I'm sad, but I cried those tears months ago. Today's conversation only made official what we've both known for months but didn't have the balls to acknowledge.
I have a lot I want to say. I have a lot I want to point at, yell, frame in flashing lights like a marquee. I won't, though.
Maybe her accusations are partially true. She seems to have forgotten some things. I won't forget what I know to be true, and I won't disrespect what was by trying to make her see my side. I loved her. I loved them all.
More than once, I compared her to Bob. I called him my male version of her. Driving home, I remembered that fact, and I thought with an ironic laugh, "Well, we see how things ended with him. Why should this surprise me?"
I wanted to call my mom. Mom has proven herself to be pretty dang good at reading people in the last few years; a skill I've never given her credit for (to her face) and have a hard time admitting (to myself). Why is it so hard, even as an adult, to listen to your mother?
I wrote her a letter. I actually sat down for an hour and hand-wrote a letter; the way she'd asked me to for so many years, her requests falling on my selfishly deaf ears. I wrote it, and it wasn't perfect, and i signed it, and sealed it, and addressed it, and stamped it, and dropped it in with the outgoing mail.
And then I came back to work, and her response was waiting for me, before she'd even had a chance to read my opus. My letter was a "blah blah blah" letter; but it was also a request, a plea, a peace-offering, a hope. "I miss my friend." How many times did i write that today? My letter was my attempt to save what was dying, to fix what was irreparably broken, to find what was lost. My letter was answered before it was ever touched by a postman, and I realize now that i was foolish, I was late, I was (again) naive.
I still don't think I was a bad friend.
I came home, ignored the urge to cry (those tears have come and gone, I promised myself), and took a nap. I slept away the hurt that comes from having a scab ripped off.
And then he was home and hugging me, and we were doing the dishes, and I told him all about it and he took my side, and that made me feel better, then Brennan called and is coming over and bringing a zombie movie, and the wine is helping and the smoke doesn't hurt, and...
and somehow, I'm still sad. I miss my friend.