You know we’ve been distant, and a few months back you asked me why. It simply made me laugh. You’ve been distant towards me for a long time, but now that I return the favour you only notice my fault in it. I guess your distance is where it all began.
We’re cousins, only a year apart, and we literally grew up together. Attending high-school together with the same group of friends only made us closer, sisters. But I feel like this was one-sided. I doted on you, I looked up to you, I followed you around, I copied the things that you did and I’m sorry that it annoyed you.
I was very insecure, you knew this and you were a good friend because you listened to my endless problems, my worries, my upsets, my everything basically. I told you it all, I told you too much. But you weren’t always gracious, I could see you get annoyed, see you zone out, see the dazed look in your eyes thinking ‘here she goes again’. But I don’t blame you for that, a person can only put up with so much. So for that I am truly sorry.
But you weren’t all perfect either. There were 3 things you did in high-school which hurt me the most.
- In our first year at high-school us giggling group of silly girls went around our friend-circle and each labelled our best-friend. I’m so glad you answered before me because that would have been embarrassing. You called out the name of your best-friend and I was shocked to hear it wasn’t me. She sat next to you and you both smiled at each other as you declared your strong-bond to the rest of us. My face fell and I knew I didn’t hide it quickly enough because you tried to placate me. “Don’t worry, you’re my best cousin”. I laughed it off but that was first crack I felt on my heart. Yes, that’s sad but as a little school-girl that was important at the time. When it was my turn to answer I proudly stated that I had no best-friend, as if I was better than anyone else in not needing one.
- Again during first year other people in our year-group started to realize we were related. When a guy asked us you said no. You then took me aside and said if anyone asks tell them that we are not related. That was harsh of you. Your reason “people might think it’s weird that we are cousins and we still hang around with the same group of friends at school”. I was PROUD AND HAPPY to be your cousin but you made me feel like an embarrassment.
- During the second/third year of high-school you were having a birthday party/meal with all your friends on the weekend. We shared the same group of friends but my position was weird because of my strict family. We shared the same strict grandparents, but they ruled more over my family than yours. You were allowed to go out with friends on weekends, I was not. For the first time in my life I was actually UNINVITED from an event. “Hey, my mum said do you mind if you don’t come on Saturday because if you do then Grandma will find out and she won’t let me have the get-together at all”. I didn’t let myself feel anything at that point. I put on a smile because I didn’t want you to feel bad, I could see the apprehension on your face and I vowed that I wouldn’t be more of a burden than I was. “No of course not, I totally understand it’s cool. Don’t worry about it. I don’t mind going, it’s better if I don’t go.” That was a lie. I was looking forward to that outing more than you would know because it would be first time ever that I would be able to go out anywhere with our friends. It would be the first opportunity for me to actually experience a weekend out with friends shopping and having a meal. But you took that away from me. You knew my position and you could have helped, but you chose not to. Grandma would never have made you cancel anything, she would have muttered a few things about children being better off staying at home, but then she would have gotten over it.
Unlike you I wasn’t hard and strong, I wore my heart on my sleeve. But all that soon changed.
When we were apart at our separate universities I started to lose patience with you. You would take days to respond to my calls, texts and messages. Your personal best was five days, which was laughable considering you were hooked to your phone 24/7. When I went through a particularly hard moment and needed you, I didn’t get response until later that evening. “What’s up?” “Nothing It’s fine I’ve dealt with it now. Don’t worry.” “Ok, fine.” In hindsight I realize that this irrational of me. It was obviously a good thing because I learned to fight my own battles and learned that I could only depend on myself. But this slowly led to the new hardened me.
I was always super excited to meet you and have a catch-up along with our other friends, but you always made it so difficult. You always turned down suggested dates and get-togethers because of your superior and extra-special timetable and schedule. Funny how you always seemed to be so busy compared to the rest of us, which was never actually the case. When you would agree to meet months in advance, you ruined it by making sharp, hurtful comments. “Let’s not meet for at least 6 months now, I’ve seen enough of you guys.” Of course you would laugh it off, but it wasn’t funny.
You stopped coming around my house with your mum. This actually really upset me because I was genuinely excited to see you, but left sad when you were a no show. Again this was a good thing because I had to stop letting other people’s actions disappoint me. I had to stop becoming so dependent and this factored into me hardening myself. When you didn’t show for Christmas, New-Year or Diwali I didn’t ask your mum where you were. You obviously didn’t care so why should I?
Our aunt told me a secret about what was happening in your household. The adults in the family new, but the kids were not told, merely to keep things normal. I was shocked and hurt when I found out. This was a game-changer to your life, but also to our friendship. I told you EVERYTHING about my life and the ins and outs of my household. But you didn’t tell me anything about this BIG issue or even hint towards it. You kept your stone-cold poker face tight. I’m confused because you’ve always listened to my woes but you didn’t give me chance to help you through yours. I understand why you didn’t tell me, but your lack of trust hurt. But when the scales of our friendship was so unfavorably balanced towards me, this really was the final straw. Whats laughable is that you still have no idea that I know.
Speaking of trust, you told me many a time during our high-school years that you didn’t trust me. This was deserved in the first few years because I learned about keeping secrets and trust the hard way. I was an naive person. I didn’t do drama or consider certain conversations to be ‘secret’. If I heard something I would innocently relay that to any person who asked. Like I said I didn’t do drama. So when you first told me you didn’t trust me it hurt, I learned my lesson. But you never gave me a second-chance. Also you were really quite abrupt in relaying your opinions to me. On multiple occasions you outright called me a bitch, which was harsh to hear because everyone knew you didn’t swear. This was admittedly deserved on some occasions where I could get hyper and go over the top with things and I would accept your comments and apologize. But you should realize that I never confronted you. You’re not perfect, but I never put you down. Like I said you were my idol and the more I look back the more of a burden I feel.
Back to the distance issue; the secret changed everything. I told you a very personal secret which no one else knew and you judged me for it big time (something I did not expect). But if I could tell you my secret, but you couldn’t tell me yours then I felt short-changed. You held too much information on me, but I had little on you. I think they call this a power play. I didn’t like it. Coupled with the fact that you were hard to get hold of, you never expressed desire to meet up and you never expressed desire to keep our friendship going. So the new hardened me, courtesy of you, decided to give up. I stopped pulling my end of the rope and distanced myself.
So this should answer your question. But of course it doesn’t because we had a mini-fight via text, where you told me I was being rude by not speaking to you properly. I said ditto. I was ready for a full blown fight, so ready to let all of this out. But we didn’t. You said we’re cousins and that this is silly and we need to brush it under the rug. Bad idea really because I still hold a grudge. Wish you could know all this but then again it really would be the final nail in the coffin and that’s just awkward because at the end of the day we are family.
It’s just pisses me of that you always make me out to be the bad guy. You never fault yourself, but I’m guilty of that too because I didn’t speak up to you when I should have. I just want to say that you are the one who has lost 3 best-friends over the past years. You’ve blamed them for that saying you have no idea what happened and you didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve only lost one; you. Maybe this says more about you than the rest of us?