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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

Holding On

I once met someone. She and I clicked right away. We became fast friends and, best of all, B. fell completely in love with her.

We connected over things I hadn't shared with many people. I met her and felt as if I had known her forever.

She gave me invaluable advice.

She made me feel like we were family.

And then she took it away. She had reasons for stepping away. She never came back.

This was in 2017. The same year my employer pummeled me and my health.

A few months later B. whispered to me that she felt abandoned by said friend who she referred to as Auntie. Her bottom lip and chin wobbled and I told her that I felt the same and it was okay to feel hurt. I couldn't explain it. I didn't know why but we'd get through it.

This friend had gifted me something wrapped in the most divine paper and I'd kept it - the paper that is - framed in my bathroom. Usually I am very much able to separate the gift from the gift giver. If I like it but don't like you, well, I'm not giving up something cool just because you're lame. This frame though. I held her in it. Until yesterday when I'd had enough. Five years later.

I have lost friends before and I felt relief. Family. Such pure joy. This friend? I couldn't let go. I imagined she'd come back to us eventually and so I kept the frame as a way to say to myself "just a little bit longer", as a way to show her that I waited, and to keep those joyous parts of her alive in my home.

It is so very rare for me to feel instantly safe and at home with someone. I felt that with her. Maybe we were never supposed to be friends forever. Maybe if the things that happened hadn't occurred something else would have. Maybe she was never supposed to be part of my family.

I'm finally ready to admit that to myself.

I'm finally ready to take the frame down.

Finally ready to accept. She's never coming back. I don't need to hold on to that piece of her. She doesn't need evidence that I waited - there won't come a time for it.

There's no place for that frame in my life anymore.

I'm finally ready to let go.

So what's the lesson here? Sometimes you'll love someone so deeply and they won't love you back. You'll receive a text that says they need time and you just never hear from them again. You won't have done anything to cause the end and still the end will come anyway.

That sucks.

But it will be okay. I'm not there yet but I know I'll get there.

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