After Brittney got mad at me the last time I tried to talk to her, I thought there was no point in trying any further. If she's held onto anger for that long . . . well that says what she's not willing to put into words. But as of today, we've been strangers for longer than we were friends. I've seen no sign of hope for these past few weeks but to me this feels like a tipping point. Even as stubborn and loyal as I am, even I can't continue to hold onto hope after this.
So this milestone is the excuse I used to try to speak to Brittney one last time. I stopped by her room after school. Anna was there. (Sidenote: This morning Anna stopped by my room. I was shocked to see her and once she started talking to me, one of my first thoughts was, “She doesn't hate me!” I was embarrassed at how happy I was to see her. Even though she'd only come by to get some help with physics, it still meant so much to me. I know it's ridiculous, but this was the first time I've felt happy all month.) I didn't want a repeat of the last time I tried to talk to Brittney, so I asked her, “Do you think you'll have any time to talk this afternoon?”
“No, I have to grade these papers and then I'm meeting a friend afterwards.” Her tone was casual and almost pleasant. Almost as if nothing had happened and we were still friends. Or maybe she was just being polite due to Anna's presence.
I nodded. I hadn't really expected her to be willing to talk to me. I approached her desk. I had planned on asking her one question even if she didn't want to talk, but I couldn't bring myself to, not after confronting her the last time. I handed her a letter
I stopped by today because I noticed something on the calendar that I thought was important. As of today, we’ve been strangers longer than we’ve been friends. Reaching this . . . milestone has brought one question to the forefront of my thoughts.
This atmosphere between us, this angry silence, is this how you want things to be permanently? Is this it?
I only want to heal whatever damage I’ve done to you and save our friendship, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t fix this or understand this all on my own. I’m sorry that I’ve been trying to force this matter faster than you were willing to. It takes two people to maintain a friendship, but only one to end it.
I can’t bring myself to believe that you see absolutely no value in our friendship, that there’s nothing worth saving. I have no idea what you’ve thought and felt for these past five weeks; I desperately wish I knew. I don’t claim to understand, but I am certain of at least two facts.
Before this happened, we were friends and contributed to each other’s happiness.
Now, neither of us is happy.
If these two facts aren’t true for you, please tell me, because then I must have terribly misunderstood our friendship. But as long as I believe they’re true for both of us, those two facts push me to seek reconciliation with you.
The weeks of depression I’ve felt are nothing compared to what you must feel. Even though I don’t believe that healing can occur without communication, I’m willing to endure the silence if you need time and distance. But I can’t deny a growing fear that I have. My fear is that these weeks of silence will continue to drag on until one of us simply doesn’t care any more. That would be a slow, cruel death to one of the best friendships I’ve had in my life.
I hope that you see some value in saving our friendship and I hope to talk to you again.
that referred to the milestone mentioned above and it's main message was, “Five weeks of silence and anger have now passed between us. Is this how you want things to be permanently?” The letter also contained a link to my journal, which detailed all of my thoughts since the beginning of our friendship. I asked her if she would take this letter from me. She nodded.
I hesitated. I almost wanted to reassure her by saying, “I won't bother you again. I have no words left.” This past month I've turned myself inside out trying to reach her and poured out my heart, and none of that has earned any response. I really am out of words. If none of this has convinced her that our friendship is worth saving, then there's really no hope at all.
Instead, I apologized for my behavior last time. She accepted my apology with an odd easy-going blaise. Then I left.
I must be pretty stupid for only just now realizing that the silence was the message she wanted to send all along.