Monday, March 30, 2009

Forgive and Forget

I had a really good friend, Candy, in high school. She was a cool chick, always down for a good time or for going to a show and was fiercely loyal to her friends. We were friends up until I left for Australia and I was really going to miss her and hoped that she’d come out to visit me and Bun.

A few months before I left she started hanging out with this guy who was friends with people I knew from the surf shop. I didn’t know him at all, we talked online sometimes, just about Candy and our mutual friends. He’s in some band that has had their songs play on MTV and stuff but this was before they really started touring or doing shows. I didn’t message him to start with, he messaged me I’m pretty sure. The only time I met him was at mine and Bun’s going away dinner when Candy brought him as her date. He seemed nice and cool and I continued to talk to him online, but I didn’t have a crush on him or consider him a good friend or have any kind of ulterior motives for our acquaintance.

Candy ended up telling me something that I felt she should tell this guy. She didn’t think so, but from what he had told me about the two of them, I thought he should know. Now, looking back, even 5 minutes after I did it I thought it- I should’ve given her the chance to tell him or given her an ultimatum like if she didn’t tell him, I would, but I didn’t. To this day she thinks I was in the wrong for saying anything at all to him, but I still feel like I should’ve, just in a different way or talked her in to doing it herself since it was really her business.

I know that is all really vague and it makes me sound like an awful friend. If I said what the issue was, maybe more people would agree with what I had done, but I don’t want to say because I wouldn’t want to hurt Candy all over again about it. The bottom line is just this thing happened between us and it changed everything.

She called me to tell me she knew I had told the guy the thing and was pissed. I apologized and I meant it and I thought that that was that but, we stopped talking after that. I didn’t go home for that first year. I don’t think I tried to see her that Christmas, but I did try and see her that next summer when I was home. She agreed to meet then backed out at the last minute. We didn’t talk for another year and a half and then we started messaging back and forth on AIM and it seemed like maybe we had gotten over stuff.

After I got back from Hawaii, she suggested I come over and see her new place and have a hang out. I went and it was just awkward. I felt like she didn’t really want me there, even though SHE had been the one to call me. When her roommate came home, she pretty much ignored me to talk to this girl she saw everyday. I didn’t like her roommate and her roommate didn’t like me. I was saying something about the flight to Sydney being 14 hours or something and the roommate was like “How can that be when it takes like 10 to get to Hawaii from here.” I said, “No, it doesn’t, it takes like 6 to get to Hawaii.” She gave me this look like “Right, I don’t believe you, what do you know?” And I said, “Look, I just got back from Hawaii like 2 days ago, I know how long the flight is.” She then gave Candy this look like “Back me up (even though I’ve never been to Hawaii and neither have you and this girl has) it takes 10 hours to get there.” And Candy just said, “I don’t know.”

After the roommate went in to her room our conversation started flowing and it was turning out to be a fun night. Then the incident that changed everything came up. She told me how she had told, or had in as many words told, a bunch of people that were mutual friends that she hated me. It really shocked me, I knew she was mad, but I didn’t know she HATED me. I felt awful. I started crying because no one has ever said they’ve hated me before. I left shortly thereafter and it was kindof an uncomfortable goodbye, we said we’d meet up again before I left but I really didn’t want to and I ended up not seeing her again.

I didn’t hear from her again for 6 months. Then she messaged me to say she was moving to Australia. We had talked about this when I was at her house and I had advised her that moving to Australia can be very lonely and it’s not at all what you would expect. I knew her, or at least what she had been like for 5 years, and I knew she needed a big support group around her, like friends and her family, and here you are removed from all that. I suggested she move to a new city first to give living away from everyone a try. I also found it weird that she had “randomly” decided to move to Australia out of everywhere in the world. I don’t know if she wanted to prove it to me and Bun and everyone else that knew we had moved here that she was tough enough to do it too or what. Out of the blue I got a message from her on MySpace saying she was moving to Australia, but don’t worry “not my part of Australia”-Sydney, which if I have a “part” of Australia, I’d consider Sydney as within its range. Anyway, she asked if I had any advice for her.

I didn’t write her back. She suggested in the email that we should let the past be the past and I agreed, just not the in the way she thought. I just figured my life was here and in Santa Cruz now, not in Orange County so I’d let our friendship be in the past, too. I don’t think we would’ve hung out together heaps if I had written back, but I just didn’t want to be involved. My not replying wasn’t malicious; I just thought it was what was the best thing for me. Sometimes I ask Bun how she’s doing here and I hear she’s pretty miserable (probably off and on as living in a different country is always a roller coaster), I don’t think she’ll be making a permanent move out here, but I guess now she can tell everyone she’s done it?

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