Nostalgia

Tonight I’m feeling nostalgic. Or maybe it’s sentimental. I’m not really sure, those feelings all sort of intertwine don’t they?

I guess it all sort of started on my way home tonight, and realising that the amount of friends I have doesn’t correlate with the amount of people I can call on a Friday night to hang out with, and I got pretty bummed out. Usually I’m not that worried about who’s in and who’s out of my life, because it’s all a matter of peaks and valleys, and knowing who I can rely on and who I can’t. It’s been a bit brutal to assess and understand it all, but unless I want to deal with constant drama, it’s what I had to do.

Anyway, when I got home I decided to watch The Swell Season documentary because I finally bought it and I needed some sort of heart mending, some sort of soother. And whilst it was beautiful and perfect, all it did was take me into my past, where lovers and friends live, the ones who no longer share my life. And I mean, I guess that’s okay, of course it is. But instead of soothing those achy feelings when you miss people you once loved, it just dug into them a little deeper. It magnified the yearning for those old friendships, it made me miss the people I’ve learned to let go of.

You might be wondering why I’m posting this here instead of my personal blog.

One of the people I’m missing tonight is a girl I loved with my whole heart for a lot of years. I thought we would be friends for our entire lives, and I thought we’d always have each other’s back. But I was wrong and some things happened that I still don’t really understand, and I have made my peace with it all. But this girl had a boyfriend that she loved beyond anything I’ve ever known, and when we were 19 or 20, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I’ll never forget the night she told me, the phone calls, the emails, the devastation. I’ll never forget hearing the song she wrote him, or the way I felt, and still feel, every time I hear it. I’ll never forget the boy I met because of it all, and how it all links back to The Swell Season. But that’s another story.

I looked her up tonight, for the first time in a long time. And it’s amazing how she’s both so different and so so so very much the same all at once. She’s got new tattoos and longer hair, and she looks thinner, and older. More mature kind of older, not wrinkly and sad older. And even though her photos are styled, and she looks like a model, I can see the teenage girl in those blue eyes who hated everyone and everything and who, some days, just wanted to leave it all behind. I can see the girl who just wanted to play music and watch Harry Potter and listen to Hanson in the car.

Some days I really miss her, and miss being able to talk to her. I guess it’s not that frequent nowadays, maybe once or twice a year. Honestly, I doubt she even remembers who I am now. It was that kind of ending for us.

From what I can see, her boyfriend is doing really well and maybe he’s even totally out of remission by now. I’m not sure, and I’m not particularly interested in getting that stalky. All I know from the photos I’ve seen are him looking healthy and as they always have, they look happy. I guess that’s all I can really ask for now, isn’t it? That even though the friendship ended, and even though it was a kick right in my heartfeels, she’s okay. They’re okay. They’re probably better than okay by now.

When we found out about her boyfriend’s illness, my cousin Liam was already battling his leukaemia. I was already in a place where cancer wasn’t a big scary “not going to happen to me or my family” thing. I was already in that world. But it still shook me in my bones that someone else I knew, someone I cared about, was going through the same. It hit home that this happens for so many people.

Her boyfriend was at stage four when he was diagnosed.

For those who don’t know too much about it, stage four is the bad one. For a long time, his future wasn’t certain. His sheer willpower and strength got him through those first rounds of chemo and all I really remember is him fighting on, and still managing to continue living as he had done before. He was an incredible pillar of courage and determination. And it obviously pulled him through, which makes me very happy.

But really it’s none of my business any more, and I can’t say that it hurts me because I left it behind a lot of years ago. I guess it’s just that when I think do about her, I get caught up in how stupidly our friendship came apart. I know that it was meant to happen that way, because I tend to believe everything that comes and goes from our lives does so for a reason, even though that reason might not be significant or immediately apparent. But some days I hear her song, the one she wrote him, and I’m flung back to those late-nights up talking about him and the cancer, and the music, and the love. And those phone calls that went on for hours talking about nothing and everything all at once.

I guess I’m just missing her tonight, and hoping that she’s okay now. Hoping that everything is okay now.

Are you okay now?

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