The Attic Of My Heart
Why our friendship must come to an end
My dear S.,
there where times in the past twenty years that I loved you more than anything or anybody. More than I loved my family, more than I could have ever loved a man. You were the first person I trusted 100%. I would have trusted you with my life. You know I don’t believe in soul mates, so please take it as the compliment it is, when I say that you were the closest thing to a soul mate to me.
For the past two years I have thought about ways to rekindle our old friendship, find a way back to how things used to be between us. When everything came crashing down and I finally had some time on my hands to think about everything that has happened in the past decade, I found myself missing you more than was healthy for me. I missed our friendship. I missed our conversations — the deep talks as much as our silly ones. I missed having somebody by my side who was just like me. Somebody who shared my views on the world and felt the pain and insecurities I felt. I missed you. So fucking much, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Ten years ago I thought nothing would ever come between us — nothing could ever come between us. I was certain we would always be us. You and I — a friendship so solid, it made rocks jealous.
But something did come between us.
Pain. Mostly mine, though I have to admit, I never gave your pain enough thought. I was so consumed by mine that I never really thought about the hurt I caused you. I believe it’s too late to say I’m sorry now, after all these years, because it won’t make you unhurt.
All those times you called and I didn’t pick up the phone, because I couldn’t stand another “I’m so sorry, hang in there, it will be fine”… You tried again and again, proving that you were the better friend. The bigger person. You didn’t give up on me for years, and I’m sorry I gave up on you, on us, so carelessly.
Was it careless, though? I don’t know. I just tried to cope with all the shit that was happening.
The one thing I valued most about our friendship was that we were the same. We were both the same kind of weird and what made it so easy for us, was that we had each others back in our weirdness. We were each others safe zone.
And then you moved away, things with my dad got worse and eventually our dynamic changed. You weren’t within reach, although you reached out. I didn’t reach back. I couldn’t. I really couldn’t. I might sound like a lame excuse, but it really is not.
There was nothing more you could have said or done. You were helpless, and so was I. It was hard enough dealing with my own helplessness, I could not deal with yours too. It’s only understandable you stopped calling. In a way, I think it made me respect you more. I don’t know, it sounds stupid… but I think if you had not stopped calling, I would have eventually ended up thinking things like “My god, does this woman not have an ounce of dignity in her body?”. Is that evil? Maybe. Maybe I’m saying that because I know I wouldn’t have tried as hard as you did. Like I said, you were the better friend…
I really have considered talking to you about everything, thought about explaining myself. In my mind, I played out the perfect Netflix series: I would be sitting on my couch on a lonely friday night, thinking about our friendship and how much I missed you. All of sudden it would hit me: I can fix this! I CAN fix this and I’m GOING to fix this! I would say to myself. In a euphoric rush I’d buy a train ticket online, grab my purse, rush of and six hourse later I would be knocking on your door — soaking wet, because of course it would have started raining and who would have thought of packing an umbrella, when trying to win back the only friend that ever mattered?! You would have been surprised but so happy, because secretly you were hoping I would one day come to my senses. We would talk things out all night long over multiple cups of tea, cuddled up in a cozy blanky on your couch, and, naturally, cry a lot. In the end, we’d hug things out and everything would forever be the way it was ten years ago.
It never happened and it’s not ever going to.
Because this is real life, not fucking Netflix.
In real life, people are cowards. In real life, people don’t want to scrape old wounds. In real life, people have moved on, knowing some things are better left unsaid.
I have often wondered if we could have brought this friendship back to life. The dreamer in me wants to believe we could have, the realist knows that we have become too different. We have grown into two different kinds of weird and our kinds of weird don’t match anymore. No matter how pretty she once bloomed, a flower that’s wilted has lost its appeal.
Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But it’s true.
You will always have a very special place in my heart and I will forever love you and cherish the wonderful memories we have made. But it’s time to let you go. It’s time to let us go. You and I are in the past. That’s were we belong, that’s were we will be everlasting.
In the present you are living your life, and I — well, I’m lost. I’m lonely. I’m alone. And that’s okay, although it really isn’t, because it sucks and it hurts and it scares me.
But tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after that — that’s the future. My future. What it holds? I have no fucking clue. I’m trying to figure that out. Figure myself out. And I cannot possibly do that if I keep holding on the the good, the bad and the ugly from the past.
You always hear and read about letting go of the past, and how the past is just a story we keep repeating to ourselves. Our friendship is a story I kept repeating to myself. If you want to let got of the past, you have to let go of the pain of your past — but you also have to let go of the pleasure of your past.
The pleasures of the past belong where wonderful memories are stored away best: the attic of the heart.
That’s where I will keep you. I have put you in the prettiest box my love could create and stored you away safely. I’ll visit from time to time to rummage through that box and dust it off. This will be my way of showing you that I will always care. But I will have to make myself forget about you first. I hope you understand.
I love you. Always.