Open Letter to the Friend Who Quit

Dear Friend,

I know you won’t read this, but I wish you would.

You were quite brave to tell me that I’m too much for you. That after 15 years of friendship you just can’t handle how intense I am. That you want out.

Of course, I wish you had told me a year ago, when you stopped answering my calls and emails. Because you left me thinking for thirteen months that you were hurt, depressed, overwhelmed, or insulted. It would have been nice for you to stand up for yourself back then, so I didn’t spend all that time offering support and love, of the sort that we’ve always offered each other. That you offered me so many times that I was in desperate need. That I really owed you and would have gladly given if you’d ever picked up the phone.

And though you severed ties several months ago, made it clear that you wanted nothing to do with me, I miss you. I love you.

You’re in everything here…in the wine glasses I rarely use but still remember fondly as a “You’re Better Off without Him” present given more than a decade ago. In the food processor I’m using now to make baby food, that you sent when you found out I was making Peanut’s baby food with a small grinder. You’re in one of the four books I keep on my desk because they make me ache desperately to write. You’re in the felt pizza you sent Peanut, the blanket you sent just because, and the muslin blanket you sent Butter (once I finally got you to respond to an email and you admitted to having avoided me for more than a year). You’re in randomness of every day, large and small, most of which you’ve probably forgotten, but all of which occupy space in my life and say to me that you thought of me. Past tense. Done. Over. Regretted, I guess, and wasted. But not for me.

Damn it, you’re everywhere around here. Except where it really counts: in person, in spirit, and in friendship.

And I’m so mad and hurt and bitter.

But I’d forget it all in a minute if you’d just call or write.

Because I love you.