“Caroline” and I were close friends in middle school. We hung out a lot, slept over at each other’s houses, checked out eyeshadow at the local Bath & Body Works, giggled about boys we had crushes on and worked as partners on a science project.
But after middle school, we headed to different high schools. We gradually drifted apart. At first, I tried to stay in touch. I called, emailed, and AIM-ed her. We tried to set something up several times, but she was usually busy with other things. Then she got a boyfriend and got even more preoccupied. I wasn’t mad (okay, maybe I was a tiny bit mad) – I understood that we were growing up and life gets busy and sometimes that means growing apart. We didn’t see each other in person again after middle school, even though we only lived 15 minutes apart.
I made an effort to stay in touch for a long time. But eventually I realized I was 19, still trying to resurrect a friendship that has faded away five years prior. So I let it go. For a long time I was a bit saddened that this wonderful friend of my childhood is now, for all intents and purposes, just another girl I’d pass by on the street.
A couple of years ago I saw her at a local CPK. Caroline didn’t notice me, and I didn’t go up to her and say hi. The whole reintroduction would’ve felt a little strained. Not because there are bad feelings between us, but because we are different people now, and even though we had been best friends at 13, we were almost strangers at 23.
I haven’t thought about Caroline for a long time. When I read Krystal’s post on a friend whom she is no longer close to, however, Caroline was the first name to leap to my mind. Last I heard, she is going to graduate school somewhere in California. I hope she is doing well.