Scrolling through some of files one night in an attempt to clean up digitally, I came across pictures of me and a very close friend, who we will call *Marc, and I get that familiar pang of nostalgia.
No, he isn’t dead, but with all that happened between us in the last two years, he might as well be; at least, to me.
I often do sit and wonder how a friendship that made it through a decade; that made it through puberty and all the milestones of teenagehood and our early twenties, that sat together on a beach at 2am talking about our dreams and fears, could just crumble.
I am prone to wondering about it, but then just as quickly as I daydream about the what-ifs of a rekindled friendship, I remember the pain that Marc caused me, the deceit he could breed, and I decide that I am better off forgiving, but never forgetting his acts, so that it does not bring me to that place of pain ever again.
Have you had a similar experience with somebody who used to be very close to you? Like, not even romantically, you two were just very good childhood friends, and somewhere along the way while growing up, the friendship just failed?
I feel the time and emotion I invested in that friendship was a waste, and I find that the more I remind myself of the pain I went through, the more I never have the desire to go back to being friends with Marc ever again, despite several situations with mutual friends that have provided the opportunity to do so.
Forgiving, but never forgetting.
I cannot speak for him on how he turned into such a snake at the time, but looking back on it now, maybe he was at a very bad place while the rest of our friend group wasn’t, but as to why he decided to single me out, I’ll never know.
It is 2015, and I’m well-travelled, having a steady income and career, and a blossoming relationship with a good man who I am still with right now, and Marc? Well, he was stuck. With his job, his love life, and his income.
That’s as far as I’ll go in describing his situation at the time, and I hate that it seems I am insinuating he was jealous of how good most of us in our friend group was having it, but what else can help me rationalize why he would suddenly ‘jokingly’ spite my achievements if it came up in conversations (“I was just kidding!”), why my travels always had to be one-upped (“ That’s nothing compared to when I went to…”), and why he was more than eager to hear about me being sad or have problems.
We would ask him how he was doing, if needed any sort of help; but stubbornly, he would insist everything was OK with him.
The final straw really came when even the man I dated became an object of his spitefulness, without Marc ever really taking the time to get to know him, so I took him up on his habit of giving me the silent treatment instead of talking about problems with our friendship, and it’s been the silent treatment for two years running.
I find I am better now; I do not need to incessantly consider his feelings or what he would think if I did or said a certain thing, which is certainly not how healthy friendships are supposed to be.
While I wonder where exactly our friendship went wrong, I do not wonder how he is doing these days, because deep down inside, I find that I don’t really care.