I miss you. You listened. That was all I needed. Someone to listen. And you did. It didn’t matter that we just met, or that I did all the talking. My heart told me that you were right, and just like that, I wasn’t scared. Anxiety? Tension? I put it all behind me as I put my life in front of you, and you took it all in, accepting me as more than just the person you just met. And I wasn’t worried! If there was a hint of despair, or a drop of regret, you’d swoop in with unbridled hope, sweeping it all away. You made me happy to be me.
I miss our long conversations, our little show and tells, and our silly stories that lasted longer than the night did. With you, I didn’t care when the sun would rise or what was happening tomorrow, because none of that mattered. In my mind, we were the pen pals of the internet age, our letters blazing through the internet instead of air, except we met first and talked later. Maybe that’s why we grew apart, because we grew together so fast, even though we were never close when we were together in person. But that’s what I loved, the strangeness of our friendship and the beauty of exploring a relationship that couldn’t exist a decade ago. And above all, I loved your company when I had no one to accompany me.
Sometimes, I wonder if social networking means anything at all, because if I just read your profile, or saw your photos, or watched your videos, I wouldn’t remember the girl I once talked to. It’s not that you’re different, or that we’re different, or that we had different social circles, it’s that those frozen snapshots of who you once were don’t do justice to the person that you are. It’s too open, it’s too public. So I don’t visit. It would be meaningless. But I do admit that sometimes I visit those memories we spent together, and I smile, because those are our memories, shared only between each other, only for each other.
Now that I look back, I have to wonder that maybe it is true the heart grows fonder with distance. Perhaps, in our constant separation, we worked that much harder to be closer to the other, and that’s what made it work. You tried, and I tried, talking through our completely different schedules, giving up time when we needed it most because we didn’t know the next time we’d see each other. Perhaps that was the scariest thought of all, that because we were so far apart, so disconnected, we’d never see each other again. Yet when we did, when we overcame that barrier, it seemed as if we’d be connected forever. Maybe your smile was forever.
You know what I miss the most? That you were different, that we had different interests, different priorities, and different desires. That’s what made you strikingly beautiful, your bohemian independence. The fragility of our connection made it all the more exotic and all the more wonderful. We talked about everything, from dreamy vacations to sad catastrophes, and to me, it was amazing that two students who shared little in common would share everything, because everything became interesting. We were remote tourists, exploring the other’s home through the other, taking turns being the lens for the other’s eye, and that way, even our simplest assumptions became intriguing.
I also loved the depth of our conversations, especially when we fell into those wonderfully deep philosophical discussions. Those were the times I felt closest to you, because we not only had something in common, but we arrived from completely separate routes. Even though we didn’t always agree, we wouldn’t argue, partly because we were afraid of losing the other, and partly because we respected them so much. Besides, we grew up separated by space and culture, meeting for a split second until we were separated again. It’s fine. Having anything in common at all always amazed me, and that, along with our discussions, will impact my mindset forever.
We were friends, in both the loosest and the tightest sense of it. What we shared with each other was what we really were, unabridged and unedited. The rawness of our words was incredibly authentic, and in a way, it was all we had with each other, since we never tied ourselves to everyone else by dressing up or dressing down. Our only judges were each other, yet we didn’t judge! There was a solace in our late night loneliness, together alone, separated from our usual comrades. I miss that. I miss how we were together even though we were really apart.
In a way, you were the best friend I never had, the one I could hang out with for hours on end and not get bored, the one I’d always wait to respond to, because I wanted to be the last one to respond in a never ending conversation. You treated me for who I am, not for who I was or who you thought I was. I wasn’t a stereotype - smart or nerdy or computer whiz - I was a person to you, with loves and hates and ups and downs. And for even just that, just that incredibly mature respect, you had my curiosity in disbelief. And when you had my curiosity, you had everything, and yet despite that, we shared. Our secrets weren’t great mysteries, but what we did share I loved, because it was between us, even without pinky promises. We trusted each other that much.
You know what scares me the most? That I’ll never find you again. That we’ve moved on. That maybe we were meant to meet just at the right time for both of us and move on just at the moment it would’ve been too long. That maybe it was practice in making the perfect memory. That it could’ve all been a dream and it wouldn’t matter because it’s all just a memory now. That that’s all I have. Memories. Maybe that’s the way it was meant to be, a friendship so beautiful that nothing could be left behind.