i hope your life Is filled with blessings
By Freda Dong
Based on the ending of a real friendship, this story is about what it means to let go of nostalgia.
Five days ago, Rina began spamming us in our group chat, which had been inactive for months.
GUYS STOP BEING DED
I was tired and didn’t want to deal with her antics. Nevertheless, I texted back.
kinda busy rn
We should meet up at the library
Or play roblox like before
Just talk guys!
I miss u 🙁
i dont miss u
I smiled a little, imagining Rina groaning dramatically like she always does when I joke with her.
but sure, we can do smth soon
i really gotta go do hw though so ttyl
Through the whole exchange, Lucas remained silent.
My phone buzzed with notifications. I read his incoming texts in a daze.
Imma be honest
We’re not friends anymore
I haven’t seen you guys in five years
I can’t remember Isabel’s face
I felt like my heart was being stabbed.
I don’t know what u guys like
I don’t talk to u guys
It’s gotten to the point where
If you guys weren’t in my life
Nothing will change
I began typing before stopping myself. What was I supposed to say? “Hey Lucas, we could get to know each other again. We may not talk often but I still want you in my life! You’re still my friend!” But how would he react? He sent a final text:
We’re basically strangers
That sealed it. Oh Lucas, I thought, you have always been so stubborn. Once you make up your mind nothing can persuade you.
Feeling numb, I left the cafeteria and headed up toward the sixth floor, where Rina was hanging out with her friends. I knelt and tapped Rina on the shoulder.
“Hey Izzy,” Rina greeted me before going back to her homework.
“Rina, can I talk to you?” I asked.
“Sure,” Rina replied absentmindedly. “Hold on, do you know how to solve this cubic?”
I tugged on her sleeve. “Please, Katerina, it’s important.”
Hearing her full name, Rina focused her attention on me. I gave her my phone with the conversation open, and waited for her reaction. I had never seen her so silent.
“So?” I prompted.
Rina looked at me with childish, passionate anger in the face of my tired emptiness.
“How dare he!” she finally said in a soft yet indignant tone.
“He’s right though, isn’t he?” I asked with resignation.
“That does not mean he has the right to do this!” Rina exclaimed.
Thankfully, Rina’s friends, the popular kids, are loud, and their noise drowned out our conversation.
“It doesn’t matter whether he has the right, Lucas decided to finally address our distance. He’s not wrong. After we were separated in middle school, it was always just the two of us hanging out. Lucas was never a part of it.”
“Stop picking this apart like you always do.” I responded as gently as I could. “Now that we’re in the same high school but Lucas is somewhere else, it makes sense that he won’t be close to us at all.”
Rina said nothing.
I sighed. “Think about how you want to respond. This will probably be our final contact with him. Let’s end things on a good note.”
I stood up and patted Rina on the shoulder, but she grabbed my hand and said, “I don’t believe this is the end for us.”
“Then tell Lucas that. We can talk more later, but I need to get to class.” As I traveled up the escalator, my mind scrambled to find a response to this mess. Even though I wanted a reconciliation between the three of us, I know it’s impossible. I wished we could go back to the days of elementary school, playing and studying together, making fun of Rina and Lucas for liking Barbie. Sitting on a bench, I gathered all my sincerity, and opened up a direct message to Lucas.
its true what you said in the gc
which is why i wanted to reconnect with you for
so long, but idk how
ik. Rina might think otherwise.
nevertheless I treasure the memories
we made in elementary school.
and I hope you’ll be happy
I’ll talk to Katerina about it
Same but it’s time to just let it go
best wishes to you! and i really hope you’ll
remember us as I will you. maybe one day
we’ll be friends again, but probably not.
i hope your life is filled with blessings.
Tears stung my eyes. Lucas doesn’t give a shit about us anymore. Yet, I couldn’t help but be relieved everything’s over. Lucas was the only one brave enough to speak the truth about our friendship. Rina had clung on to a past long gone and I was too cowardly to say anything.
I wiped my eyes, took a deep breath, and composed myself. This was for the best. For all of us. No matter how I felt. As the bell rang and students poured into the hallway, I put a smile on my face and walked into class.
After my final conversation with my former best friend, I felt numb inside. Writing has always been a way for me to cope, so I decided to process my emotions by writing a story about it. I started by transcribing the conversation exactly as it happened, and then added details to create a narrative. Then I worked with my mentor to develop the characters and plot outside my personal experience, giving me some distance from the story. This allowed me to make the characters their own people, not just imitations of me and my friend. The story evolved from what really happened, with different dialogue and dynamics. Creating a piece of fiction out of my life helped me come to terms with this heartbreaking experience.
Freda Dong is a young writer who writes poetry and hopes to write short stories. She is Chinese American. Freda loves astronomy, history and fantasy and spends her free time reading and listening to music. Her hobbies include puzzle games and collecting stationery. She lives under a rock and keeps up with almost no social trends. She will never, ever, ever download TikTok.
A War Between The Mind & Heartby Shamu Ward