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“Maybe tomorrow,” you say.
“Yeah, maybe,” I reply un-emotionally.
I know that the chance of us hanging out tomorrow is small. An awkward silence follows this exchange. It makes me think of our awkward turtle scale. This silence would rate a handicapped turtle, I think to myself.
“Well, I should work on SAT stuff,” she says, breaking the quiet.
“Ok, I’ll talk to you later,” I say.
“Love you,” she says.
“Love you, too,” I reply automatically, wondering if I still really loved her.
Tomorrow came and went, and we couldn’t get together. I wasn’t surprised. Something about an English paper.
After awhile I stopped putting so much of an effort into our relationship. If she didn’t care than neither did I. Or so I told myself. I also convinced myself this distance would be good preparation for when she moved in a couple months.
But when the day came, I found I was little prepared. When I saw the moving trucks, reality hit me. She was really moving and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I hadn’t seen her in the last month, so I wasn’t sure whether I should go over to say goodbye or not. I decided I should say goodbye, so I pasted on a brave face and walked over to her house.
She seemed surprised to see me and her attitude was chilly. But I said goodbye, wished her luck, and we hugged. Neither or us cried when we parted. Somehow it just didn’t feel right. Halfway down the street, I looked back not knowing if I’d see her again.
When I returned home, my mom asked how it had gone and I told her “fine”. It had gone fine, but somehow I felt empty, as if I was missing something. I pushed the feeling away and went on with my day.
The next afternoon I took a walk around my neighborhood and ended up going past her house. I randomly decided to see if the extra house key was still under the loose brick in the back patio. To my surprise it was! I quickly unlocked the door and went in.
As I entered their empty kitchen, a wave of emotion washed over me. Fighting off tears, I ran up the stairs to her room. Even though I hadn’t been there in months, I could picture where her furniture had been. I walked to the corner where her bed was and sat down.
And sitting there in the corner, I cried for the first time. I cried for our lost friendship. I cried when I thought of all the fun times and sleepovers we had shared in this same room. I cried until I had no more tears.
Then, seeing her room with new eyes, I realized it symbolized our friendship. Gone, over, empty, done. But on the flip side, it was white, clean, and ready for a new owner. And as I sat there mourning the death of our friendship, I knew my heart had room for a new relationship. So I returned home knowing I had truly said goodbye to my friend, and hello to a new beginning.