Elastic Friends

You consistent readers know that I’m not a social butterfly. I don’t make friends easily but when I do, I do my best to keep them. Here’s the story of one of my oldest friends…

I’m hoping that I’m safe to share this since he never reads my blog. Here goes nothing.

In elementary school, I met this boy. Let’s call him Ray. Well, Ray wasn’t one of my best friends during those early years. He never came to a birthday party or hung out with me. But when it came to activities, he was always there for me. We were even in sign language club together for a period of time.

Fast forward a couple years to middle school. This is where it gets messy. He liked me. I liked him as a brother but was naive and “dated” him anyways. We texted all the time and went to a dance together but we also fought a lot. Gone was our happy, carefree relationship. It was rough. It’s one of the reasons middle school was such a hard time for me.

Then came high school. His mom got remarried and they decided to move to a different school district. We didn’t leave things on good terms. Honestly, I never expected to speak to him again. And for about a year and a half, I didn’t. Then, one day, he texted me. The problem was, I was in a relationship with someone who knew my and Ray’s past. He had lived through it and had to deal with the aftermath. So he didn’t want us talking. And I may have gone against his wishes a couple times. Not the smartest choice, I know, but I could tell that Ray had changed. Eventually, when my boyfriend found out that I wasn’t following my promise, it acted as the catalyst for our break-up. Don’t worry, it had been coming for a while.

Well the rest of the year passed without much drama. Then I got the news, Ray was moving back. Suddenly, I was nervous. I didn’t know how to act around him after all these years. Texting was one thing but face-to-face interaction scared the living daylights out of me. I avoided him for most of my junior and senior year. We talked when needed and texted a couple times but nothing that really reinstated us as good friends.

That was until a two weeks ago. I don’t know what made me do it (maybe loneliness) but one night, I texted him. Just out of the blue. And to my shock, we started talking like all those middle school years hasn’t existed. We were just two friends that wanted each other to be happy. And let me tell you, I missed him.

So long story short, I reconnected with a old friend this month. And it’s one of my favorite choices of this year.

I think of Ray as an elastic friend. Like a rubber band, you can stretch it and it will come back to you. But if you stretch it too far or too often, it can break. The same happens if it gets too old or has a weak spot.

Thankfully, Ray and my friendship rubber band is still in good shape and I’m hoping it stays that way for a long time. He’s one of those friends that you could never replace. And I hope I never have to…

I challenge you to reevaluate your life. Scroll through your contacts. Flip through a photo album. Is there someone that you miss? Reconnect with them while you still can. Regret is one of the worst things in life. It doesn’t matter if there is history there. Take the leap. Hopefully, you’ll find some open arms at the bottom.

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