To My Long Lost Friend

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I saw you more than three years ago; we hugged and cried together that day. I thought I had gotten you back. Then again, each time we saw each other over the last six years, I thought you were coming back. What did I know? I was mistaken; I’ve been mistaken for a long time. I wish you would look back for a second and realise that there are people who you can lean on. You can talk and talk, and maybe I can’t say anything to help, but I can listen.

I think about you, and my heart fills with longing, pain and loss. Longing, because I really wish to see you again and talk to you like I did back in the day. Pain, because I can’t even imagine the unbearable loss you’ve lived through. Loss, because I really believe I might have lost you. Remember college? We found each other by complete fluke. Kaveri, you and I: we seemed to be going through a tough time together, and it was the start of a beautiful friendship. We lived with each other for two years and what an odd, fun filled, painful, freeing time that was. We were so codependent as a group, maybe unhealthily so. But then again, we were kind of each others family with a say in each others every decision. You were the kid; who could have foreseen that you would be forced to grow up faster than both of us combined? We drank and danced our worries and pain away; I wish that would be enough to end your pain now.

Post college was another time for us. We all went our own ways: Kaveri got married and figured out family first, while we started working for a life we envisioned. I really believe we all started living our own lives with a slight overlap whenever we reconnected. I think we grew up a bit, and stopped being so extremely involved and protective of each other. I still always thought that our bond existed. Don’t get me wrong, I missed you a lot even then. I remember, at Kaveri’s wedding, crying in the bathroom with you. I had just missed you so much, because I think I felt you pulling away even then. I actually think I dated a particular unnamed man, only because we became so much closer all over again. I enjoyed talking and traveling with you a lot more than I enjoyed him! I mean, he was a short, obnoxious little moron; I think it was pretty obvious why I was in that relationship!

God, the more I read what I just wrote, I realise how much I’m talking about me. I am so so sorry for everything Aasthi. You’d literally been put through hell in the last few years. I wish I was more around and present to help you go through it all. I remember the last time we saw each other, you told me that you were a little taken aback my my complete lack of empathy to your situation. I had forgotten to call you back after your mother’s operation, because of some tiny,self-centered bullshit I was going through. I still haven’t been able to forgive myself for that, so I don’t really expect you to forgive me either. I really tried after that to be exactly the kind of friend you needed. In the times we’ve talked after that, you had always said that you don’t like people asking about your mother and forcing you to think about it. So I talked about everything under the sun, except for that. I really thought that was what you wanted. Maybe I should have pushed you harder to open up, but I honestly thought you didn’t want to go there.

When you messaged me saying your mother passed away, I cried. I cried for so many reasons. I cried because mother was a wonderful, loving woman and she didn’t deserve to go the way she did. I cried because you have lost something most people can’t imagine losing so early in life. I cried because I knew this would change you more than anything else ever will. I cried because nothing I could say or do would ever make you feel better. I cried because you would be in unbearable pain, and I couldn’t take it away. This was your pain, the kind of pain that I couldn’t even fathom. We talked after that, and you so bravely talked about anything and everything else under the sun but your mother.

The truth is, you’ve gone through so much that you aren’t the same person anymore, but the truth is, none of us are. Your metamorphosis has been much more drastic, and pain-ridden than mine or Kaveri’s, but we’ve changed all the same. However, this in no way means that our relationship or connection has changed. You’re trying to deal with all of this grief yourself. You do not have to. I know we’ve all been busy in our own lives, but all I need is a single message from you saying you saying you need to talk. I’m not a mind-reader, but I’m a damn good listener. I will drop everything and be there. Yes, there is distance, and there is years of not really being present in each other’s lives, but none of that changes my love for you.

I won’t lie, I have had fleeting emotions of anger, fueled by what I perceived to be your rejection and distance. But I had moved on from that a long time ago. Now, I really just want to be there for you, I just want to fix whatever has been broken here. Aasthi, I know you’re trying to be strong and deal with the everything all by yourself. I know you’re trying to navigate your life without your mother. But darling, you really don’t have to. I feel like you’ve gone so far away that you’ll never come back. I just want you to know that it will never be too late to come back. I love you, I will never judge you or belittle what you’re feeling, and I promise to always be there for you. Just please, come back.

Yours always,

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