He left and didn’t say anything.
And it led me to musing what went wrong in the five years that we’ve known each other. We met as colleagues, became friends, and in one simple spell of miscommunication, fell out of it. This, within the span of a year. And, like most emotionally settled individuals do, I should have let this go and outgrown it.
Of course, I’m not like most emotionally settled individuals. I’m someone who’s acutely self-aware and wants to, for lack of articulation, “get shit done”. I’m a sucker for closure and completion, and I just realize I never ended up getting the feeling of a chapter ending I needed out of this. So I desperately begged him for forgiveness for the next six months, and blamed myself for the next few years. I am aware I shouldn’t have—heck, I was aware I shouldn’t have, but I did it anyway—although, in my defense, I really, really considered him a good friend. In the time I held myself responsible, I actively denied any possibility that I didn’t deserve this behavior.
Sometimes he’d reach back, and I’d be quick on my feet to respond, in hopes (against hope itself) that there would be a return of sorts of the friendship; the bond we had. I’d conveniently choose to ignore the purely self-centered reasons he’d end up calling me for.
Last year, though.
I met him twice last year. Once at a party where the both of us were knee-deep only trying to maintain professional visibility, and the other time with a group of mutual friends. The former, as usual, gave me a very silly sort of hope. But it’s the second time that I realized that this was the last time I was seeing him. It wasn’t necessarily supported by any facts whatsoever; my gut just gave way to this strange, finality-ridden cognizance.
He turned quickly into an appearance in someone else’s conversation, vaguer and vaguer until one fine day, I got to know from a mutual friend that he was leaving for good. Eventually, however, a few days after he did leave, I had to make a choice—between letting his posts show up on my newsfeed, giving me the kind of pain only I can realize, and shutting him out altogether. From everywhere.
I chose the latter.
Did it help? I don’t know. I would never know. This isn’t a film, but real life. All I do know is that I’ve made my peace with it. It’s something that’s been way easier, considering—you know—the fact that I don’t have to risk bumping into him anymore. I still can’t realize why I decided to waste the last four years of my life continuously overcompensating for my follies. But that’s what humans do. They jump into unpredictable, often dangerously self-destructive patterns when they’re left with very little self-esteem to hold onto.
I’ve learnt something out of this though—it would be sad if I hadn’t. It’s good to keep your ego at bay if your relationship has any chance of being saved. But the lesser chances you see, the lesser you must think about it. Hell, I might even make this mistake again. But at the very least my self-awareness is going to motivate me enough to make me stop someday sooner.