In elementary school, you were my lunch-time buddy. We’ve known each other for so long, I can’t even remember a time without you in my life. At birthday parties, I latched onto you like a security blanket. It’s not that the other kids didn’t like me or anything, it’s just that I liked you that much. I didn’t want to waste my time with anything else. It was so obvious I only had eyes for you, even at seven years old.
In middle school, we made more time for each other. Although we were getting older, and “cooler,” I still fell into my habit of you and honestly don’t regret it. No longer were playdates arranged by Mom -I was old enough to be responsible for my own plans now. If I wanted to see you seven days a week, I could see you seven days a week. You were the love of my life, and losing you was a thought I couldn’t bear. Even in eighth grade, when I found out I was going to a different school, you didn’t let our friendship waiver. I was only 14, but you can be in love at 14, right?
In high school, I figured out you weren’t very healthy for me. You were a guilty pleasure that I too often indulged in. After 36 hours of dance a week and endless tests and college tours, I needed you as a break. Maybe you weren’t good for me, but without you, I wasn’t as happy. Contemplating letting go, a drunk me never let that happen. It was impossible to let go. College applications and acceptances were upon us, but I didn’t let it interfere. I was 18 and stubborn, and you made me too happy to just desert.
Freshman year of college, you made my stomach churn. You were no longer a short walk away, but a phone call. Either way, you were worth it. I went to you in stressful times and in celebration, though you weren’t by my side as quickly as you used to be. Maybe you weren’t there for all of the little things, but you showed up when I needed you. We said we’d be there for the big moments, and you absolutely were. When I didn’t do well on an exam, you showed up at my door. When I was home for breaks, we saw each other every day, as if nothing had changed. But I felt it in my stomach, I felt it when I would see you at dinner and then run home in tears -things had changed and I could no longer deny it.
They say, “if you love something, let it go.” They say, “if it’s meant to be, they will come back.” This time, though, through trials and tribulations, I knew I had to give up and just move on. Deciding whether or not to like the Instagram of you is a battle I constantly face. I walk into the bathroom and have PTSD, remembering all of the nights I cried in there because of you. Too often, when I’m drunk with lowered inhibitions, my finger scrolls to your contact name and lingers there for a while.
Should I call?
Should I just give in?
Should I just order the damn pizza?
I’m not sure if this lactose intolerance is a phase, but dear god I hope so. We’ve been through every birthday party, ACT exam, college acceptance, and drunk cry together. I miss you, Dairy. I miss your milk and cookies, grilled cheese, pizza pie, pancake goodness. I’ll be waiting for you.