My Open Letter to an Old Best Friend



I could start off this letter quoting the song by Adele that’s titled with the same greeting, but I won’t. That’s not me. I will not fluff this up with poetic lines or rhetorical questions about where you are and what you are up to. Though I will confess that those lyrics made me think about more people and situations than what the song by Adele had probably intended.

You were not the one that got away

You were just… you, a unique entity in my life. I would call you a best friend, but you were more than that. As for family, you were more than that too.

When I needed a sibling or a friend, a supportive presence or a perverted joke to laugh at, you were there. The universe sensed that I needed a platonic soulmate, and it gave me you. Our relationship was built up over time as most lasting friendships are.

Talks on the phone, random encounters outside of school, and as we got older the meet-ups at the park or cups of coffee at Starbucks. We were inseparable but separate. We were the ultimate sign of friendship until we weren’t. The funny thing about us was how we talked about growing up and older together. We thought it would last. But it didn’t.

Perhaps what was truly meant to be was the memories unyielding to the sands of time, refusing to get smothered by the weight of our ever-changing lives.

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Life does strange things to people

It reshapes them gradually. It drives some relationships apart while weaving others together. The circumstances that acquainted us became the very chisel that pried us apart.

We were none the wiser of the shift. Somehow, the two of us have gone to different places. I see slivers of your life without me in it, just as I am sure you see mine. From time-to-time, I wonder if I should reach out and see if you would like to meet, but I stop myself.

Where this distance began and where it ends is a blurred line that I can’t define alone, and so I hesitate to cross it.

Partially, it is out of fear. I am scared that those times that I spent with my best friend do not compare to your memories. The frightening possibility that, maybe, our friendship was not everything it appeared to be keeping me from trying to rekindle it.

Age has done remarkable things to us

Simultaneously, it makes us realize everything we have done wrong as kids and adolescents. My perspective has changed, and I am sure yours has too. So I tell myself that the silent end of our friendship is a good thing, that we have just drifted apart.

Yes, that’s it. Our roles changed. This separation was not because of a horrific fight or disagreement. The scenarios we have faced alone since our parting have guided us down alternative routes. Within a mutual, unsaid understanding, we merely came to terms with the fact that we no longer needed one another’s support.

Such is life

And that is why I am writing you today, to let you know that I still support you in silence. You are still my friend, even though I haven’t heard your voice in years. While we may be lost in the recent happenings in one another’s life, I continue to look back on the memories that helped me mature into who I am now with joy.

Such happiness means that I still love you as an old friend, a sibling, a teacher and a platonic soulmate. Wherever you are, whatever you have done, I am proud of the person you have become.

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I hope that every day greets you with the sunshine, and that when you close your eyes at night that your heart is full. May you also have someone to share that beautiful soul with. Because after all the struggles, you deserve it.

So I conclude this letter to an old friend with a final promise: I will never, ever forget you. Thank you for being there when you were. May happiness find you. Always.