Eli, oh Eli. I have been working on this for quite a while now. Trying to find the right words. The correct, kind, words. The words that will not hurt you or make you cry. Because the last thing I would ever want is to see you in pain. But, maybe your eyes will never see these words? Sometimes I think maybe I should have never walked into your life. That’s the only way my absence wouldn’t hurt you as much as it might be hurting you now, is it? I would have said all this face to face. But the tears in my eyes wouldn’t have let me speak. I miss you.
I remind you often how well I remember the first time I met you. Because that day something changed. Maybe I didn’t know it, maybe you didn’t know it, but something had changed.
A shy boy walked in on his first day of work with his hat all the way down his face, trying to cover as much as he could. You, with your warm and kind smile welcomed that shy boy in. You were wearing your black dress shirt, the one with the short sleeves, remember? You told him to tuck in his shirt. He felt so embarrassed. Not even one minute and already he had messed up. But it was ok. It was all for the best. That’s the way all good stories start.
I think I’m getting a head of myself Eli. Let me take you back in time. To when I was younger. Way younger. I was a very shy little boy. I’m sure you could tell when you met me. I had no friends. I used to play by myself. I hated group projects. And hated recess. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know where to go.
Funny story. Well it’s more sad really. Sometimes I would go to the bathroom and sit in the stalls and wait until it was time to go back to class. Very movie like, right? I agree, the only difference is that I was five, and already I knew what rejection had felt like. That was basically my whole first grade. There was a kid I met though. His name was Jed. (Where are you now Jed?) He was my first real best friend. I met him in third grade. I don’t know how we came to be friends but we did. And we did everything together. Until, sadly, I moved away. Never to see him again. Never to have a friend again, until you.
After that, school was just another obstacle. I tried to fit in as much as I could. Blend in with the right people from time to time. Live unnoticed . And it worked. Until the eighth grade. That’s when my father left us. (Well, got deported). I couldn’t take school anymore. So I went home-schooled . I isolated myself even more. Finished high school at home. So basically I had no high school experience. Along with no friends .
Take in mind that through all this I was fighting with my sexuality. I didn’t know who I was. I was lost, I was hopeless. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. I was suicidal. I was self harming. All I needed was support form someone. I begged the God that I knew to give me a friend. A friend that would understand my life’s pain. A friend that would not only make me smile on the outside but also on the inside.
Was that friend, you? You decide.
Let me tell you something Eli. I didn’t think we were going to be friends until that one time I drove you home. Remember? Hmmm. You needed a ride after work and told you I could take you. That’s when I told you I was a Jehovah Witness. Told you how hard it was “living two life’s.”
When you said “omg, it must be so hard.” You seemed really genuine. Like it came form the heart. Did it? You only had known me a couple of months. Had our bond grown? I met your dog that day. R.I.P. Lady. She was the sweetest. The thought of her brings back so many great memories.
I have to stop here and apologize for not being there when she pasted away. I know you loved her like a child, and I was no where to be seen when she was taken from your hands. That’s maybe the cruelest thing I ever did to you. But as you know, I was “being a saint.”
Remember when we worked together? Those times were great. Only, but only, when rarely we got on each others nerves. I always liked how by being indirect you got your point across. This took me time to understand, remember I had no social interacting before this job, so reading people was difficult. But I always admired the way you talked to people. Always with respect, always with a smile.
Once I started opening up more and more it seemed like you were becoming that friend I always
wanted needed. I told you everything. From my sexuality to my past. We had so much in common. Like that one time when we went to Starbucks and we talked about how much we struggled when we were younger, having to travel on the bus, remember? Dealing with our families. I remember all the stories that you confined in me about your brothers and your mom. Do you remember mine?
Every time you opened up to me about life, I felt every single peace of pain your were feeling, yet I couldn’t express mine.
Remember Jesse? Ugh, I have to admit I still have a tiny crush on him. I don’t know why. I don’t stalker-crazy like him, but if he were to walk into my life I wouldn’t mind. I think it’s his eyes. Maybe his smile? He’s gay. Doesn’t want to admit it but come on! He’ll come around.
That night of the party you had. The first one I ever went to. With Jenny, Marvin, Lily, Junior, Gabe, me, and
Julie. Remember? That was one of the best nights I have had in a long time. I drank so much. Through up all over the place, but it was great! I had never done anything like that before it was crazy! It wasn’t me! It was fun! That night made me forget the night I had before where I poured out my heart to the guy from above and it got thrown out the window without a blink of an eye. Still, I’d run to his arms if he’d only let me.
Imagine how drunk you would be if you had to take a shot very time I said remember?
Well, remember, when we were preparing Gabes twenty third birthday party? We were on the freeway headed to the dollar store when you mentioned how coworkers don’t stay friends once one quits working at the same place? I told you that it does not always happen that way and that we would try our best to not make that happen no matter which one of us quit first. But here we are, haven’t spoken for maybe more than three months. We don’t know what we are up to. Don’t know how we are doing. You seem to be doing well according to your snaps. Are we still friends?
Speaking of Snap Chat, you keep sending these snaps to try to communicate with me. I do appreciate it just so you know. But I wish you would call me. I wish you would text me. Why don’t you?
How did we end up like this? Ill tell you how. It all started when I quit McD’s. June 12th. I quit because I was under so much pressure. I couldn’t stand the hours and at home my mom dating that guy, my life was just insane at that moment. Now I look back and see that it wasn’t even that bad, compared to now of course.
I quit not having another job to go to but just relying on Lyft. That didn’t work out. I think I was losing more than gaining. Stress got the better of me. How was I going to pay my bills? My car? The rent? Other necessities? You guys seemed to live life on a regular. Like I had never left, like I had never even been there. I pushed that feeling away and still hoped for the best.
