Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

Pennsylvania, USA



t: oh- hello.
m: hey. Hey are you busy right now? Can we talk?
t: yeah, yeah that's fine. I'm free for a while.
m: ok.
t: what did you want to talk about?
m: I don't know... I guess just about us?
t: oh.. yeah ok... ... go ahead.
m: I guess I just don't really understand what happened... I mean was it because I had that internship abroad two summers ago? Or because you started dating d? I guess I just feel like I woke up one day and my best friend in the whole world was gone.
t: I haven't gone anywhere, I've just been real busy. Hell you call me incessantly when you're drunk, which granted isn't all that often but we've had more conversations in the last year than you probably remember. And I even came to visit you last Saturday... we've grown apart but it's not as dire as you make it out to be. We're just growing in different directions.
m: What are you talking about t? I used to see you every single day... We used to do everything together. Our friendship is nonexistent right now. If you think this qualifies as a friendship than you're horribly wrong. We were growing in the same direction till I went abroad. I almost regret encouraging you to stay up at school over that summer rather than working at home. Maybe then you wouldn't have started dating d, would have actually kept in contact with me, and we would still have been friends when I got back.
t: I can't believe you would even say that. My relationship with d has nothing to do with you. After so many years of listening to me complain about never finding a significant other and dying old and alone, you'd regret my finding someone? That's horrible. I'm not just something you can keep inside a box and hope no one else finds and tries to date. Being your friend was holding me back from doing so many other things. I waited around for you for longer than I ever should have, and when you finally had the opportunity to do something about it, you ran off and dated b.
m: I thought that might have been it.
t: What the hell, how did you think I was going to feel about that? We used to spend so much time together, but then suddenly all you wanted to do was spend time with b. Not just doing homework, but talking, laughing, having fun. Hell m, you even kicked me out of your room just so the two of you could “talk.” How do you think that made me feel?
m: I don't know... I didn't realize I'd lose you as a friend by dating b. I guess I always expected our friendship would develop into a relationship, but I never thought that relationship could really be successful. I imagined it being a brilliant flash a relationship that eventually just ended up destroying our friendship. Certainly glad that didn't happen.
t: You thought we'd develop into a relationship? Then why the hell did you start dating b.
m: I thought we'd develop into a doomed relationship. B is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me... b makes me really happy. Even if you and I had dated, it would probably have ended in a burning wreck, and I wouldn't have had the chance to get to know or get to date b.
t: If you didn't think we'd ever make a good couple, then why all the flirting? Why the electricity and wrestling and secrets? What did you expect it all to build up to?
m: I don't know, I guess I had a crush on you. I liked liking you. I liked you liking me. I liked our whole dynamic... it was comfortable and wonderful and had all the perks of a having date for a movie as well as a friend to tell everything to as well as a cheerleader to encourage me when I'm down. I'm down an awful lot lately.
t: So I've noticed from your away messages.
m: You read my away messages?
t: Yeah.
m: Why don't you ever say anything? The only person I'm ever crying out to is you. Every weird vague reference is always meant to be seen and understood by you. But I feel like I'm screaming alone in a soundproof room, and you're on another continent and deaf anyway.
t: I guess I really just want all this to end. I don't want to have a big drawn out emotional talk. I don't want to feel the need to comfort you whenever you put a sad face and an obscure quotation only I would understand in your away message. Don't you realize that we're past that? It's never going to be like it was before you started dating b. Never.
m: But why...
t: We're different people now. It's been over a year and a half since then. There's been too many hurt feelings and forgotten dates and ignored messages. It would take more work than it's worth, or at least more than I think either of us would be willing to put into it.
m: You don't think it's worth it? It's worth it to me.
t: No, it's not. You say that now, and you've said that before, but once we start trying it's only going to make you more upset. You'll see other people in me, you'll fight to find the old A in me but the old A just isn't here. I've grown up, and I've outgrown you. We can't possibly ever have the same relationship we did back then. It'd be even more harmful to try. We can't return. Wouldn't you just rather leave things alone and remember that time for what it was?
m: I've tried to do that, but I can't. It's like you've died, only worse. I might run into you on the street at any point in time, but you won't be you inside, it'll be some stranger I've never met. How scary is that that the person to whom I used to be closest in the entire world is now a complete stranger. I can't and won't ever be able to stop feeling like it must somehow be worthwhile to try to salvage our relationship.
t: What would you do if you saw me on the street? You'd say hi, I'd say hi, but it'd be insincere and fake and just like saying hello to that girl who was in your freshman English class... you don't even remember her first name but are happy to relay to her the one paragraph version of how your summer was and what you plan to do after graduation. That shadow of a friendship seems worse to me for us than not being friends at all.
m: Then what do I do? How do I get over you? Doesn't that sound ridiculous, as if I'm some girl who's been dumped and is desperately trying to recover.
t: I don't know, forget about me. Forget about all of this, or for heaven's sake at least don't dwell on it.
m: I've tried. It's hopeless. I get upset about this on a regular basis, and for no particular reason at all. Sometimes something spurs it; sometimes not. Doesn't it ever bother you? Don't you ever think of me?
t: I've moved on, I guess. That's what you need to do too. Let it go. We're not going to be friends again. You need to understand that.