We Shared This Place

May 15, 2008
By Victoria Adan, Philadelphia, PA

It’s something I didn’t see coming. Or rather, it’s something I never even considered as a possibility to come. It’s the same thing as anything else in this world: death, betrayal, an injustice of any kind. I wasn’t so naive—I knew of it all. I knew that these things occur every minute of the day, but I never thought it would happen to me. I thought that I was naïve after all, that I must be childish and selfish, too. You think you know it all. You think you’re so strong and wise. Because you know about such bad things, you know how common they are, you think you’re prepared. I thought this, too. But you’re not, it turns out. You’re not any of these things and neither am I.
I hadn’t seen her for a while, when she told me. The winter air kept me from visiting her myself, and she wasn’t the type who came to me. She told me she was moving over the phone, and her voice was sad. My typical response as a teenager was, “Seriously?” I didn’t hesitate. I started crying immediately. I didn’t need to wait for my question to be confirmed. I had known her for over ten years and my life wasn’t even half-way over yet. It was no more unfair than the usual reality, but this was my only best friend. She was all I had. As far as I was concerned, this was worse than global warming. Because she was my best friend, I didn’t hesitate to tell her that I couldn’t believe it or to ask her what was I going to do without her. I didn’t hesitate to express my frustration to her by using every foul word in the book. It took me a while to think that she might be happy about her move. It took me some time to realize that maybe the only reason she was sad was because of me. I was holding her down, holding her back from being happy about this.
I stopped complaining to her so much. We still have a few months, she said. I agreed with her. I wanted her to know that she could be positive about it with me. I didn’t want her to hide her happiness from me. I wanted her to share it with me. It’s not that bad, I told her. We’re blowing it out of proportion. It wasn’t like I’d never talk to her again. But the time I thought we had started to pass us by before I had even realized it. Time, like the dreadful monster in a story, was closing in on us. She would be moving soon, and I still hadn’t gone to visit her. The idea had started to build up in my mind so much, it was beginning to be too much pressure for me. I started to wonder if maybe I could just not see her at all. It would be easier that way too, wouldn’t it? Of course, I couldn’t actually do that, though. Only regret would be waiting for me.
I began to dismiss the importance of her departure. I honestly did think it wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. I wasn’t in denial. But then, I hadn’t been thinking about it much. My own life took up my mind, and I began acting as if it wasn’t happening. Naturally, though, the cord was struck again, replaying a sound that had been ringing painfully in my ears before. It couldn’t be avoided. When we had finally stood at the gate entrance, I didn’t want to bring her down by crying, but at the same time I wanted to so desperately. I wanted her to see how much this was killing me. I wanted her to know what this was doing to me. I had depended on her throughout my whole life, and now I had to start over alone. She boarded the plane and, once I couldn’t see her walking anymore, I could suddenly feel the weight of my own body press down on me more, the weight of standing on my own two feet. Of course, I had been crying since I woke up that morning. And all through the rest of the day, my child, I cried.

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