Today is the birthday of someone who used to be quite dear to me. I would love to be able to text or call them to say wish them a happy birthday, or go shopping and find them the perfect gift.
This would be easier if this person had died, and was no longer part of my life that way. Unfortunately, this person quite suddenly took themselves out of my life.
We met the first day of my sophomore year of high school and were friends until they graduated two years later and we lost touch. We bumped into each other three years later and talked like we'd never been apart. We spent many hours and days together over the next two years. Not everyone else in my life liked this person, or approved of how they were currently living their life, but I defended them and continued to spend time with them. I thought I knew this person better than they ever could and thought that having them around was a blessing.
In many ways, they were. I needed a friend and this person provided that, at any time of the day or night.
Then I moved here. Slowly, but surely, this person stopped calling or texting me. If they did, more often than not, it was something stupid or inappropriate. Often in the middle of the night. I stopped responding to those, and when I confronted them, I was told "It's just a phase."
I didn't want a phase. I wanted my friend.
It was almost awkward to see them that first Christmas home. Eventually weeks would go between contacts. Finally, I called them in July to tell them I was coming home in a few weeks. They were excited for me and we talked for two hours. It was nice.
All my calls during my visit home went straight to voicemail. Any contact I've tried to make since then as gone unanswered.
I don't know why.
In hindsight, they weren't the best person to be around. I know that now. I probably knew it then. I don't regret the time I spent with them.
I just wish they were still around. I could always count on them for a laugh or to review the latest movie and all the other good things we shared. Maybe one day we'll share them again, but our relationship has been forever changed.
Happy Birthday, Smalls. Wherever you are.