Everyone at some point goes on dates or, more generally, meetings that are inflection points for any pair’s connection. I knew going into this particular encounter nearly a year ago that it would be a decisive one, and one for which I had the most control over the outcome. I've written about the meeting itself before, and will not rehash the details further during this post.
I admit that I still harbored some ill-will about his actions during the preceding months that colored my behavior that night. At the meeting, I saw no sign of remorse or acknowledgement of wrongdoing, but I had too much self-respect to feign ignorance to that.
Since then, we’ve interacted very minimally. For the first time in about a decade, we didn’t wish one another a happy birthday this fall. Of course I remembered his birthday -- it’s a month and a day before mine. But that I did not receive a birthday message in response to the silence on my end meant that the message was received and, most important, understood.
My bestie asked me earlier this week how he and I were doing. I said, honestly, that I didn’t miss him or his companionship, which is saying something because it was the first time that I felt indifferent to his absence in my life. I never thought I would feel that way about this once-dear friend I’d known since we were little children.
Three months after that January meeting, he struck up an online conversation with me and reminded me not to “be a stranger.” In reality, I think we were and had been for some time.