The One That Got Away

[Warning: this post is quite sentimental]

Friendships come and go especially when you are young but of all the friends I have loved and lost the only one that keeps coming back to me is you. Caroline.

I met you at my girl's private school - you were rich and I was poor and on a scholarship. You were awkward and self conscious, I was the class clown but insecure on the inside.

Caroline you were everything to me only I did not know it at the time. I was trying my best to be brittle and sophisticated except for the fact I knew full well I didn't fit in to this social milieu. I lived in this council flat and once I had a party and one of the boys who came said, in this incredibly posh voice, "It's awfully nice of you for your dad to buy you this little flat just for you." He thought it was my bijou pad just for having parties, you know, and my real house was in Hampstead!! I didn't dare contradict him.

Another friend I had, Annabelle, who was this compulsive liar and nymphomaniac who went to the French Alps every winter and on the yacht in summer (she took me once too) and of course the one time I went skiing it was some terrible bargain bucket trip because my mum was tight and I told Annabelle it was going to be on an overnight coach trip to Austria. And Annabelle laughed and said, "Well it sounds just awful. I would simply refuse to go!"

It made me laugh that. Refusing to go. Choices. Isn't that an option for the rich or at least the option for people who weren't like me?

So anyway Caroline the problem was that I really preferred these poseurs like Annabelle who took me to parties on the weekends and taught me how to do blowbacks and encouraged me to seduce older men and etcetera when really Annabelle was just a basket case and I was there for her entertainment a slice of 'real life' while you were my real friend.

Caroline I loved your house and I loved your family, so warm and welcoming. And every time my home life was a disaster I was so pleased to be there with you. But I didn't know it. I didn't know it at the time, that you would be the best friend to me for many years.

Because I was a stupid girl and also I was in survival mode. I was living day to day. I was not in touch with my emotions. I did not know, did not know for many years what real love was and where to find it.

And looking back you loved me in a real way and not a fake way. But I threw it away.

Even though we knew each other until our mid twenties gradually the relationship dissolved and since then I have not been able to find you because even if you have your reasons and maybe you have your reasons for not wanting to see you - like maybe you thought I was rude, thoughtless and unkind - and I am - the thing is Caroline I would just like to say I am sorry. Sorry for the way I was when I was young but it was - just let us say you knew what my home life was and it was not something I knew how to deal with. When we are young we do not understand what we are going through. And most of all we are ungrateful - and let me say to you now, I was grateful for you. Will always be grateful. You never said no when I needed someone, you were never busy. You were always there for me with open arms.

I think it broke down because you were jealous of me. You were always acting like my boyfriends were so hot even when they weren't and you said of me, "You have too attractive a personality," like I could attract anyone to be my friend. And the thing is maybe I am charismatic and charming etc etc but honestly if you were jealous there was no need. No, that came out wrong. What I mean is you can take all the pointless relationships and transient friendships and they all come and go but they don't mean anything compared to a real friendship. And when I look back on it I can't believe I just took you for granted. It was like, oh she worships the ground I walk on and it will always be so. And it wasn't always so and for some reason we parted ways. And even though I don't think we will ever be friends again I would still like to know what I did or what happened to change everything.

I think everyone has a friend like that....and they don't realise what they have lost until it is too late. Did the same thing happen to you?

Inspired by a prompt over at Sleep Is For The Weak.