I am sorry for what I did not say
Writing letters and expressing my love for our friendship came easily to me. She was my friend ever since I came into this world. We had a lot of connections between us. Some destined and some planned. I had heard her name a hundred times even before we met at the age of seventeen. We hit off from day one. She was my guardian angel. She knew my family and I knew hers. Our values and our ways to deal with studies that mattered the most at that point in life were similar.
We stayed, studied, and laughed together.
We were friends and close ones at that. From one city to another, as our lives changed for good we continued our conversations. Miles away from each other, we connected over room mates we did not like and problems we could not crack. She had ideas and I had words of wisdom. From the hills to the plains, we spoke of weather and walks to our respective colleges.
I moved again and this time with a job in hand. The distance between us increased but we stayed connected. I still missed her around. I read the notes she wrote to me in my diary and longed to meet her. She assured that our friendship would never fade and we would continue to share our lives like we always did.
And then, everything changed.
I stopped calling her. When I called, I did not know what to say. She was dealing with a loss and I was clueless on how to handle it. I was naive and I could not say things that even a stranger would not hesitate to say.
“I am sorry for your loss.”
“You are in my prayers.”
“What happened was unfortunate.”
“What can I do for you?”
“May he rest in peace”
“He was a father figure to me too and I can’t believe he is no more.”
Simple words that I meant but I could not say. I called and gave her news from all over the world to make her laugh. To lighten up her mood. I shared who got married and who moved countries. My job and all around me but could not muster the courage to ask how she was coping.
I could not say how sorry I felt.
Words failed me.
Deep in my heart, I believed she would understand me. With all my imperfections and introvert nature, I assumed. I still longed to see her and hug her tight. Let her cry and cry out loud with her. I wanted to wipe her tears and tell her that I will always be around her. My feelings had not changed since the day we became friends. I just did not know what to say.
With time, we grew apart. She became cold and I assumed it was okay knowing what she was dealing with. I gave her space. That space had then transformed into a gap that was way beyond my reach.
One evening, she called and told me how I failed her as a friend. She told me how she thought I will be around and help her overcome the loss she was dealing with but I kept talking about others. She told me that I could not hold on to our friendship. That I wasn’t a friend for all seasons. Whatever was left of our friendship, died that day. As she emptied her heart, I cried. Over my silliness and my escapism.
Ten years and counting, I cannot bring back the time. I wonder on the what if and if only. She had to let me go for her reasons and I could not hold on to her. We talk twice a year but we know there is no warmth or love left. We want the best for each other for old times sake but our sorrows are not shared and joys aren’t multiplied.
I still dread death and I don’t know how will I handle it when it knocks at the door of those who I love. But now, I know we all need a few honest words from those who matter. Words are all that we have to show what’s in our heart and this is what I know now.
I am still sorry for what I did not say.
Writing for Yeah Write 304 today.