more short fiction

Samantha, I just want you to know that this time last year, I considered you a good friend, and potentially someone who could become a close friend. I considered it an honour to turn up at your birthday party to help you celebrate. I was willing to engage, support, brainstorm creative ideas, talk out relationship concerns, have coffee catch-ups, see exhibitions, whatever, to develop our friendship. I would have been there for you with anything. Then I broke up with my boyfriend. The job I thought I had didn’t come thru. I was so broke I couldn’t feed myself some weeks. I went through a prolonged shock / identity crisis because I had been living a lifestyle that never really suited me. I was understandably sad, and sometimes vulnerable. I tried reaching out to you as a friend many times. After that one (very kind) visit you made, I don’t ever recall you actually reaching out to ask how I was. I’d try and talk to you. You seemed OK about it, but you never followed up, never checked in. I’ve been a fucking mess, and I needed my girlfriends. Not just someone who would randomly, casually engage on FB when the mood or the subject took her. I thought we had more of a friendship than that. I really did. I kept waiting, understanding everyone has busy periods in their life. But you know – I feel like a friend who cared would call a person occasionally, suggest to meet up. That’s what I’d certainly do. By the time your birthday came around this year, I pretty much had had no real personal contact with you for at least 8 months. 8 months. You were one of the few people who had any idea what an incredibly tough time I was going through. Yet no coffee invite, no invite to your new place, no phone call to see how I was faring. Just group invites, when I’d told you how bad my social anxiety was. This is the behaviour of an acquaintance, and not even a particularly caring one, not a friend. Just because there’s a green dot on your screen next to a person’s name, does not mean all is necessarily OK. I really thought more of you as a person. I really did… So when your birthday came around this year, and you proved yourself perfectly capable of sending me a text msg (the first in about 10 months), I did get it. But by then, I was hurt, and actually under the impression our connection had moved from a real life friendship to an online acquaintanceship. I didn’t feel like being the equivalent of people poly-filler for your birthday do, when you couldn’t just ask me as a friend just ONCE in 6 months – “Hey, how are you? Let alone ‘let’s catch up.” When we first met, you seemed very keen for us to be friends. So, I guess I disappointed you somewhere along the line for your enthusiasm to wane so. Sorry for whatever it was I did- but I can’t stay silent about how hurt I am anymore, Samantha. And now, I lose my bike – and what do I get from you – “good luck”. Seriously … do you have any idea how your behaviour looks like from the outside? I risk you unfriending me from sending this – but I’m tired of actually being hurt by your nonchalance. If you can’t take this on board, and see that you’ve really hurt someone who considered you a friend, then yeah – I don’t know where to next. Love, a sad and hurt friend. Xo
wow. I’m sorry that you’re hurt. I could launch into an explanation of my life these last 12 months but you’re probably not interested, so I won’t. I’ll back out. I often can’t find the words I want. I wish you all the best and I’m sorry that you feel I’ve let you down.
So, you are backing out of an opportunity for honesty to make a friendship more real, more authentic? Do you think I risked saying these raw, hard things because I wanted to end our connection? No – I wanted you to have some chance to know how I felt and some chance for you to give me your truth – your perspective… In my pain and my moving away from you because in the months of non-communication, I had given up trying to start a conversation with you. Of course I was aware that stuff might be going on for you – why do you think I waited so long to say something? I’m not asking anyone to fix my issues, I just hoped for some companionship through it -some lightness. If I didn’t value you, I would have just stayed silent, continuing to have these feelings, and have less and less contact with you. If you want to talk through stuff, I’d be happy to listen. But I think it would be better to do it at least in a phone conversation – if not face to face. However, if you really feel that our connection doesn’t deserve that, then I will sadly accept that, too. You surely must have been wondering why I was distant, and not making personal contact? As that is honestly where I felt our friendship was going anyway – but against my preference. In my opinion, it was worth pointing out what has been puzzling me, and hurting me – at least I’ve stopped pretending nothing was wrong.
I’m sorry that your version of our relationship didn’t tally with my version. People participate differently within friendships and for different periods of time.
To receive such a message from you feels like an assault. Did you stand back and aim your arrow high?  I know you are an accomplished writer. I like to read what you write usually. Your stories entertain and delight me – usually. Your version of our interactions is your version. I’m not sure I even have the energy to put up my side.
A year ago (your time construct not mine), I felt that we were starting to move from acquaintance to friend. Close friends don’t come easily to me.
I’m sorry that you feel that I disappointed you. Last year, for the first time in my life I experienced anxiety and depression. Yes, I’ve said the D-word. It was a draining and confusing time. I sought out a quiet nest far from the too noisy world. The whole experience was over-whelming and far more reaching than I could ever have projected. I’m sorry that you feel I let you down. I felt let down by life.

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