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“Hey, I’m just moving out of state. We’ll keep in touch – it’s not like I’m dropping off the face of the earth.” It should be said with a laugh, or, if texting, with a smiling emoticon. It helps to ease the pain of separation, to comfort the friends who are sure they can’t live without you. It’s therapy for them, and, if you work it right, therapy for you. Assure them and yourself that, seeing as though you are friends now, nothing could possible change when you move. After all, it’s not like you’re dropping off the face of the earth, right?

I have used those words countless times, easing countless friends into the reality of my departure. Some are best friends I am moving away from after years of growing close, some are people I think are nice but haven’t gotten a chance to get to know, and once it was even a guy I met on a five day vacation. We’ll keep in touch – I’m not dropping off the face of the earth, am I?

But I do. At first we talk often, maybe even daily. “I miss you so much!”, “Me too!”, and “You need to come back because I miss you.”. But then the conversations lesson. “You’ll never guess what happened!”, “Do you know what I did?” and “You should have been there.” Eventually you start to forget how it was when you were together. “I haven’t talked to you in ages – what’s new?”, “So-and-so and I had a great time the other day. Oh, I forgot to tell you, she’s this great girl I met, we’re like sisters.” and “My new house is great – I was exploring the property with the neighbor girl today. Hey, didn’t we do that? I think so.”

You don’t try to drop off the face of the earth, you really don’t. But eventually, inevitably, you and your friends move on with your separate lives. If you’re lucky, you still talk, but it doesn’t feel as intimate – you aren’t in tune to every detail of each other’s lives anymore. You have new friends for that. Slowly but surely, you have dropped off the face of the earth.

And the worst part is, you knew it would happen. You’ve done it before; you’ve seen the same results. You just couldn’t break that to them, they wouldn’t understand, nobody you leave behind understands. So in two or three years, when it’s time you leave again, you will lie to your brand new group of friends. You will let them hope for the best while you prepare for the worst, knowing all along that eventually you will drift apart, so smoothly it won’t even hurt. And you say you’re goodbyes, though you are flippant about them, as if they won’t last. You’ll stay in touch. After all, it’s not like you’re dropping off the face of the earth.





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LaceeJade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm
I know how that is, no matter how much you want to keep in touch its like gravity to pulling you away, very good work:)
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 10:53 am
Thanks!        
 
thepreachyteenager said...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Fists, a couple grammar mistakes.

Assure them and yourself that, seeing as though you are friends now, nothing could possible change when you move (I think you wanted 'possibly')

"I miss you so much!", "Me too", and "You need to come back because I miss you.".  But then the conversations lesson. (<-- I think you wanted 'lessen')

Next, I feel so sorry for you.  I could never knowingly and continuously do that to people.  I hope you parent(s) get a good lo... (more »)

 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for the grammar help. :)

 

Also, thanks for the well-wishes. :)  It's actually not that bad - it's pretty smooth and painless.  But I am glad that I'll be staying in this state until I actually CHOOSE to move. lol

 
iluvnacho said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 10:48 am
Tihs makes me so sad! I love it because I can feel what your writing, but I can't relate to you because I've lived in the same house ever since I was born. People always move away from me, but this is beautiful.
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm
Thanks so much! As glad as I am you liked it, I'm even more glad you can't relate. :)
 
CallMeFelix said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm
I can't relate (the only time I've moved is two or three blocks down the street within the same town)  but anyway, I can definitely see where you're coming from because I've actually seen this kind of thing happen simply when you don't have time to see a person, let alone move. Good job AsIAm =) (just some little itty-bitty spelling/grammar things).
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm
It's sad but true.  And you're right - it isn't just moving, unfortunately.  Ah, spelling and grammar - the bane of my existence. *Sigh* lol Thanks for the feedback!
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm

The two of you that have posted have mentioned being in this same sort of situation.  I have done it over and over again, so - any readers who are relating to this story - read on if you want some advise.

1. Get each other's contact information and call/text/email often.  One of the most successful long distance friendships I have had is with a guy I only knew for five days, because if we don't talk for a week or so, we just text something along the lines of "hey, i've been b... (more »)

 
iluvtheplanet said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm
omg i can so relate to this story!! one of my best  friends (who i knew since preschool and our dads were friends for years before that) had been going to school together for like... ever... recently i switched schools and we haven't seen each other in a while and now our emails and texts are getting rather vague :( your story is really good, keep writing!!
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Thank you!
 
Eatfoodzap said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm
Wow. This is really sad. I can feel the longing. And I can totally relate to it, because I also left behind a best friend. Well, more accurately, she moved, but still. This brings back all the pain of realizing that you're just not that close anymore. Really, really beautiful piece of writing.
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm
Thanks so much! :)
 
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