So, once upon a time, I had this friend. I loved her like a sister. She was funny, smart, clever, talented, and an amazingly good time. I already told you what my town was like, and how desperately I needed to escape. Unfortunately, in the course of my escape I left her behind. I went off to college and got caught up with the wild side of that life. I was finding myself while losing myself daily. And she was home.
She went to school, too. But she commuted, and eventually it was too much for her. She quit and went to work. She moved in with a guy that wasn't good enough for her, and I told her as much. We grew apart. I lost her. But I always figured it was a natural deterioration, sad but nothing personal. Still, I always missed her, and lamented the loss of one of the best relationships of my life.
Then, about 10 years later, we found each other. I don't remember who found who, but that isn't the point. The point is that I found out the absolution of our relationship was very personal. She walked back into my life to prove to me that she had made good choices. She brought her wonderful little baby, who looked just like her baby pictures, and bragged about her life as a mom and a married woman. Then she dropped a bomb on me. She had purposely pulled away from me because I was too judgmental of her mate and the life she had chosen. She felt I didn't support her, and I crushed her by abandoning her. My heart broke. Then she walked back out of my life.
Now, she's back again. I am uneasy with this reincarnation, but at the same time I want a second chance. I'm afraid that I'll let her down again, but I can't help but reach out. In many ways, she's still one of the smartest, funniest, most clever people I've ever known. And the one afternoon we met for coffee felt so comfortable, like sliding right back into a pair of old jeans.
Still, is it like this for her? Is she waiting for me to hurt her again? What can we be to each other at this point? How can I navigate a relationship with her if her husband (rightly) hates me? After all, I talked so much smack about him, but in the end I was the one who hurt her. My husband says we can never have what once was. Logically, I know this and emotionally I'm not even sure I'd want it. But still, never? If that's true, what am I doing? And what do I want?
I invited her to dinner.