All those years gone in one night. All those memories thrown away. All the songs and the hugs and the cheers and the drinks and the moments, now silenced. The dance floor won’t ever be the same.
I used to believe you were my greatest friend. I valued you over my comadres, those strong beautiful women who have held me up over the years with their laughter and loyalty. I valued you over my lovers, the man I hoped to marry the only one who wasn’t blazingly jealous. I valued you over my family, driving into the City on Christmas Eve for a few hours so you wouldn’t feel so alone. I valued you over myself. I gave up time, money, energy, opportunity, all because I loved you. I gave you diamonds, silk bedspreads, plane tickets, rides to the airport, candy, offers of money and a place to stay, pies, cakes, clothes, books, my car so you could do your laundry, and even my First Communion rosary which I’m sure you threw in the trash when you moved to a new apartment. Most tragic of all, I made you more important than me. I made you my conscience, my strength, my inspiration, instead of looking inside myself and recognizing my own goodness.
Your name indicates a pattern in my life. When we met, I was a child in so many senses. I wanted so much to be like you: brash, bold, bitter. I modeled myself after you, taking on your bad habits and mirroring your choices. Even now, as I strive to be true to myself, I find myself lionizing people, making them be all-important. By silencing the little voice that tells me I’m no good, I silence my dependence on you. It is my hope that I silence my dependence on others and build true friendships, ones of balance, stability, and mutual respect.
The other night, just a week ago, I saw, for the first time, just who we are. You are brash, bold, and bitter. You are a person of revenge and hatred. You are a man of anger and selfishness. You are not my role model. I am a woman of compassion, love, and hope. I am strong without being cruel. I am brave without being reckless. I am jaded but in my heart of hearts, I believe in people, in the world, in God, in myself. We can longer be friends. I wonder if we ever were.
I am not surprised you have not called. You were always too proud to be the one to ask for reconciliation. Now I know you never really understood it or me.
I will remember what was good. But for now, I embrace the silence.