A few weeks ago, I received a message from a friend through Instagram. The photo showed her with a man who looked very much like the person she’d just spent time with on Reddit. She recounted how they’d laughed, hugged, and even gone for a drink after spending time together.
I wondered what had happened to her. It had been three months since we’d spoken. I couldn’t believe she’d be the same person she’d been before this encounter. Was it a fluke?
After chatting for a bit, I asked if she was okay. She said that after the interaction with her friend, she felt completely weird. Before she’d gone on the record with her feelings, she’d tried to explain how it really had been. She’d said she’d met him in a hotel lobby, she’d been chatting to him for a few minutes, they’d seemed real, and after a meal, she’d gone to his room.
In the following weeks, she’d remained very quiet about her relationship with him. She didn’t explain how they’d ended up in a hotel lobby, sitting on a bench outside a restaurant, and what she had wanted to tell him that first day she’d met him. It seemed like she’d found a way to ruin the moment.
But then she stopped talking to me. No one had ever heard from her. We thought she’d lost her friend, her sister.
In the years I’d known her, she’d always been someone I could rely on. She was funny and kind. She was fiercely loyal. When I was sad or feeling down, there was no way I’d be able to keep up with her. I didn’t even know why I could.
I spent an enormous amount of time waiting for her reply to my messages. I hoped that one day I’d get to hear her voice again. Sometimes I’d wake up and her voice would be the first thing I heard in the morning.
Was I the only one who felt like she had disappeared from the world? Where was the friend I thought I’d lost years ago back in my sleepover? It had been nine years. I hadn’t seen her for three years.
I finally decided to take some time off from my blogging career and go on a countryside trip. I’d never been good at making decisions like this, but it seemed the only option. I had no idea where Lachie was, but I needed to figure out what to do with my life.
I knew I couldn’t go back to my old life. I wasn’t happy in my old job, and I wasn’t getting a raise. I was disappointed with my life, but I couldn’t move forward in a new way. I was so drained I was scared I’d try to live life over again. I wanted to be sad all the time, but I wasn’t. I was just trying to survive life.
I thought Lachie loved me at some point, or maybe I was just fooling myself. I wasn’t ready to accept this. I couldn’t move on by myself. I had to find a way to move forward with a smile, a new start, and a couple of months with Lachie by my side.
I’m sorry we weren’t able to be close. I wish we had ended up being closer than we were before. I’m going to be a better friend to Lachie by trying to be a better friend to myself. I hope the message I tried to send her was clear. If not, I’m going to be sorry for the pain I caused her.