"It just really surprises me how he doesn't talk to any of us anymore."
I laugh, "Why does it surprise you?"
"Well because we were all friends and he should at least try to maintain our friendship, even if it is just every once in a while." Our eyes lock and I shake my head, smiling.
"Taylor, you were never friends with him." I regretfully say, but nothing could hold me back from just venting the rest of the truth. "He was my best friend. He was my person. He and I were best friends for three years. We were utterly inseparable in a very toxic way honestly. But it was me and him. Not Sandra and him. Not Kathy and him. And definitely not you and him. The only reason the three of you ever met him was because I introduced you guys to him.
When he came over, it was always him and me together. If I left the house, he wouldn't stay back and talk to you guys- he would leave with me. Don't act like you guys were ever close, because you weren't."
Silence filled the room for a few minutes until she finally found the words to say, "Yeah, I'm sorry, I guess you're right."
I get up from the table and grab my lavender mug that had the words "My Favorite" engraved on it. She looks at the mug and looks back at me.
"Don't you miss him though?" she asks.
"Of course I miss him." I miss him every day, I thought to myself. Again, silence.
"Do you love him?" she asks. I stare at her, unresponsive. I look down at my mug and remember the day he bought it for me.
It was the first snowfall that year and we had been walking around all day. My hands were hardened and numb. I begged him to take a break from our adventure and share a cup of coffee with me from my favorite shop on the 6th. As we approached the shop, there was an abandoned homeless lady sitting right outside the shop, below the air vent that was fuming out hot air. She had a display of coffee mugs out in front of her that she made herself. They were all painted in a pastel lavender color, but each had a different saying on them.
We sorrowfully walked inside and bought, my favorite, two large salted caramel coffees and one large chamomile tea with a chicken, spinach, melted cheese panini. After we finished our coffees and my fingers finally felt blood circulating through them again, we walked back outside and handed the homeless lady the food and tea. She handed me a mug as appreciation, I insisted that it was unnecessary but she protested.
Suddenly Anthony looked at me and said, "Come on, you love mugs and it's your favorite color!" I laughed and finally agreed to accept it. He handed her a $20 bill even though she had done it out of courtesy, he demanded her to take it, so she did. The mug she had given me had the saying "Happy" on it. As Anthony looked at it, he wasn't satisfied.
"Ma'am, do you mind if I chose a different mug?"
"Honey, you can choose whichever mug you want." Anthony crouched down and reached over for one hidden in her bag, and in perfect condition it read; My Favorite.
"I've always loved him. But I could never love him the way he loved me."