I haven't seen you in EIGHT years. Eight. My wedding day was the last time. We've talked MAYBE 3 or 4 times in those eight years. Before that, we were friends for 15 years, from the first day of kindergarten to that fateful day in college when I had to force you from my dorm room because I didn't agree with your choices.
You've become a recluse.
You've become someone I don't know.
You've become someone I don't WANT to know.
Imagine my surprise when you actually called me and wanted to see me while I was at my parents house in GA, where we grew up. I eagerly agreed, anxious to see what you made of your life. I jumped in the car with you and you took me to your apartment while my children slept at my parents house.
Imagine my surprise when I walked in and your garage apartment was little more than a rat hole, reeking of cat urine and hadn't been cleaned since the day you moved in. I tried not to let my disgust show. My disgust was directed more at how much you changed, not necessarily the uncleanliness itself. When I knew you before, you complained because I left dirty dishes in the sink in our dorm. You hated filth.
Imagine my surprise when your boyfriend showed up with a case of sprite in - what I assume - was a peace offering for me, the "holy roller." After a few minutes, the beer came out and my panic set in. You had to drive me home to my children.
Then it happened. I saw your boyfriend hand you something that you kept close to your side. A few moments later you said, "Yes, I still smoke marijuana and I'm going to do it front of you." You took a hit and then your boyfriend did the same. I later described this device you used and my step-dad told me it sounded more like a crack or meth pipe. Considering you had aged 20 years in 8, it doesn't surprise me. And also considering your cousin is on the drug task force and you freely admitted to me he was onto to you, I don't believe it was just marijuana. Just because I've never once in my life been around that kind of thing (save the few times you've brought it around me), I'm not stupid.
I'm so angry at you. We hadn't seen each other in 8 years and your desire to get high overrode your need to see me, someone who used to be your best friend. You're so addicted you didn't think of my sleeping children and the fact you had to get behind the wheel with their mother with you. Hind sight is 20/20 and I should have simply walked out, called my family to come get me and never look back. Instead, I stupidly sat in your car as you drove, drunk and high, with my fists clenched and a continual prayer for my safety and my children's flowing through my mind.
You hugged me when we pulled into the driveway, sobbing about the past and our friendship. Do you even realize how unhappy you are? Do you even care? Did you not want more for yourself than a rat hole garage apartment and a life full of fuzzy memories? Does the temporary escape of being high mean more to you than a life filled with permanent joy and happiness? Have you not learned from your dying father, who spent his whole life doing exactly what you're doing now, that a life full of these things doesn't amount to anything in the end?
I wonder what you saw when you looked at me. Did you see the judgmental holy roller you used to deem me? Did the fact that I told you to take me home the second I realized what you had leave an impression? When I told you I had children to think about now, did you think twice about your choices? Did it even dawn on you that if I had been caught with the two of you doing whatever it was you were doing, my own life could have been ruined, and by association, my family's?
You didn't think of anyone but yourself.
One day, I'm not going to be angry at you for wasting your life away. One day, I'll sit down and cry for that smart girl I grew up with who always made me laugh. I'll sob for the third grader who stood next to me and sang Madonna's Like a Prayer with me to our entire class. I'll wish that your dreams of going to SCAD and becoming a writer and artist would have happened. And I'll wish that you had never agreed to go to college with me because that's where you met all of those people who made you who you are today.
But not now. Right now I'm too angry.
And when you asked me if I was still going to call you? Remember how I didn't answer? The answer is no. I prefer to remember you as you were 10 years ago.
Someone I wasn't ashamed of.