We met up at a café that day.
We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and I had missed her musical laughter.
I arrived before her and sat at a table next to the window so we could watch people pass by outside. The sky was darkening and the sun was setting quietly behind the tall buildings.
She showed up after a couple of minutes wearing her usual attire a thick sweater and jeans, I hugged her tightly inhaling the unbounded scent she always carried.
She had to work on her thesis and had asked me to help. But as we started talking about work and school she responded to my compliment about her poetry with “you always made me feel stupid”. What? What do you mean? I was appalled at the idea that I may have offended her at some point and she was just now choosing to bring it up. When? How? I responded. She quickly changed her tone when she saw my horrified face. To a more gentle tone “You are the truly smart one I was always trying to keep up with you and I always felt you were ten steps ahead of me”. When we went out with our group of friends you hated the stupid jokes that my boyfriend made and would throwback clever jabs that always shut him up. He hated you, because of that same reason and although you knew this, it never stopped you until I asked you to. Till this day I feel guilty for asking you to keep quiet because I now realize I should have let you be that way. He was a jerk.
My gut dropped as I absorbed what she had said. This is why she had stopped asking me to go out with them, because she was having problems with him because of me. I apologized to her, but she waved it away like feathered smoke. It’s the past she replied I should be the one apologizing. She looked at me for a long time in silence and I met her eyes. She had more to say and I waited patiently. “People always say that when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that’s not true, is it? Yes that’s not true at all. When someone loves you back things start to matter”.
I realized she was talking about us. We had grown much closer, after her father’s death. She had fallen into a deep depression a thick despair that made her muscles ache and forced her to lie in the corner of her room and cry out to God, Angels and the demons that tortured her. I was forced to live up to my expectations as a friend; I soldered her pain when she lashed out at me to leave her alone. And I came back every time because we both knew it was not her speaking but her frame of mind. I answered quickly “you don’t owe me anything; we both know you would have done the same”. She closed her eyes and inhaled the atmosphere. “That’s the thing though. I don’t know if I would have put off school and my life to take care of someone that isn’t even family. I didn’t know you loved me so much until I woke up one day and found you asleep in the chair next to my bed. You looked worn out and I felt hurt that I had caused this, your grades suffered and you must have been tired of me. I laughed at the idea that I was tired or her. We are still here aren’t we? She laughed to too. Yea we are still here”
The only way I would ever leave your side is if you asked me to leave you alone and that would suck. I would hurt deeply for a long time, why? because I think of you when I see a sweater and when I choose to wear a pink dress. You are the better version of me and when you feel stupid, think of all the words you can string together with all the compassion that I try to muster up for both of us. The sky is our limit and it is limitless my dear. I could never feel the way you do no matter how hard I try. And if you choose to go out with jerks it’s because you feel like you can truly save them from themselves, something I would never consider doing. Take time to realize I will always be on your side. And I’m not going anywhere. I would never ask you to leave she responds.