You always saw the best in me, that I was trying to be the best version of myself in that moment. You believed that I continued with that same effort even after you went away for school. But when you came back after those four years, the look in your face and the silence in our conversation revealed everything all at once. We changed. In very big and extremely small ways, we changed into two different human beings, with some aspects now a mystery to each other. But it was no mystery that I was broken and torn, far from the best version of myself that you envisioned. I remember that it took you a few moments to compose yourself, to organize the words that you wanted to say, the words of encouragement that I readied myself to accept with a halfhearted smile and forget shortly afterwards. But instead of saying anything, instead of doing what I expected, instead doing something that is so you, you said nothing at all and hugged me. And for a second time, everything was revealed. We changed in many different ways, but our friendship remained the same. By saying nothing, it was a reminder that I could come to you, that I could confide in you when I felt like I was falling out of place. In that moment, I could do nothing more than cry. I never got to properly thank you for that. So I just want to say, thank you.
You saved my life and I thought you should know,
Relationships are beautiful, but not all of them last forever. Sometimes they end in a fiery crash, leaving the two people involved injured and hurt beyond repair. They can end with a warm goodbye, a mutual understanding that the relationship is now over and that it’s better to go their separate ways. And sometimes, they can end with silence, a silence that’s deafening and suffocating and surrounds you on all sides.
And maybe that’s the hardest way to say goodbye. At least to me. No matter how many questions you may ask to your pillowcase as you bury your head into it at night, no answers come out or are revealed. Then you’re left with your imagination and sometimes that can be far worse than the truth. You see faults in yourself, faults in the relationship, faults in the other person. Everything becomes an arrow towards the end and you begin to contemplate whether you were ever enough. You begin to wonder what sequence of events could have occurred to have caused everything to go wrong. In your eyes, everything was perfect, but the ending proved that was far from it.
When it ends in silence, you’re left with a mountain of words and feelings that weighs down your heart. You wonder how you can express your thoughts in a way that someone will understand, but in the end, the words fade away into the darkness, never allowed to see the light of day. Sometimes those thoughts end up on a social media platform for the whole world to see. Sometimes it ends up on the wall of your favorite cafe, in hopes that they will see it and leave something behind, even if it’s simply “I’m sorry”. That alone would be enough. All you need is a conversation, a dialogue to get everything off your chest and to receive the closure that you so desperately desire. But all that remains are the words left unsaid.
It took me a while to understand why you felt the way you did. When you first came out to me, I took the route that most people mistakenly walk. I made the deadly statement that your life was a blessing in itself, that other people had it worse. That was my first mistake, the first sign that I did not truly understand at all. As the days crept on, you began to feel tense around me and I could feel it too. We began to tiptoe around each other, carefully constructing our sentences and answers for potential conversations that had yet to occur. However, we felt that it was necessary in order to maintain our friendship. Shared secrets became scarce, the way we looked at each other now tainted, our entire world shattered into pieces due to my insensitivity. Then when you confessed that you still harbored those feelings a second time, that’s when I took a step back. I tried to look at you as if nothing was wrong, but the sadness that was contained inside of your chest still existed. That much I knew. And because it didn’t disappear the first time, I was afraid that it would not disappear a second. The distance between us grew and I wondered if this was the right approach. I know now that it was not. But I took step after step after step back, until I couldn’t hear your shouts for help. For so many years, I couldn’t hear your voice and in the end, I thought I lost you. And that fear almost became a reality. Thankfully, someone heard your shouts of agony, your cries of despair. Thankfully, you are now so close to the word fine that it is almost tattooed onto your skin. Thankfully, you are alive. And that is something that I hope I can imitate.
Like you, I wish to remain alive,