We both gave up caring. We both gave up fighting.
When you came into my life more than a decade ago, I wasn't yet 20. I was in a weird place. I mean, I was "out on my own."
I had my own apartment, a full-time job and my own life, but I wasn't great. I wasn't as "put-together" as you assumed or as I pretended. I wasn't stable, or grown-up, or the rock I feigned to be.
But even so, after meeting at work, we came together. We fell together like two peas in a pod — an analogy I'm sure you would hate if you were reading this today. You see, you were smart (so smart), well-read, and ambitious. You were poetic and laid back. And you were inspirational.
There was something different about you. You weren't like other women, the girls I grew up knowing. You didn't wear makeup, couldn't give a sh*t about "style," and didn't want to chat about celebrities or boys. You wanted to talk about screenplays, song lyrics, and your novel. You wanted to talk about existential ideals, Transcendentalism, Green Day, and the existence of aliens.
You were special. You were unique. You were confident and, whether you knew it or not, you were beautiful. Inside and out, you were perfect.
As the years passed, we grew together. We switched jobs together. We vacationed together. We fell in love together. (Well, not in love with each other, but we both found our significant others.)
But sometime between my wedding and yours, things fell apart. We literally fell apart, fighting on the floor of Otakon — an anime convention — while cosplaying spectators looked on.
After that day, things became blurry. We tried to make it work. We tried to talk more, to rekindle the relationship we once had, but the harder we tried, the harder things became. We both gave up caring. We both gave up fighting.
It strikes me as strange that I don't talk to you anymore. Hell, it hurts that I don't talk to you anymore. I never dreamed there would come a time where you wouldn't be in my life. You were there for birthdays, holidays and just "hanging out" days. You were there when I graduated college and I was there when your first movie premiered. And you were beside me on my wedding day, and on my darkest days.
I understand people change and friendships change, but I always assumed you would be there. I assumed we would be together. Instead, things happened — life happened — and we drifted apart. Choices were made and we fell apart.
I still blame myself for us falling apart.
I want you to know I still think of you. In fact, not a day goes by when I don't miss our conversations, our Rock Band competitions, or our karaoke nights. Not a day goes by when I don't worry about you — when I don't wonder if you're happy, if you and your family are happy. And not a day goes by when I don't check your Facebook or Twitter, when I don't read about your accomplishments or see the smallest glimpse into your life.
Because the truth is I miss you. I miss laughing with you and hanging out with you. I miss our movie dates and our unapologetic "ranch fries" dates. Sure, neither of us were big texters or gossipers, Facebook-ers or Instagram-ers, and we didn't talk everyday. But when we did, I knew exactly what you were thinking. Exactly what you were feeling and (I think) you felt the same way about me.
I miss your family. I miss your strength. I miss your love for retro video games and ferrets. I miss being challenged, literarily and creatively, and I miss your honesty. I miss knowing that no matter where you were or what you were doing, you were there.
And I don't know if this matters — or if you care, or if it all comes too late — but know that no matter how much time goes by or how many miles separate us, I'm still here for you. I will always be here for you. Waiting. Hoping.
I'm just a phone call away.