This is a lament.

It's awkward and more than a little depressing when what seems like a very natural friendship goes badly awry.

Let's say you get to know someone over the course of a few years: you're good buddies, maybe not hanging out constantly but seeing each other at least a few times a month, and when you do you're always honestly happy to see each other, and you have fun very easily...it's obvious that you really like each other, and this in itself feels like a rare and real thing.

Then, something unexpectedly important comes between the two of you, and everything changes quickly, maybe even violently. Unpleasant things are said, in public. To the extent where you can't (or at least shouldn't) be in the same room with each other, and you quickly enter a mode where you decide which social outings to attend based on whether or not this person will be around.

WTF happened? This being uncharted territory, many, many hours are spent at home analyzing the situation without any kind of peaceful state being reached. After several months, it's at least finally possible to attend the same event as long as you don't really acknowledge each other's presence. This stupidly goes on for months.

Time heals all wounds, they say. After a couple of years, the monumental issue that divided you has become a completely boring and accepted fact of life. At some point someone apologizes sincerely for the strife, and a deluge of reciprocal apologies follows. You even begin to tentatively experiment with social interaction.

And yet...you never really recover. It's never like it was. It's OK, you can talk, maybe even laugh a little together, but it's all way too careful, tragically superficial. You never even come close to re-establishing that unguarded, playful thing you had together.

Probably the least satisfying resolution to this situation would be that the person in question dies without the two of you ever even almost getting there. Which, yeah, just happened. There are many sides to her story that are immeasurably more tragic than this one, but this is really the only side of it that I myself can tell anymore, and I wish it weren't like that but it is.


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