I was out of the loop. I didn’t know what was going on . I have the most blame maybe on that one. I could have asked. But in my time of despair, Gabriel came along. He is some one from church. All of the sudden I thought maybe if I gave the religion one more try then I could get it right. Yes I was gay, but that didn’t bother me as much as it did before, I had given up on love. At least for me.
So I went full throttle. I knew I wasn’t going to change my sexuality, I just wanted to feel something. Because at the time I felt numb. It didn’t help. But that made it impossible for us to be friends. At the time I had different views. They weren’t mine but they were deeply implanted in me that I believed them to be. But I missed you guys.
So I agreed to hang out. We went to Chilies. Well, me and Jenny did. You, never showed up. You don’t know how much that hurt me. I forgave you though, or better said I didn’t blame you at all. Who would want to see a friend who basically disappeared for a couple of months? Maybe that night, October 21st, our friendship started to collapse.
On November 4th when I finally saw you after so long I remembered why I loved you so much as a friend. I wanted to save our friendship, all of our friendships. So I poured my heart out in a letter, in a letter that I hoped would explain everything that I was going through. What did you do to that letter? Did I just remind you that you had it?
Writing and giving you that letter made me think that now you would understand me more. That the next time I would have a “fall out” you would do everything in your power to keep me from rolling up in a corner. That didn’t happen. You might say you tried but sending me funny snaps does not apply.
What hurt more than anything is when you guys never had time to hang out. All you said is that I should understand the crazy schedule you guys had. Which I did. To a curtain extent. But you used that excuse too many times that it lost its meaning. I got canceled on several occasions. Because work was more important than me. I understand you have to pay bills, but at the expense of my feelings?
That time we hanged out at Jenny’s house with Monique and you said you were going to go but you didn’t. That hurt. What made it sting was not the blade I was sliding gracefully along my arms, it was the fact that you texted Jenny and not both of us. That made me feel like you guys had a much more deeper connection then all of us together. Which is true, but I didn’t want to believe it.
I needed you there. But you weren’t.
When we had our Christmas party thing at IHOP I was so excited to see you guys. It had been weeks, again. Did you notice how my eyes shined? How happy I was to be around you guys? I still have your presents in my closet. Will you ever receive them? Almost seven months since that day. Seems like yesterday. I surely thought we were going to be ok.
You invited me to go with you and Gabe later in January for your dogs first grooming. That was the last time I saw you.
It was January the fifteenth. I was so depressed. I wanted to tell you. But I had to keep my emotions bottled up because that’s the best thing I know how to do well. I did tell you that we were on food stamps. I thought you were going to say that things will getter better or to hang in there at least, but instead you just said that you and Gabe were once on food stamps. That felt like you were waiving off what I was saying like it was nothing.
That day I needed a friend. I needed a hug. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be ok. I needed comfort. Didn’t you notice how quiet I was? We barley even laughed that day. It was so awkward. Gabe told me about his credit card issues and I listened patiently.
If we were sharing, was I supposed to say how much pain I was feeling? That I was cutting myself? That I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life? That my mom might have cancer? And I needed leg surgery?
No, I’m not like those people. I don’t like to brag about my problems. I need a very secure place to vent. And a person who I trust in deeply and will truly listen. I thought you would.
Let’s flash forward to the night we were supposed to hang out on a Friday February 24. It was the Friday after the Friday I had canceled on you guys. I canceled that day saying it was raining to hard and I wanted to stay home. That wasn’t an excuse. But I’m glad it did rain. I really didn’t feel like going. At that point I felt like I had been forgotten. I had been left behind.
The next Friday was a different story. I was going to go. I wanted to go. But then Jennifer suggested we go out to eat I said that I would eat at home. Then she said she would get pizza. I already had doubts of going. But then when she asked you to bring chips. That’s what made me feel bad. I didn’t have money. Not even for the fucking dollar store. And her asking you in the group message hurt my feelings. I was going to go empty handed? Take in mind I was already in my car. Then that made me freeze. And I couldn’t go. My body didn’t move. So I stayed and turned my phone off.
I didn’t mean to stand you guys up. But my brain wasn’t functioning how it was supposed to. I was all over the place. You guys were living life here and there and I couldn’t even pay for anything I felt terrible. I didn’t want to hold you guys down. So I backed away. I thought maybe without me you guys would be happier. I’m sure you got tired of hearing I didn’t have money. What a drag.
Once our communication came to a hualt I found out my mom had cancer. Where were you? That day I went out side and ran. I didn’t know why but running out of breathe felt good. Everything was falling apart and I had no one to run to. No one to talk to. I had to suck it all up and play the strong one for my mom and brother. It hurt so much. I might have lost part of my sanity. Things haven’t changed much. They are what they are. But I do miss you.
You finally texted. It felt so good to see your name on my phone screen. It made me feel like nothing between us ever happened. Like I received a text from you everyday. Thank you for making the first step. Now On two days when we meet up again how will it be like? Will I be able to tell you everything I feel? Everything that’s going on? What will you say? Will you apologize for not trying hard enough? Will you believe me when I say I’m truly sorry I have caused you so much pain? How can we ever go back to the way it was? When we had 100% trust in each other. Did we ever? Will we ever? Will we now? Now that you know the truth.
That was a while ago. I haven’t seen you. I have been wanting to. I messaged you and Jenny on Snapchat in group. Told you guys exactly what was going on. Thanks for the support. They you messaged me alone to go to a dog park. Do you still not see it? I want to talk to you. No one else but you. I love Gabe but you were the one that made me feel better. You and Jenny. But, will we ever be better? At being friends? I don’t know anymore.