You checked up on me on Facebook the other day.
A trace of a smile crossed your lips when you saw the picture I posted of my multicoloured, food-splattered kitchen wall. Gotta love the “terrible twos.” A pang of jealousy caught your breath for just a second as you scrolled through my camping trip album, and realized our old roommate from college had joined me. You considered taking a trip down memory lane, clicking on my “College Days” album, but instead you logged out.
The desk top was cool on your forehead as you stared down at your floral print pyjama pants. You stayed like that for a long time.
Somewhere in your chest, in your gut, floating around your mind, clouds of feeling were gathering. You were a safe distance away though, and took comfort in the fog. You were okay with feeling nothing, doing nothing, being nothing. You gulped down your wine to make sure you’d be able to sleep, and dragged yourself to bed.
I gave you a call the other day. You saw my name on the call display, and you almost picked up. Your uncertainty held you back though.
Maybe it was even fear.
You feared you would stumble over words, sound awkward, say the wrong thing. You feared your children would start fighting in the background, and I would think you’re a bad mom. Because my children never do that. No, never.
You feared, because parts of you are broken. You believe yourself to be unworthy of my love, because so much of the time, you have trouble loving yourself.
I do love you, though. And I miss you. I know you miss me too.
I was passing through your town the other day. I stopped by and knocked on your door. I probably should have called first. You caught a glimpse of me through the window, crouched down and hid, frozen in your anxiety. You didn’t want to let me see your mascara streaked cheeks. You didn’t want me to know your kids were watching T.V. Your cat’s litter box needed cleaning, and you were afraid I would notice.
Somehow, missing the chance to give me a hug seemed like a better option than showing me your vulnerability, your less than perfect self, your struggle. I turned and walked slowly back to my car. I knew you were in there. A frown furrowed my brow, and a weight rested on my heart as I reluctantly drove away.
As time ticks on, you will get closer to a day that brings you joy. After countless hours slip away from you, in blurs of confusion and fatigue, you will get to a place where you smile again. One of these days when I call, you’ll take a deep breath, be brave, and answer the phone. Maybe you will even confide in me about the battle you’ve been fighting.
Until that time arrives, I promise to keep trying you.
I will send you a text to remind you I’m your friend.
I will like your status updates, I will call and leave messages.
You are my amazing, strong, beautiful, dear friend.
When you are ready, I will be right here.
I will never give up on you.
Even if it takes ten years, I promise to keep trying you.
Thank you for reading!