I want to thank you for that opportunity to disconnect from you all without feelings of guilt or nostalgia. Thank you for the clean cut from that time in my life, and giving me the ability to leave our hometown without ever looking back. Thank you for avoiding me like the plague after hearing that my father had died, and not knowing how to interact with me anymore. I would have still helped you with your homework, or been a friend to laugh at your stories, but you all gave me an excuse to retreat and disappear when I needed it most. You provided me with an excuse to not pretend I cared about the way that new pair of expensive jeans shaped your ass nicely or how fast the new BMW is that Mommy and Daddy bought you last week. Your shallowness was my escape from having to feel that year, and an excuse for leaving the state as soon as I had the chance. Thank you for choosing my friends for me by the process of elimination in an uncomfortable standoff, and to my fake friends for dropping out of the running within five minutes. Thank you to my boyfriend senior year who had no idea who I was besides another pretty face, and did not know of the tragedy that had fallen upon my life that year. You gave me an escape and a partner in crime in playing hooky when I couldn’t bear to be at school anymore. But most of all, thank you to my best friends and the people of character who stood by me through my struggle. You have no idea how much that quiet hug, screening my interactions with others, or handling all the rumors meant to me. I returned to school after that week off destroyed and barely functioning, but with a small team of supporters by my side, running interference for any more discomfort that may cross my path. You accepted where I was in life, and still loved me as the friend that you had always known. Thank you for not treating me any differently.
P.S. Maybe at our ten year reunion I will hear about all the wonderful things you went off to do with your lives. Maybe I will discover the desire to reconnect with you all and stay in touch. Maybe it will be comforting to see the faces of my past. Or maybe I won’t attend and I will continue living my life independently from you, and only be reminded of your existence occasionally from a Facebook post about what you ate for breakfast.