Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
I was watching this amazing clip from “Britain’s Got Talent” and spent my subway ride singing (quietly, I promise) to myself, a sad medley of any lines from Les Mis that I remembered. And then I started thinking about my friend “K.”
K. and I were best friends throughout high school and most of college. Like, that kind of crazy best friend that you can’t believe you ever once didn’t have. I walked right up to her on the first day of high school, in gym class. She was dressed all in black, and had thick eyeliner and this gorgeous, curly hair falling into her face and giant eyes. And she just looked like she would rather be anywhere than gym class. And I don’t know where I found the ovaries, butI walked right up to her, and said “Hi, I am new here. Want to be my best friend?” I have no idea why I said that, and I think I scared the crap out of her – but we did. We became total best friends. She introduced me to wrestling, and took me to awful shows, and nursed me through some horrible relationships. And I took her on vacations, and we had sleep overs and did crazy, stupid things together. We worked together. My family was hers, and vice versa. We even spent a summer together in Paris (which ended up being somewhat of the beginning of the end.)
Until, we started drifting apart. I could blame it on a million things, and I would probably be right – but the bottom line is, we are just very different people at our core, and what worked in high school doesn’t always work as adults. This isn’t a unique story, but it doesn’t make it any less painful. So, we drifted. Then we tried to come together, but it kind of sputtered out. Then, when I got a wedding shower invitation, we spoke and it came to a head. That was it, the end. I did not attend the wedding. Incredibly painful, but judging by what our only mutual friend has to say – I don’t have much to regret by not remaining in contact. Our friend had the patience to stick through some stuff I wouldn’t, but I think because she may not have been as close, it may not have hurt her as much. So, from all accounts K. and I still wouldn’t get along, and while I miss her every day, and cherish all the awesome times we had, I don’t think, even with a million apologies and promises, we would work as friends today. And that hurts and is painful and tears me up – but it’s the truth. Maybe one day, but not today.
K. had this gorgeous voice (that she was always too shy to show off – but I was her best friend) and she loved singing Les Mis. It was totally unlike her (she was more of the Pantera-type) but man, when she sang … wow. So, I was on the subway, and thinking of her and – in a fit of boredom, I texted her, a creepy “I always think of you when I hear Les Mis.”
No response. I am pretty sure thats still her number, and that she receives texts. And I assume that my number is still in her phone, because if she got that and didnt know who it was, she would totally ask. I mean, it was creepy (in hindsight). I am sure she doesn’t know how to respond, or maybe doesn’t want to, or some combination of the two. And I am not particularly surprised by her non-response, and in a way, it was unfair of me to do – and I don’t even know how I would respond if she did, but … yeah. I miss her. And I miss “us” and having a best friend like that. And maybe it’s enough she knows I still think of and love her. Because I do.