I miss you, my friend.
And how weird to be saying this now–more than a year after you’ve left, thousands of miles away–more to your shadow than your face.
I guess I thought–I assumed, that is–that you’d be coming back. And you might very well do so, but I never thought there was a possibility that you wouldn’t. That you wouldn’t want to.
Which speaks more of how you’ve changed.
And how I haven’t.
Even if–when, no, if–you come back, what we had, what we might have, will never be the same.
We talk. Or, rather, we message each other. Sporadically.
Part of the reason why I was so thrown off guard.
Over a decade of being each other’s shoulder to cry on, of baring our vulnerabilities to each other, that we’ve fallen into patterns that miss the entire story.
You fell in love–with the land and the people and the work, which you had for months entrusted your… less than stellar opinions on… but the more your grew to love it, the more it made you happy, the less I heard about it.
And so my picture is only half formed, a grueling climb up but no final, breathtaking view at the summit. I saw only your stress and strain and none of the smiles that made it worth it.
I only know the you from a year ago, not who you are now.
Even when you were here, when we were together, we were apart.
Instead of thousands of miles, it was hundreds, and we only saw each other rarely.
But still. That was enough.
Because it was as if, whenever we reunited, the only things that had changed between us were the stories we could tell each other.
And it was enough, every time, to renew our friendship.
I never believed in soulmates, I have more than enough family to spare, but it seemed to me that we matched. Had perhaps formed ourselves to match, subconsciously, as we grew up and learned together.
You’ve grown without me, far far away, and I don’t know if our shapes still correspond.
Perhaps I’m being over dramatic.
I left, too, for a year. Grew into my own–or so people say–though really it just felt like a chance to be a better, brighter me with a deadline if I didn’t like it.
And immediately after I came back, you left, too. Not as long, but much farther, and I know you discovered a version of yourself as well.
But we wrote letters to each other, digital as they were, made time when neither of us had much to see each other’s faces, hear each other’s voices.
But this time… is this what we’re reduced to without our safety net of technology?
I’m being silly, I know.
I’m so happy for you, so proud. So overjoyed that you’ve found yourself even if it’s not a version of you that I’ve met.
But I miss you, and they are not mutually exclusive.
I’m just feeling homesick for you.