Scene: I, the only one awake in my house, am sitting up past midnight, having gotten in late but not wanting to go to bed. I am curled up on the couch with my journal and a pen, making my first entry since about a month ago. But it is not a traditional entry. Rather, it is a letter to one who I know will understand. What follows is the letter I wrote, verbatim.
Dear [name omitted],
Do you feel it, too? This desperation to keep your friends together? This striving to plan events so we don’t go too long without seeing each other? This sense of urgency to talk? The wanting not to go home when we are together?
It is slowly dawning on me just how different my life this fall is going to be. College will be the end of being near my friends. I hadn’t realized how much you guys meant to me.
So now I am hanging on with this emotional desperation. I do not want to forget my friends or leave them behind. Or is it that I’m afraid of being the one that is forgotten?
I have never left behind a friendship that wasn’t a mutual parting. The true friends I have now are the ones I’ve always had, the first and truest ones I’ve made. I am afraid of the inevitable parting. I am afraid of the forgetting.
Do you know how much I need to be loved and needed? When one of us is missing from a gathering, I feel off. I want the other person. Is it that way for the others when I’m the one missing? Is something off when I’m not there?
For some members of our group, I believe so. For others, not so much. But it is the love of these that I desire most. I need to be needed. (Insert Peter Gabriel.) Am I the only one that feels that? Am I alone in this?
It is times like now that I dearly wish I cried easily. It would relieve the pain. As it is, I carry it around, a burden so hidden I hardly notice how it chisels my heart away. I see it only when I am with my friends, for then I am both happy and utterly miserable.
I never thought I was a touchy-feely type person, but it just occurred to me that the ones I feel farthest from are the ones I do not hug. It’s as if we stopped at acquaintance stage and stayed there. We chat across the tracks but are too afraid to cross them. That, or we are unmotivated. Maybe we don’t care enough.
I never thought I got so emotionally attached to people. But I would gladly stay up all night every night if it meant being with my friends, because that’s when I really live. Maybe those who show it the least love the most. Remember how I said myself was alone? Well, maybe that’s wrong.