Stiched together

Alexis Sendejas, Featured Columnist

     I had never wanted to lose her as a friend. She was one of those people who just understood me so well. She could finish my sentences and order exactly what I wanted off a restaurant menu. I trusted her, something I do not do with many. She was like the twin sister I lost at birth. Lindsey showed me the benefits of trusting someone and having someone support me every day.

     Friendship is the one thing that binds people’s lives together. It acts as a single thread, stitched into a quilt that makes up our life. And much like a quilt does when it loses a thread, we unravel when we lose a friend. Friendship leaves an imprint on our lives, causing us to try to reconstruct without them. We try to tell ourselves things like “everything happens for a reason” or “I am better off without them”, but the truth is, we are just trying to justify this pain inside of us. The pain of missing someone who you used to hold so dear and close to heart.  

     Our friendship started to unravel towards the middle of June. We did not talk as much because of our impossible schedules. No longer did we talk for a straight four hours, about nothing even remotely important. No longer did we have our three-day sleepovers or $500 shopping sprees. No longer did we have our sessions where we would laugh until our abs were on fire and tears were streaming down our faces.

     It was late June. I clearly remember lying on the gray rug in my bedroom, looking at a picture of Lindsey and me on the wall. At the time, she was at a church camp for two weeks where she was not allowed to have outside communication.

     I stared at the picture and went back to the happy memory it preserved – us at school, smiling like the idiots we were together, because we had just so happened to both be wearing a cheetah-print top, dark wash Miss Me jeans and sparkly silver Toms that day. I could see the look of genuine happiness that radiated from our faces, through the picture and to all of its observers.

     That was when we were best friends, when nothing could separate us. But five months later, things changed. Our thread was unraveling, allowing our quilt to fray.

     On the few occasions we saw each other, Lindsey and I fought more, about things like boys, our prettiness and who we considered real friends. It didn’t help our relationship.

     Time passed and soon school was in session. For the first month or so, we seemed to be on a fast track to rekindling our friendship and stitching up our separation. But still, nothing was the same.

     She accused me of not caring about her. I criticized her for not respecting her own and others’ relationships. It seemed that if it was not one thing, it was another.

     The funny thing is, even though I tried to give the impression of not caring or having too much interest in the friendship, a huge part of me was devastated. I felt like I had lost a crucial part of me, like an arm or vital organ.

     I was too scared to say anything. I did not want to look stupid or mother-like, that’s for sure. But I also did not realize what I was letting go.

     If I could go back and be a better friend, I would. I would have been there for her when she needed it. I would have been the friend that I should have been. But I cannot turn back the clock.

     My grandma has always told me “You never miss it until it’s gone.” I never believed her until now, when I have this immense gap within myself.

     Now the semester is over. Sadly, Lindsey and I have hung out only twice. Twice. That’s absolutely crazy to me. We were once so inseparable, but now we are like strangers. I am no longer a best friend to her. I feel empty.

     Our quilt is now unstitched.

      That does not mean it will always be that way. I have apologized to her for my absence as a friend, and I hope things will slowly mend back together.

     Reflecting back on all the good times I had with her, I am encouraged to not only appreciate things more, but also to take extra care on how I prioritize the people in my life. People choose who they become friends with, but cannot control when they lose them.

     I know in my heart that one day she and I will be close again. It will take work, and work I am willing to do. Because a friend is a treasured quilt, one that can protect you and comfort you in times of need. Friendship is a fragile thing. It takes care, work and time, just like stitching a quilt.