Six hours and thirty-seven minutes ago, my world collapsed courtesy of two words.
Two words you couldn’t even deliver in person.
Amidst the exchanges of “one more bucket of beer!” and “you looked gorgeous tonight” was a deafening silence no one paid attention to.
I reached for a beer and downed it in two gulps.
A dull thud begins in the middle of my head.
I reach for a second bottle, only to come up empty; J swats my hand away and tells me to get my own bottle.
HOW DARE YOU?
I show G your text.
He’s drunk, high on happiness from winning an accolade and at least five bottles of beer throughout the night.
“So? He wasn’t right for you then, he isn’t right for you now. Move on and DON’T YOU DARE CRY ABOUT THIS.”
His normal air of nonchalance dissipates for a split-second and I glimpse a rare display of his concern for me.
“You’re picking up the next round, right?”
So much for the moment.
J makes sure I get an Uber home; he gives me a one-armed hug while G waves his goodbyes, ignoring me for bottle #7 (or is it 9? I’ve lost count.)
The ride home is tensely quiet, the Uber driver probably thinks I’m drunk as a skunk.
Meanwhile, a sobering remix thumps in my head.
I stumble home at 3AM.
Out of habit, I crawl into the shower instead of outright collapsing into bed.
I drunk-message M while trying to dry myself off and promptly pass out.
I wake up to messages asking for an explanation.
M: Let’s play a quick game of Would You Rather.
Not sure where you’re going with this, but okay I’ll bite.
M: Would you rather receive news of his death or his marriage?
Honestly, I was half-expecting his death. It was the marriage that threw me in for a loop.
M: Even if it sucks, you have to accept that he isn’t the right person for you.
We were supposed to get married! I’ve loved him for ELEVEN YEARS, only for him to cheat on me and get married to someone else, after he told me to wait for him.
M: Write it down.
M: I want you to write it all down – your story. Write it down, give it life. Pour your heart into it. Go. All of it. Once you write THE END, I want you to end it. On your terms. This is how you’ll move on.
As I write this, I’m proud to say that I haven’t cracked – I haven’t cried…yet.
Maybe it’s too surreal, maybe it’s too bitter a truth for me to swallow.
I check your best friend’s Instagram to see if he stood as your best man.
It’s what I would have wanted, had it been me.
After scrolling through 4 years’ worth of posts, I conclude that you are either a liar or you no longer count him as your best friend.
The first stage of grief, a process I’m highly familiar with, as I did my collegiate dissertation on it.
I’m in denial.
I’m still hungover.
The worst part of this whole experience is this: you were my best friend for most of those years.
Why did you send me a follow request on Instagram a few days ago, then?
Why do I still care so much?
…but not to me.