To the one person I never expected to miss

Dear Stranger,

I miss you. I miss telling you about every single stupid thing that happens in my life. I miss the way people would ask me where you were when you weren’t with me because it was a known fact that we were a packaged deal. I miss laughing with you and all of our inside jokes. I miss sending you messages from the toilet. I miss looking over at you and knowing exactly what you are thinking. I miss knowing that at the end of the day I had you, that when push came to shove, no matter how bad the situation might be, I knew you would be there.

I miss my person, my other half and my best friend.

I hate that I don’t know how to answer the question “Where is xxx?”, because I genuinely don’t know. I hate that our once free flowing and natural conversations now seem to be filled with awkward silence and formal “how-do-you-dos”. I hate that your face, one that I was so used to seeing, is now just another face in the crowd. I hate that we can go for months at a time without talking and yet we don’t feel anything.

I’m mad at myself for letting our friendship become this far gone. What happened? How did I not see this coming? How did I not feel ourselves starting to drift? I am mad for not fighting harder for the friendship that we had. It wasn’t like most friendships. It was the kind of friendship that neither of us could have anticipated coming to an end. It was us against the world, and now it is nothing.

I am mad for letting it become nothing but a collection of memories.

I’m sad because I don’t even know where to go from here. I don’t know what there is to be said. Nothing really happened to make it change, so how do I fix it? How do I make this horrible yearning for you go away? How do I shake the dreadful feeling of knowing that you are no longer just a message away?

How do we find a way to fall back together just as easily as we fell apart?

I’m scared that it cannot be fixed and that maybe we weren’t supposed to be forever. I’m scared that from here on out, you will not be a part of my life. I’m scared that when I am with friends, you will not be one of them. That when I’m upset and I need someone to just be there, I won’t see you. That when I see you among the faces in the crowd, it will hurt just as badly then as it does now to find that we won’t even acknowledge each other.

But what I’m most scared of is that you don’t even care at all. I am scared that maybe you haven’t noticed my absence in your life or that maybe you have, but it just doesn’t matter to you. I am scared that you have already replaced me. I am scared that you don’t look back on our friendship as fondly as I do. I’m scared that our lack of a future doesn’t hurt you just as badly as it hurts me.

I’m scared that you don’t miss me as much as I miss you.

However, even if that is the case, I will never give up hope that we will find our way back to each other, no matter how unlikely that seems. I will never stop caring about you and wishing you well in life. I will silently smile from a distant sideline as you go out into the world and kick some ass. You will always hold a special place in my heart even though I may no longer hold one in yours.

I will never stop looking back on our friendship fondly and will always only have kind things to say.

I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I do know one thing is for certain, I will never find another friend like the friend I found in you. Thank you for everything. I miss you more than you could ever possibly know.

All the best,
Me.

To the friends we’ll never talk to again

I imagine our lives to be a story, with a seamless transition from beginning to the middle, ending at the finale.

We write, direct, and star in it. We control the story, casting ourselves as the hero / heroine.

We also cast the major characters in our lives; Enemies, best friends, and lovers. We decide who to cast in those roles, and for how long.

They are the Dr. Watson to our Sherlock Holmes, the Chandler to our Joey.

However, the casting isn’t permanent. What happens when our story develops to the point where our once closest friend has a seemingly irreparable outburst? Not everyone who is close now will be there forever.

It’s the cold, hard truth of life. One I’ve fought against but to no avail.

I remember when we would talk for hours about all sorts of random shit. We liked the same random shit, hated the same people, and had laughs about the strangest of things. We would jokingly insult each other over the smallest things, and laugh it off. At the end of the day, I had your back, and you had mine. We could do everything.

We swore that we would be friends until we die.

All that changed one day. What happened? Maybe our feelings changed. Maybe we didn’t have each others backs when we really needed it and we never recovered since. All I know is that we no longer play each others close friends in our stories. We’ve cast new people to take over.

Things have been going on quite nicely since you left. My new cast members fit the role nicely, like you once did.

The plot of my life has been steady, yet for some reason, I can’t help but feel this void in my life. I can’t help that while my new friends are awesome, there are moments that only you could bring about, memories that are only triggered by you.

Hard as they try, they just cannot replicate that old feeling. It’s just not the same.

Does it really have to end there? Is our connection really severed for good? I know you’ve been (for the lack of a better word) replaced as my close friend, and the same goes for me to you, but know that you have not been removed from my story entirely. Never.

Your impact on my life previously was simply too great and will NEVER be forgotten.

You were a big part of my life, and while that part is now smaller, you will always be part of my story even if there are new characters coming in. Before them it was you, and the least I can do is open my arms and welcome you should you ever decide to come back or seek my help.

Just say the word and we can go back to how it was previously in a flash.

Maybe you’re too busy with your life to bother about this person in your life. But I hope that you know that whether it’s a cameo appearance that lasts one chapter, or a full-on return of your character as a major star, my story will always welcome you back in, because no one else – regardless of how good – can play that role except you.

I wish you knew

Written when I was in National Service in the SCDF as a Firefighter.

I wish you knew the feeling of climbing up 18 floors in full gear, carrying our equipment and running out of breath, but still needing to push on because a fire is raging and we need to put it out.

I wish you could know what it is like to search a home for a trapped family, smoke above your head, inching forward blindly with only your sense of hearing and touch to guide you, only to hear them screaming, then seeing them perched on the ledge outside their house, 18 floors up.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning furniture, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I’ve become too familiar with.

I wish you could understand how it feels to go home in the morning after having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind as we extricate a dead person from the sewer, the lifeless body, the cramped space, and the rotting smell that sticks to your turnout gear.

I wish you could know my thoughts as we see a senior citizen, lying beside her dead husband, not wanting to “wake” him up, living with the smell until neighbours complained.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what we do, or as they express their attitudes of “It will never happen to me”, or “All of you are weak!”

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep, and injuries, in addition to all the tragedy we have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or of preserving someone’s property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us.

Reveal

Your nature to all you know.
Your hopes and dreams to your friends and family.
Your fears to the ones you love, and love you back.
Your desires to none.

We all have secrets. What’s yours?