she did, her best friend, and this other friend of ours who was then my confidante. We’re all still friends, because I’m an adult now – but I wouldn’t call us close. I met that best friend of hers a few months ago – she recently came back home for good, so I agreed to meet and catch up. I think its been six years? I remember at one point I asked her, ‘How are your friends?’
She’d replied, ‘They’re your friends too,’ but I shook my head and ignored that.
‘No,’ I said, ‘How are your friends? They’re yours – not mine.'”
I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, but I refused to give in to them.
“Maybe I’m bitter, I admit that. Maybe that was also immature of me… Did you know they’re still close friends, until today? Rock solid. Some of them live overseas – yet their friendship is close as ever. Sometimes it still sucks, realizing this. Because now I know that their friendship is the real thing – but they took me out of the equation. Maybe I’ve a bit of a complex about friends who choose to stay in my life – who chose me – because these girls… they didn’t. I was left behind.”
“I am…” I began again. “I think I am difficult. Maybe it’s because I’m difficult? Always too critical… too this; too that. I’m difficult as a person, and I’m difficult to love. Sometimes I wonder, if I wasn’t, would they have chosen me back then?” (I need to learn to let the past go)
When I arrived home, I texted Eldest Sis.
My friend said this to me tonight, I wrote, which I thought was a surprisingly poignant and wonderful thing to say:
“I think you’re wrong: the easiest thing about you is that you’re easy to love. If you’re ‘difficult’ – not in this way.”
I stayed silent, unsure what to respond to that. Though truth is, internally – I was in tears.
This morning, Eldest Sis:
“See… you’re not always right about yourself :)”