There’s something to be said about long-standing friendships in the face of everything-that-wasn’t-supposed-to-be. If there’s one thing you learn about leaving school-school, it’s that you learn who your real friends are and then somehow it’s all meant to just slot into place. This handful of beyond good friends are the ones who you’ll graduate with, attend engagement parties with or for, all that weirdly grown-up stuff.
Only 30% of friends survive the 7-year friendship expiration date. And I never really believed that until now - the one that got away. This week’s Man Repeller Writers’ Club prompt is that:
If you love someone you’re supposed to let them go, right? Let them fly away with their metaphorical wings while you sit in a canoe and pray that you find a paddle to wade through your own tears. I’ve heard a few alternate endings to this saying, the first one is that if they come back, it’s meant to be. The second one is that if they come back you should feel free to light them on fire. Whatever it is for you — he/she/they/we/it/cat/blob — we want to know about The One That Got Away. And if The One did come back…what ending did you choose?Did I ever mention a friend that I no longer speak to? (Who am I kidding? I talk about him all the time here because it’s easier in the digital vicinity than to admit it IRL.) We met 7 years ago under kinda strange pretences: he’d seen me around college and spied me on those People You May Know lists on MySpace and I was a shy, gawky, naive girl with no social skills. Like, none. At this point I can probably interject myself and say I basically almost became a Catfish victim. Regardless, we were the most unlikely pairing with all the right things in common (teenage laziness, not going out, anime, manga, cookies, an affinity for big stretches of water…).
And despite all of our unlikelinesses, our friendship withstood things like me moving 110 miles away, realising his best friend was MY best friend’s ex, accidentally falling in love with each other, him finding a girlfriend and not telling me, me finding a boyfriend and actually telling him, me moving home, both of us hating our jobs and getting new ones in exactly the same week.
If you love someone, you’re supposed to let them go. I think this year was breaking point for me. The moment I moved home from Uni, he’d been there for me. I can’t remember Home: Round 2 (a.k.a. post-Uni) before him - I don’t know how to be here without him. Losing a best friend who knows you better than you know yourself is the worst. I think it’s even worse when there’s a very real possibility of you bumping into him and knowing there is an 88.75% chance he won’t bat an eyelid and say hello to you. The One That Got Away? He's my best friend and he hasn’t come back yet and I’m about to go. I don’t know what the ending will be or if it is choose-able.