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Giving Up
building
astillar
The tears had almost stopped and I knew that was a bad sign. When the tears stop, you’ve stopped grieving or stopped caring. The wound is closing over with a scab, to be replaced by unfeeling scar tissue. Monday I’d forced a “conversation,” but her reply had been limited to a couple of sentences. And whatever hope and optimism I gained from those non-commital answers faded quickly. This morning I wrote what I knew would be my last message. If I’ve reached the point where I’d rather not care instead of hope, then … it’s almost all gone. This week was the end of our school’s semester. We’d have 3 (4 if you count staff development) days off. A 3-day weekend would be plenty of time to consider my last plea, if she’s listening at all.

******

I keep waiting, hoping for a conversation that I know will never come. My heart continues to hope, but my mind tells me it will never happen. The conflict between the two continues to hurt me and I’m tired of crying about this every day. I could end that turmoil if I knew one thing.

Do you believe I did this intentionally?

If you do, then I must have lost your trust long before this, or somehow planted the seeds of distrust in your mind early on in our friendship. If you believe I’m a piece of shit and I should go to hell, tell me that. I need to know what you feel and think. I need to know definitively that there’s nothing left of our friendship other than memories and regret, if that’s the truth of things.
If you believe me when I say this was an accident, but the pain you felt was too great for you to ever trust me or consider being my friend again . . . I can understand. I can only hope that with enough time, we could once again be something more than strangers to each other.
If you don’t know, then that’s a question that can only be answered by talking.
Any time I’ve lost someone close, a friend, a girlfriend, or a fiancé, it always began with silence. By the time I realized that silence was permanent, any chance at healing and understanding was long gone. I’m not reaching out to you to make myself understood; I’ve already forced my words upon you too much. I want to understand you. Even if you hate me Brittney, I believe you would feel better or unburdened if you told me how you feel, what you think, and what I did to you.
I continue to do wrong in order to do right. I know it was wrong of me to force the conversation in your room the other day. I know it’s wrong of me to ask you for an answer. I know I’m breaking my promise not to contact you. I’m probably only making things worse rather than better.
But I can’t leave it like this. I’m stubborn AND an asshole. If I don’t know your side of things, if I don’t know the truth, then I can’t fully give up hoping. And that hope drives me to seek understanding and reconciliation with someone who is very important to me. Not knowing is agony because I can only assume the worst.
I wish we were talking. I miss you terribly.


******

Part of me felt this message sounded too beta, too supplicant, too pathetic. But time is not on my side. I can’t spend days finding the right words. The words don’t really matter, just my message. I don’t know why she won’t believe me, why she never gave me a chance to explain. But after two weeks of depression and crying, I’m just so tired of it. Hope just hurts now and I have to let it go.
Worst of all, I didn’t even have to wait through the weekend for my answer. Since today was a short school day, the campus hosted a free lunch for all the teachers in the cafeteria. I sat at a table with the science teacher whose room is next to mine. As the other teachers eventually showed up, a nucleus of science teachers sat at my table and the neighboring one. Brittney eventually showed up, made herself a plate, then left to eat in her room. The most gregarious person I know was secluding herself.
A staff meeting immediately followed the lunch. She returned for that, but sat tables away from the science group even though there was room. As the meeting concluded, she stopped by my table to talk to the department head, who was two seats away from me. I didn’t try to make eye contact or talk to her, but she had to have been aware of me. She was practically within arm’s reach. And then she left that room faster than anyone else. She must abhor my presence.
I’ve told her the truth, bared my heart to her, forced a conversation, and tried to reach out one last time. If all of that doesn’t warrant a response, then the only explanation is she must truly hate me now. I’m not even worth the breath or the text for her to tell me to get lost. I just don’t …
If we were friends, why didn’t I get a chance to explain myself? Did I over-estimate what we had? Was it easier to throw me away or hate me rather than consider my side? Why don’t I deserve a chance? I know I have many faults, but goddammit, this isn’t one of them. Why don’t I deserve a chance to save this friendship? I’ve lost her and all the people I met through her. I was beginning to discover new people and new outlets and it was so exciting and I felt that I was beginning to discover new aspects of myself through that. But I’ve lost all that. How did I manage to fuck it all up so quickly and totally? Why can’t I fix this?
I’ve never regretted a mistake as much as this one. Losing a fiance, losing girlfriends, in those cases I could feel it coming on, I understood why and saw the inevitability, at least in hindsight. This hurts so much more though, because … I lost it all instantly by accident and I can’t save it.

In the last letter I wrote her, I promised I wouldn’t contact her again, because I felt that was the appropriate thing to do. I didn’t need to promise this time. I’ve run out of words and hope. There’s no point in trying any more. I’ll never have answers or closure, just silence and hate from the person who was my best friend.

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