It was the first day of English class. Students were waiting outside the classroom, most plugged into their phone, others chatting away with friends. There was a girl; I’ll never forget her bright yellow rain boots, who sat leaning against the wall. I smiled, as more and more people walked the halls to their next class. Finally, we were let inside the classroom, and everyone looked for the desk they felt the most comfortable with.
“Yellow Boots Girl” and I ended up sitting next to each other.
Little did I know, that she was not just going to be a class buddy– but a best friend.
English class became the best class a college girl could ask for. I did well, the professor was nice, and I made a new friend. I helped her with English, we got to know one another, and finally, we were able to hang out outside of school. Our personalities meshed and we felt like friends, always wanting to hang out and grab lunch between classes.
We built a happy friendship.
We went through changes, both good and bad, with another, and we watched each other’s lives develop. And then I began to see the friendship as a chore, an obligation. I felt as if the friendship was based on my being pulled and dragged around, my not wanting to hurt her feelings, so I put up with the dragging.
Every time we would “hang out” she would want me to tag along while she went shopping for this and that or had to run this errand or that.
The conversations began to be only about her, never “how are things with you?” The worst part was it seemed the only time I felt like I was having a good time hanging out with my “friend” was when we would go to clubs and bars and alcohol was involved. It became a regular thing. I had so much fun; later I realized it wasn’t due to the friendship but the environment mixed with the booze.
A few years went by; she got engaged.
I was so happy for her and her fiance. We all became such good friends, and I truly was happy for them. Then came the moment where she asked me to be a bridesmaid. I really didn’t know what to say, but I knew what the answer had to be: “Yes!”
It HAD to be.
Truth was, I didn’t feel comfortable being one.
I knew it was going to be yet another thing I couldn’t express truth over and yet another thing I would get manipulated into doing. Why did I agree? I didn’t want to let go of the idea that I would lose a friend; I didn’t want to disappoint her for fear of the friendship being over.
So I said “yes” and went dress shopping with her, bought a dress, and I tried to put my feelings aside and just be there for my friend. Well up until the point it just wasn’t working.
Months went by. The wedding was approaching. And still, plans not finalized about “what needs to be done” on my end. I asked for details, wanting to know before the last minute what I would need to do as my role.
And each time the answer was “I don’t know.” I got frustrated. I got nervous. I felt really upset. Not at her, but at coming to the realization of our friendship actually was. I breathed. And then one day after work I received text messages with some info. And I got worried. I contacted her.
That’s where it started to get messy.
Sometimes friendships run their course. Sometimes people change. It’s no one’s fault. But in this case, I knew and accepted that I would become the bad guy.
Texts and texts later and she and I were upset. She expressed her feelings that she felt were abandoned and she did not want me to be in the wedding anymore. And my finally being honest with her and myself and still being the bad guy.
We both needed sleep.
The next day the stressful conversation continued. I was up all night. I was exhausted. An emotional wreck. I didn’t like hearing that I had hurt someone; that’s never an intention. I said I would still be happy to come as a guest, but she needed to decide for herself. And that’s when I knew. We were breaking up. I wished her a wonderful life, and it was done.
Today is their wedding.
So that’s it, the girl I thought was my best friend for six years, gone. And when it ended, I was relieved though saddened. We had two different meanings of the word “friendship.” We weren’t able to give the other what they wanted. And in some ways, I really think we were just not that into each other anymore.
We both grew, became ourselves, and are maturing in life. I will always think of her, and maybe some day we will reconnect, who knows. But for now, I am my own friend.