When it comes to arguments between friends, it's always hard to make a decision on where you stand. Most of the time we avoid having to "pick a side" so that we don't lose either party in our lives, but sometimes we act without thinking and then regret it later on.
What's harder than picking a side between two friends is picking a side between your friend and your significant other, and I wish I had never been put in that position pretty much every day.
I know throughout a lot of our friendship we were never extremely close. We'd go through periods where we would be around each other consistently, and then we'd go through periods where we'd barely talk to each other.
Through it all, though, I knew you were someone I could call a friend no matter what.
I can't remember how things went down exactly, and maybe that's for the better. I don't know the words said or the way that they reflected every hidden and buried emotion I'd ever felt from every small, insignificant argument.
What I do remember is how I was looking for a way out. Not because I was tired of our friendship, or because I didn't want it anymore, but because it was becoming exhausting seeing the person who was supposed to love me more than anything try to turn me against someone who had always been good to me.
I never said anything about it, because it really wasn't my place to (or so I thought.) Your friendship with him was a good one, and I knew that you appreciated it and cared for him in a way that I only wished you'd care for me.
There were times where I felt jealous of how close the two of you became because I always regarded you as my friend and it seemed like you were becoming his friend more and more with each passing day.
Maybe that's why I kept my mouth shut when he would make small remarks to me behind your back. Maybe I was trying to convince myself that meant our friendship was eons more important than yours and his because I could never say what he would say.
Regardless, it slowly but surely got to be too much for me to handle anymore, and I guess that's what made me act the way that I did,
When you fought with him, I didn't expect to be put in the middle. I didn't expect the fight to last, seeing as I thought the two of you were inseparable, and I wasn't trying to burn bridges with anyone over something that would be forgotten within a few days.
However, it didn't take him long to seize the opportunity. It seems he was looking for a reason to finally lead me away from you, from the friendship we'd had for eight years, and control every part of me. If I had been smarter, I wouldn't have allowed it to happen, but I comfort myself by saying we all make mistakes--some worse than others.
We never had a final argument. We didn't say things to each other that were unforgivable and we didn't get to see one another sink so low by digging up all the secrets we'd held over the years. Sadly, that fell on someone else, another friend who was only trying to defend me from what was allegedly happening (according to my S.O. at the time) and I can say with 100% certainty that I was the reason your friendship with her ended.
I don't think I've ever said it, but I'm sorry about that, too.
What we did have was a clean break. We cut each other off and we didn't look back. You moved on with your friends, living your life, and I did the same. Sometimes I would get the urge to talk to you again, to mend things, but I knew it was pointless because of everything that had happened, so I put it off.
By the time I finally swallowed my pride and made the first move, too much time had passed for it to be repaired as if nothing had occurred, and that's another mistake I made.
I think the hardest part of losing you wasn't the fact that you weren't around anymore, seeing as we had barely seen each other since we both walked that stage together. It was the fact that someone who had been a part of my life for almost a decade suddenly wasn't anymore. It was the fact that all of the memories we made together were suddenly bittersweet, and that going forward, I wouldn't be able to talk about the good old days without remembering why they came to an end.
Even harder was when my toxic and doomed-from-the-start relationship came to a permanent end and I didn't have you to talk to. You had always got me through the hard times with him, talked me down from some of my saddest highs, and it was lonely to go through it without you.
Once I made it through that time of my life, of which I am so grateful to have gotten over and been able to grow from, I couldn't help but wonder if there was a chance we'd ever be friends again.
I knew it was a long shot, and I knew I had to keep my expectations low so I wouldn't be disappointed if you wanted nothing to do with me (let's face it, I wouldn't either) but I tried anyway. And now that we're at a good place, with everything that happened put behind us and moving forward with whatever friendship we've been able to create, I'm thankful that I did.
I know we're never going to get the friendship that we once had back. Any chance of that happening faded in the time it took me to apologize with my tail between my legs and I have accepted it. But I also know that friendships like ours, they're not ever completely erased.
Because even when we weren't speaking, when everything was at its worst and when I didn't think we'd ever go back to a time when it wasn't, I was never able to pretend you didn't exist.
Much like the graffiti marks you left on my bedroom wall the day of our senior prom, some things don't come out even when they're scrubbed and scrubbed forcefully.
I think that's why we've been able to be OK now. And even though things will always be semi-awkward and we'll always be sort-of distant, your presence in my life, past and present, is as vivid as the colors on my wall.
And for that, I am thankful.