There's a girl who lives in my building named E. We used to be friends ~ hang out, chat on the stairs, dinner, watch TV, shopping, drinking and all kinds o'fun with a group of mutual friends. Good times, yo ~ and I have pics to prove it :)
A couple of years ago, she began to withdraw from the group. Each of us reached out in some way to her, knowing the risk of pushing her away for good was a true possibility. Each of us let her be herself and work out her stuff.
A year ago, our group of friends unraveled and split. It was a hit from left field and truly caused [somewhat of] a downward spiral ~ questioning all sorts of things about me, what a true friend is, who my true friends are, etc. In the split, E denounced 3 of us (whose friendship remains) and rekindled her friendship with 2 others. The whole thing made for a sad situation really. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't hurt.
E still lives upstairs and I see her on rare occasions. One all-too-familiar scenario makes me laugh every single time - she will be walking out of her apartment, I'll be walking up the stairs to mine and she'll back into the alcove to avoid me. Really?! Are you kidding me with that?? There have been times when our paths have crossed on the stairs or at the mailboxes...and she looks right through me. Right through me. As though I am nothing. It's a weird feeling - trust me. I mean, I look at strangers and give something - eye contact, a nod, a smile, something...something. I get nothing. I've said hi on previous encounters and watched her squirm in her discomfort. A painful sounding grunt came out once. So, I stopped.
For all the sadness and hurt I feel at losing friends, can you believe I'm civil enough and aware enough to go out of my way in order to ease HER discomfort? Huh...who really lost a friend in this situation.
As emotional as I can get sometimes, I am definitely happy to have a heart.
Like the Alan Parsons Project says: I wouldn't want to be like you.