After yesterday's run-in with an old college friend, I talked to a friend that knew us both during that time in our lives who helped me gain some perpective. She made some valid points that I think need to be said, and after this post, I will let it go. So here goes my own version of self-therapy. It might get gritty, but I think it's necessary to say everything so nothing can keep me from dwelling on the past/what-could-have-been.
This is my version from the very beginning.
It was the fall of my Junior year in college. I had spent the summer defying my parents over a boy who did even call me his girlfriend. That fall I started my first semester of writing for the school newspaper. There was a mix of people on staff, many outside my usual social circle, and I began making friends.
Early in the semester, my boyfriend told me he had cheated on me. His omission of guilt not only broke my heart, but it broke me. It just so happened that he told me via text message right before a weekly staff meeting of the school newspaper. Let's just say I was a wreck. Crying in front of people I barely knew.
Not long after that, my university experienced a school shooting. Two young boys died. It was terrible. The newspaper staff met that Monday, as usual, to get to work on the stories. I was assigned to write an obituary on one of the boys, and I was teamed up with a boy on staff who was to write the other.
I didn't have Facebook at that time because I was disaffiliated for sorority formal recruitment that spring. So we shared his Facebook account to get in touch with some friends and siblings of the two boys who died.
That was our first experience working together. Fast forward. If we were assigned stories that we didn't like or could go to, we would switch stories. He was my only ally when it came to the dreaded sports editor's hatred toward me. Sports editor would assign me sports stories, and we would switch it without mean ole sports editor's approval.
One week I was assigned to cover the opening of a new pizza place near campus. I asked everyone on staff if they wanted to come with me, and I only had one bite from a freshman girl. This boy felt sorry for me, saying that I would be miserable the whole time with her. So he offered to be a buffer for the awkward conversation that was sure to happen.
Little girl never showed. So we ate pizza alone.
I'm not really sure how we exchanged phone numbers, but I feel like it happened during the obit team writing. My memory fails me. But anyway, we started texting and talking on the phone frequently. All the while I was still crushed over my ex-boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend and I were still on-again-off-again for months after the omission of guilt. It was the longest break-up in the history of break-ups.
Boy from the newspaper and I talked pretty much regularly. It was almost like second nature. He was one of a few people who could make me laugh during the Dark Days.
Now this is where it gets hazy. I'm not sure how it happened. But boy from the newspaper feelings for me changed, and he started to like me as more than a friend. And he asked me on dates. Yes, dates. And I said no. Every time. I'm not sure of exactly what I said or how I said it, but I'm sure those words were burned into his memory. And I'm sure he can remember exactly how he felt when I said them.
I stand by my decision to not date him. I was a broken mess. He would have been a rebound guy, and I knew that. It would have been wrong. I cared too much about him to let him get mixed up in the craziness that was my life then. I would not have been a healthy relationship for either of us.
It was brought to my attention last night by my friend who knew us both that he may still be harboring those negative feeling and words I said to him so many years ago. For the past while, I've been hell-bent on he and I becoming friends again. But what if he doesn't want to be my friend again? Or even worse, what if he can't? I feel like that with people who have hurt me bad enough. Why can't he?
It's a sad realization when you see what-could-have-been flash before your eyes. (That happened yesterday.) But it's even worse when you realize that you can cause another human so much unintentional pain. (This happened last night and today). I would have never hurt him intentionally, but I hurt him nonetheless. That realization is the biggest slap in the face.
But we must remember that everything happens for a reason. We came into each other's lives to make change happen. And now we have both changed. So it wasn't all bad. But our friendship was lost along the way. It was one of those pure friendships that don't come along very often, and I'm sad that's gone.
And I think what if he's not the same as he use to be. What if he's changed so much that I won't recognize my old friend from college? I just have to remind myself that if he has changed so much so that I don't recognize him (personality-wise), then I was just a stepping stone in his journey to becoming the person he's suppose to be. And he was just a stepping stone for me to look back on and know I can only move forward. But I will always consider him a step in the right direction and a light during my dark days.
I am letting it go. There is nothing more to say on the matter. I've reached out to make contact with him via Facebook. And we had an impromptu meeting in Starbucks yesterday. But I fear our relationship will never fully recover. And that's ok. This will be the last mention of him on this blog. And with it goes the regret and sadness of the loss of friend.
I pray for you friend. That you find what you are looking for. That you become the person you are suppose to be. That you accomplish all the things you want in life. That you are infinitely happy.
IF you ever get the itch to contact me, you know how. And I would say don't ignore that itch. I'm not sure where I'll be IF you ever decided to do that, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to get some coffee or a Diet Dr. Pepper.
But for now, I bid you adieu.
Stay tuned, Bloggies. We go back to regularly scheduled posting full of grad school whoas and funny stories. Just had to have this moment of seriousness. Sometimes it's necessary. And in this case valid.
Be loving you guys. Thanks for staying with me while I think.
Until next time...