Writers spend their days and nights expressing artistry through vocabulary yet when it comes to having an audience, most are hesitant to share. Somewhere between completing my first book and starting my second one, I decided to be more open in order to build an audience. Why not share my work? I truly do love it, if I didn’t I would not have written it. My current project is a work of non-fiction, something I haven’t done before nor did I think I would ever do but it turns out there was a time in my life that was more interesting than fiction. It’s a true story of faith, friendship, love, and lack thereof. It doesn’t end well in my opinion but when I sat down to put it all together, I vowed to be totally honest and as objective as I could be through my perspective. Without giving too much away, here is an excerpt of the end. Enjoy the tales of my tumultuous life.
The last page
You want to to know why it ended? We had been over many times, over and over again. Friendship bruised, busted and burned. It consistently clawed it’s way back though. Healing just enough to pull its wretched self out of the grave. You know what though? I learned that something can still be alive and dead at the same time. There but distant. Familiar but strange. Breathing yet lifeless. That was us. That was our mummified friendship. Propped up time and time and time again years after the casket dropped. What finally threw the dirt on top? Charity. Of all things. That’s what we talked about last. I was starting fresh, cleaning house, literally. I came across an art book. Works of Alex Pardee. I knew it was hers. I knew each item that was hers. It helped me remember that she used to be kind. Before throwing the book into the donation pile, I sent a text asking if she would like it back. First, I said sorry for her loss considering someone she knew very well had recently died. She didn’t acknowledge the death at all, in hindsight this told me exactly what I needed to know about who she is now, who she may have always been before our final conversation. Hindsight is a real bitch. There I was, holding onto hope that she was different now, that I was different now, that we could be different now.
A day after I sent the text, she answered saying she wanted the book back. Then she said if someone wanted it, I should give it to them, it was an expensive book. I said it was going to a thrift shop. I asked, how much? She sent me a screenshot of prices. The numbers were big. She said her copy might even be signed and that I should donate the money to charity. A specific charity that generously assists young mothers. Considering the endless pain and need in the world I asked, why them? She said baby stuff was expensive and that place gives it away like candy. She said I would know when I approached motherhood. She told me to love my mother. I didn’t need the reminder. I hug her constantly and the same goes for sharing ’I love yous’, she is my best friend. Nothing in my life has been conventional and I doubt motherhood will be the start of a bourgeois pattern in my life. There are so many paths to care for children that don’t involve having your own. I like the idea of helping hundreds much more than the idea of raising a few. I didn’t share this unconventional goal of mine though. It wasn’t that kind of conversation and I doubt she would have listened. Instead, I simply said I knew motherhood was crazy from my view on the sidelines. I also said that I knew for a fact the outreach she was talking about was supported generously. She said that doesn’t matter. They still need help. I said it’s was just a matter of deciding which cause to give to. She then suggested the place that trained my Service Dogs. I said they are wonderful too. There are so many causes that make my heart bleed. I said I would think about it. I was about to type that someone I knew was on the brink of homelessness and if anyone I knew truly needed money it was them. She didn’t give me a moment for that though. She said that it was her book that she was donating to me and she would like the money to go to a charity of her choosing. I said I would consider her recommendation, part sarcasm, part honesty. She did say the book was donated to me. Wouldn’t that make it my choice to choose where the money goes? This didn’t satisfy her. She said I was being stubborn and this conversation was exhausting. She said I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t respond right away. This was a confirmation that she hadn’t changed, the elements in her life were different but she was still the same. I was hurt that she got aggressive and called me stubborn when my intention was the opposite, I reached out to be agreeable. The same intent as what I thought hers was, a mutual desire to give to charity. I thought we were talking about which one, I didn’t know hers had to win. I wrote back; no conversation was necessary and that she could have done that with the book. I said that was really uncalled for. Even when she was saying something nice, she was selfish. This is why she’s hard for me. She is not kind, not to me, not anymore. I tried to keep things as good as they can be, I tried. I tried too many times I think. I know we have our issues. I know I was selfish. Honestly, I would not like me either but I kept trying out of love. I’m sure she would argue otherwise but that was my motive, even when angry, even when hurt, I tried to love. If not for love I wouldn’t have been hurt or angry.
Maybe I was trying to keep the door open so I could make up for the mistakes I made in the past. Maybe it wasn’t about the book or what charity to donate the profits to. Maybe I missed her. Every time I tried to make it right it only got worse. I tried and tried because I loved her and I think she may be the only friend who ever truly loved me. I have so many that love me and I love them more but as far as friends go, she was the only one I had that I felt truly understood me. It’s hard to let that go. Even if all they do now is aggravate and demean while sporadically asking for prayer. I say the prayers for God’s sake and He knows what a difficult task that can be for me. I tried but it’s so painful. It’s too painful now. I’m done trying now. I don’t deserve that. I deserve friends who will love me back even when they don’t want to. It’s the kind of pain that can make me cry on a dime. The reminder that my sweetest friend went away in the end. To be loved is grand but to be understood is better.
That’s the anti-climatic real-life ending. What had been waterlogged and chest-compressed too many times to be considered viable was finally still as stone. My famous last words were; I was only trying to be considerate.