A word of warning… this is an angst piece. It's something I have been playing around with. I promise to go back to my sappy stuff soon. In the meantime I am getting the angst out og my system. Hope you guys like it.
She stared at him for a moment as they spoke, stealing a few seconds to capture, memorize and store the moment of carefree and comfortableness between them, she knew it would be the last for awhile, perhaps *gulp* even forever.
All she knew that everything was about to change. That as much as that change was going to hurt, it needed to happen, for in the long run it was the kindest thing to do, for both of them.
He paused catching a look in her eye, it was brief, and had he not looked up at that point, he would have missed it. She flashed him a grin and teased him on queue, as though not missing a step in their conversation, but he knew better, he knew her better.
It had been a long time since they had last seen each other, and it had been months since they've had a decent conversation, even longer since they were in the same state. They had both looked forward to finally seeing each other after two years of separation, but as the days drew closer, they both felt anxious about the reunion, as though anticipating an epic moment.
It was comforting that the moment they saw each other it was like no time had passed.
Perhaps, a little too comforting…
They had picked up the obnoxious banter as though no time had passed, and as they engaged in their patented exchange of boundary-less verbal diarrhea, an uncomfortable knot settled in her stomach. She was torn between wanting to throw her arms around him and never refuse to let go, to simply fleeing from the scene.
Sadly, she knew either one she chose, he would somehow understand it. Just as she knew, he would understand what was about to transpire.
As he broached the subject of HER, she could see the uncertainty in his eyes, and perhaps even a look of panic as he realized it would open Pandora's box, at the same he couldn't run the risk of not asking her. She was his best friend, for all terms and purposes, whether he said it out loud or not. She was the person who knew him best. Despite the time and distance, no one got him the way she did and still did. The first two seconds of their reunion confirmed it. Her first crack at him was spot on. He needed her to reassure him. He needed her to make it make sense. He needed her to tell him it was okay.
Her response surprised him, more her lack thereof, which was unlike her. She had an opinion about everything, and was the first to offer it, whether he asked for it or not, whether he wanted to hear it or not, most especially when he didn't want to hear it. She had the ability to dissect his movement, however minimal it may be. It was a gift.
As she paused for a moment, leaning back on her chair seemingly gathering her thoughts, he felt something shift in the room. She gazed quickly out the window as though summoning the courage she needed to begin the conversation she knew they had to have. She was grateful that he had brought her up, for she didn't want to be the one to bring up the one thing that would burst the bubble of denial they both wanted to bathe in.
The proverbial 'elephant' in the room that they managed to talk around for almost a full hour. Sure they danced around it, but they both knew it was inevitable. That his need for reassurance would win over. She counted on it. It was comforting that she could still predict his every move.
"I can't tell you what to do here. You need to make your own decision. You're the only one who can answer if she is worth all that you have to risk for her."
Her voice void of emotion trying to disassociate herself from the reference, despite how she shook inside, her demeanor had remained poised and confident. He looked genuinely surprised, confused, scared even. She looked away as she could have sworn there was hurt in his eyes.
"Is she?" she asked. His eyes dropped to his watch,
"I have to go," he stammered. A look of disbelief crossed her face, which he quickly tried to appease.
"No, I really do. Walk with me."
It wasn't a question, and he wasn't demanding, but they both knew had he not said it, she would have still walked with him. She just would have. It's what she's been doing for so long, following him around. It was almost the epitome of their friendship.
"I can't decide for you..." she said gently, but forcefully
"I wanted all of us together, so you can see and, you know..."
"but, I was never going to do that..." she sighed exasperatedly. Sure they joked around about it. Lunch, with him, her and the person who hated her long before SHE knew what part she played in his life.
"why not?" he asked as though it wasn't such a ridiculous question.
She stopped walking to look at him,
"Because at some point, you and I have to make our own decisions regarding our lives without consulting with one another..."
"and what's the fun in that?" he attempted to kid. She gave him a small smile and gave his arm a quick squeeze.
"at some point, we both have to give up our favourite toy." she said in a small definitive whisper.
His face sobered up quickly and she could see all the thoughts that began to run through his mind, not so much what they were but the speed in which they began to whirl, as though he was finally catching on to what she has been wanting to say, and perhaps it began to sink in how long she had been trying to tell him that they couldn't go on as they were. That he could ignore that email she wrote him a year ago telling him this, as though she had never written it, that it was time he heard.
He remained silent as she continued to offer whatever comfort she could provide with her words. That they were ready to make their own decisions, that they had both come very far, that it was time. The walk to his office was not a long one, and the moment they hit the lobby doors her heart dropped to her feet.
This was it. She was saying goodbye. Whether or not he realized, she knew what it was, and all of a sudden she questioned if it was at all necessary, walking away from him. Could it not remain the same? Could they not just set new boundaries?
Could she really just say goodbye to the person that despite the absence could still read her like a book, that in their four years of friendship she had bared heart and soul to. The person whom she shared what was on her mind without disclaimers, who allowed her to think and process as slowly or as quickly as her heart and mind allowed, without conviction. Someone who challenged her in more ways than she thought any one person could. Yes, she allowed him that, but alas, the bond was there.
It was the very tie that needed to be severed.
He stepped forward with his arms spread wide, taking her into his arms. This wasn't like the somewhat awkward but heartfelt hug he greeted her with. He held her close, and tightly, his hand gently but firmly cradling the back of her head, as he whispered,
"I'll let you know what I decide," she could only nod as a response, but every fiber of being knew that she didn't want to know what he would decide. She didn't want to be a part of the next chapter of his life. As harsh as it sounded, she owed herself that.
Reluctantly they parted. He looked right at her, as she did him and bravely they gave each other a goofy grin. She gave him a small wave as he held out his hand as to wave back. Not able to take it any longer she turned, and just as she did, he called out
"We'll talk before you go?"
She looked up at him and replied with a small smile. She couldn't discern if that was a question or a statement. Either way, she could utter no word of encouragement, for she knew talking to him would only kill her resolve, and that wasn't an option. She gave him a nod before turning around. She began to walk away from his office, her heart beginning its internal combustion.
In spite of her better judgement she turned back, and there he stood, as though he was waiting for her to turn the corner, and as quickly as she glanced back, she turned and kept walking.
The next time she turned, he was gone. It was then the tears began to well from her eyes. The feeling of losing one's best friend became undeniably real.