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    For CE: Friendship


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    Join date : 2009-09-01

    For CE: Friendship Empty For CE: Friendship

    Post  CoraOrmseth on Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:45 pm

    Friendship by Nuria Mathog

    In the beginning, in those first few starting-out days when you’re still learning about each other, beginning to recognize the little quirks and idiosyncrasies that will eventually form the hallmark of your friendship, when you realize in astonished delight that you both love sour cream Pringles, Nickelback, and the color green—in the beginning, who would have guessed that something so wonderful would end so disastrously?

    Maybe you met on the playground at elementary school, bonded over your mutual love of swinging. Maybe it wasn’t until middle school, on a day you were feeling down and lonely, that the kid you’d never before spoken to swung around a metal pole and into your life. Or maybe it was your sophomore year of AHS, as you and your desk partner struggled to complete a frustrating biology lab, that you felt that connection, the unity of two individuals united against an impending (and potentially grade-destroying) crisis. And from those humble beginnings, time forged something lasting and substantial.

    Fast forward to the present. You proudly share the banner of friends, a title culled through years of witty banter, inside jokes, and late-night phone calls. You’ve seen each other at your best and your worst, commiserated over rejection, engaged in hour-long laughing fits over something that in retrospect wasn’t actually that funny. Just spending time together fills you with a profound sense of well-being. Crummy grades, rotten luck, who cares? You have a friend. And that's all that matters.

    But then—something changes. It’s a small change, nearly imperceptible, a tiny suspicion that perhaps things aren't quite as they should be, a strange and subtle feeling of alienation. It's when you discover the paradox that you can hug someone, hold them as close to you as humanly possible, and still feel the distance stretching between you—long, cold, and impassible. That you can miss somebody even when they're standing right next to you. And you wish you could still find words to fill the silence left by broken chatter. A sentence here, a phrase there—thoughts that once meshed perfectly against each other grow rough and jagged at the edges. Laughter gives way to awkward pauses, averted glances, and “have to go now, sorry”s.

    You've been told that breaking up is by far the worst experience a person can go through, even though, in many cases, it's pretty much inevitable. But you know, now, that it's a thousand times worse to lose a friend, because your friends are fixtures in your life, never questioned, never doubted. They're simply there, come what may, always there for you whenever you need them, and you for them. Except now, for some reason, they're not. And you struggle desperately to cling to the way things were, all the while feeling it spiraling inexorably out of control, slipping from your grasp as easily as water trickling through a sieve.

    You wonder if there’s a repair kit for friendship, an instruction manual detailing what needs to be trimmed, hewed, tightened to get things in working order again. More time, you reason—that’s all I need. Time, the universal band-aid. And maybe a little duct tape...isn't that supposed to fix everything?

    So you try. You try to ignore the uneasy suspicion that you’re a stranger in your own world, that the spot you once occupied has been irrevocably filled by someone else. You make half-hearted plans, one-sided conversation, anything to appease the terrible ache left by their absence. And the more effort you put into reconnecting, the more discouraged you become, because you find yourself speaking to someone you would not have recognized three, five, ten years ago. A completely different person. And you're forced to confront the difficult conclusion that even though you've grown up together, you've grown apart as well.

    Letting go isn't easy. There's a certain finality about the word good-bye that frightens us, the knowledge that once we make the conscientious choice to sever that connection, it's all over. No going back. But as difficult as it is, we have to move on; sometimes it's all you can do. You'll still acknowledge each other in passing, maybe even exchange fleeting smiles. And someday, perhaps, you can look back on those cherished moments with gratitude, and remember—not the friendship that you lost, but the wisdom that you gained.

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