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For Old Times’ Sake: Words I Cannot Say

Dear Friend,

How is it, that there are words I cannot say to you anymore? What words were there, that I couldn’t utter to your face, which now has become my own silent torture?

It had been weeks since I’d last seen you. I didn’t know how I felt about that. I don’t always think of you anymore, and you’re not often on the mind as of late. It was only when I walked by the elevators or took a wrong turn to where I know you are by accident, that your absence hits me.

It’s when I walk into an office and see your silhouette passing by. “Quick as a shadow, as swift as any dream,” are you doomed to be my phantom, a blurry memory.

I’m horrified, and I feel wretched writing this down because I’ve just realized something; I’m forgetting.

If I remain like this, I will soon forget the sound of your voice. I read something you once wrote, last night, and it was terrifying. I couldn’t recall what you sounded like. Half mad, I feverishly searched for a voice message, a video, anything that would remind me of how you spoke. Desperate times, friend, desperate times, indeed.

I found a little red clip when cleaning my room. It was lovely. It was yours. I didn’t even know I had anything that belonged to you in my room, but there it was, as new as the day you put it in my hair. Funny, how you didn’t notice when I had it cut. I should’ve known something was up when that happened. You can’t blame me for still wondering if I didn’t do enough to save us, should’ve done more. But you can’t say I didn’t knock on your door either. I did, you answered and we never got to talk. Had I only known what had been going on in that brilliant head of yours…

Make no mistake, about how smart you are. It saddens me to see how you’ve delved into self-deprecation because I know the insecurities that lie beneath the surface. No matter whom we become, I will always be glad to know that I met one of the strongest, kindest, gentlest people in my life, and not someone I’m likely to meet again. Thank you for holding me up with your strength when I had nothing left in me. I am not too eager to forget that about you.

Yet, as I sit basking in the sun after yesterday’s tremendous thunderstorm, I see you walk down those stairs, and across the halls, we used to tread together. For a minute I am mesmerized by the sight of you; still as beautiful as when I saw you last. Then, the wonder turns into concern. What has become of you? I apologize for my words, but darling you look like a bag of bone. As if life is slowly leaking out of you. Your aura was different too. No longer radiant, just…somber, and exhausted. How could you have lost so much weight?

It looked to unhealthy I was concerned. There was nothing more I wanted in that moment than to know what it was that was eating you alive. Have you been eating well? If not, tell me why, so we can fix it. My determined steps toward you began to shake. I leaned heavily on the pillar so as to stop myself. I’d forgotten my place once again. You had jilted me, and here I was, about to amplify your disgruntlement by appearing in front of you once more.

The words got stuck in my throat as I choked down my queries. It took a few minutes to gain my breath back, and calm my little hummingbird heart down as I realized yet again, that we were friends no more.

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