Well, I have. I have tried my utmost best to shut that moment in time out of my mind to the point that I have forgotten the year. It may have been 2006 or 2007. My best friend and I stopped speaking to each other and it broke my heart.
We were supposed to meet a classmate for dinner in Tribeca. We made arrangements to meet at an Indian restaurant opposite the Whole Foods on Greenwich Street. I tried my hardest to give the most detailed directions to get there. It proved to be very hard at the time for her, so she never made it to dinner. The phone call requesting for further directions was the last one we would have for another three years.
You may be reading this and thinking. What?! What happened?! In all honesty nothing other than what I said to you. We were great friends. We shared birthdays a day apart, we talked about any and everything, we never argued, we anticipated each other’s thought, we were always thoughtful and respectful to each other. We showed each other kindness and concern, and this happened. I refused to call her and she did the same.
I have to admit that I was going through a rough time in my then relationship. I was dating someone who wasn’t considerate of my feelings. I was getting tired. I was at a place where I felt I was trying to meet everyone half way and no one was making the effort for me. All of this had nothing to do with her. Not a single thing. All it would have required was a phone call, but instead it became a rift that lasted for years, because we were both too stubborn to reach out.
As the years passed, I thought about the birthdays I missed and what she was doing. Was she dating someone new? Is she married? I hope everything is well with her family. I hope she is doing great. I never forgot my best friend even though it felt like we completely ghosted each other. I was supposed to be the godmother to her children and her to mine. I didn’t think we would ever get back into each other’s lives.
One day, I opened up my messenger inbox and saw a message from her. My heart skipped a beat. I missed her so much and I was happy to see that she had thought of me over the three or so years that we did not speak. We agreed to just put that rather tragic day aside and meet up with each other.
It was a hot summer day when we decided to call a truce. She was wearing a boldly printed skirt and her hair was in a huge Afro. I can’t remember what I was wearing. We walked to each other and just hugged. We did not skip a beat. We talk like we had never lost that time. There was no anger or animosity, because the circumstances under which we stopped talking wasn’t major. There was no need to discuss anything, but rather make up for lost time.
All I knew in that moment was I would never let this happen again. I felt silly that I had participated in letting this trivial incident cause us to lose so much time with each other. Nonetheless, it worked out fine.
Two days ago, I sat in therapy, and came to a sad realization. As honest as I am in my friendships and relationships, I am a very non-confrontational individual. I would prefer to lose a friendship than have an uncomfortable conversation where I am trying to convince someone to see things from my perspective, or to understand my thought process. It is deathly uncomfortable for me to the point that I would prefer to stay silent than speak up.
This is why I lost my friendship. It wasn’t because of the misunderstanding, but rather that I refused to address a small problem. She was worth the argument, but at the time, I chose to disengage in a way that hurt us both. Aren’t I glad for the gift of time and healing?! The ability to reconnect and rebuild.
I am so happy that I did not lose my best friend forever. We’re in such a great place as we have been for the last couple of years. What I do know is I will never let that happen again. I am older and wiser. I will confront the issue, have the uncomfortable conversation and move past it.
Have you ever experienced a friendship break up?