It feels wrong to be sad about you dying. Not enormously wrong, not like I’m committing a crime or anything, but wrong. I hadn’t seen you in about a year, and the last time I did it wasn’t pleasant. We exchanged some brief and heated words I walked away pissed off. And in years prior to that, there wasn’t much that went between us that was pleasant or worth remembering.
But there was a time that we were close. There was a time where you were one of the most important people in my life. You were always troubled, and you always made choices I didn’t agree with, but you meant a lot to me. I will always remember that summer where we spent every day watching anime and listening to Mika at my place, laughing and wrestling while my parents raised a disapproving eyebrow and Sarah shook her head at us. I remember us chasing each other through the rooms and kissing, not really knowing what it was but going with it anyway because we were dumb teenagers and that’s what dumb teenagers do. People told me later you were in love with me. I never found out if that was true or not.
Even before that though, you were there. And our relationship was always tempestuous. I remember at thirteen hating you for stealing my best friend. I remember sitting with you on the bus, while the other girls laughed at you and called you names and you just kept smiling throughout it while I stared them all down. We had the absolute definition of an on-again-off-again friendship.
I should have been kinder to you back then. I know that. There were times I treated you like dirt. There were times I utterly loathed you. And there were times that you were this huge, important fixture in my mind that clouded out everyone else.
There will be people who miss you much more than me, and I don’t want to claim their grief by pretending that in the last few years were we anything other than frosty acquaintances. I didn’t like the person you became, and I won’t disrespect you by claiming otherwise now that you’re gone. What we had, once upon a time, was too big and too important for pretence. But I’m not talking about what you meant to people who weren’t me, and I don’t feel the need for my grief to match up with theirs. My grief is private and my own and unique in the way our friendship was unique. But we were friends. Even now I promise you that we were friends, and I will always remember you as my friend. You were there for me in awful times, you were an integral part of my growing up and I like to think that I was for you too.
Goodbye my friend.
Writing words about writing words.