In your dreams

“Do you ever dream of people you used to be friends with?” she asked me between bites of asian cuisine.

“Not really,” I shrugged.

“There used to be this girl who I was extremely close to, and then one day out of the blue she completely cut me off,” she explained. “This happened years ago, but I dream of her constantly.”

“It’s probably because you never got any closure,” I suggested.

Little did I know at the time, this conversation heeded a warning.

The girl I was talking to was the kind of person I could stay awake with while ranting over two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from The Market. She was my very favorite person. The inevitable product of 3 a.m. talks with green eyes that I sometimes found myself looking into a little too long.

After a usual study session accompanied with Starbucks, she became distant. Confused by her finding any excuse not to see me, I sent a text asking if something was wrong. She explained her problems with a comment I made and my drunk behaviors from a time we went out together. I immediately apologized and offered to talk it out in person. She curtly responded that she needed space.

Space? After dodging me for over a week, it all seemed a tad over-reactive since there was no malintent. Her texts seem eerily formal, as if she were confronting a stranger. I was heartbroken.

Another week passed without any contact. I was starting to accept the loss, until I felt a tap on my shoulder. Caught off guard, I turned around to see her standing there greeting me with an awkward smile that only she could make charming.

I mumbled back a greeting and continued walking as hot tears started to stream down my face. Hot tip: If you want to start speaking again with a former friend, reach out over text before an in-person ambush.

We quickly fell back into the routine of ignoring each other’s presence. Difficult, since trying to avoid someone on campus is like trying to avoid COVID-19. I decided to reach out one more time with a text.

“Hey, I still have a lot of love in my heart for you. If you would like to talk before Spring Break, I’ll be around.”

20 minutes passed.

“Thanks for reaching out! No hard feelings.”

The break up was so painful that I wondered whether I was in love with her. I wasn’t. Love is a feeling. You could love someone and betray them. Instead, I was loyal to her. Loyalty is an action.

Initially, the combination of anger and hurt made me want to tell everyone of the girl who would give third and fourth chances to men built like Jack Skellington, but ended a devoted friendship without discussion. However, my loyalty barred me from acting out of resentment.

When a friendship dies, bury the secrets with it. Don’t become bitter while desperately trying to prove that it was in your own best interest.

My head hits the pillow each night secure with the fact that my loyalty is unwavering. However, she has now become the star of my own dreams, acting as a subtle reminder of the friendship that once was. She has become her very own nightmare, sharing the heavy craving for closure with me.

This quarantine has allotted time dedicated for my own space and self-reflection. I have concluded that sh*t happens, and the only way to cope is to move forward.