Silhouetted in the Background

I wrote a coming-of-age novel about guy and a girl who become best friends in elementary school but are ripped apart in high school by their very different personalities, outlooks, and plans for the future. Losing friends from your childhood is a normal, albeit sad, part of growing up. There’s a lot of gut wrenching scenes where they cut each other down while trying to protect their own feelings. It’s these fights that help drive the two characters apart.

It turns out, when you’re in your thirties, friends slip quietly away. There isn’t usually screaming or even scowls because it happens as subtly as time flying by, and everyone is so exhausted by life that even if they notice, they don’t speak up to stop it. There are children, spouses, jobs, and life in general that seems to drown out so much of what used to be in the forefront.

I’m mindlessly surfing Facebook and see my pal—we’ll call her Trixie—posted pictures of her kids. It reminds me that I haven’t seen Trixie in weeks, no wait, months. Someone I assumed I would always be close to now feels almost like a stranger. Almost.

If it weren’t for those tidbits of conversation, the random hilarious picture comments, the echoes of who we used to be, the thin threads tethering us to one another might finally snap. But it’s these moments that remind me that our friendship isn’t based on time spent or interactions had, but the fact that even after months, we could sit down and laugh like no time had passed at all. We’ll always have a connection, even if the ties finally break and we drift so far apart that not even an off-color joke over the internet can pull us back together.

hand-reaching-out1

I guess that’s also what happens in my novel. I wrote about something I thought happened to other people. Not us. Trixie and I were solid. But the truth is people fade in and out of your life for any number of reasons. It doesn’t lessen their impact on your heart or their image silhouetted in the background of your mind. We’re all who we are partly because of the people in our lives, past and present. We shape each other and leave our marks and most times, our time together is fleeting. The truly meaningful relationships in our lives can fade, but they’re still there, waiting for a chance encounter, a long over-due phone call, to come out of the background and back into focus.

~L~

Reply by *d*

I had started my last post before you posted this one and it was so similar, I had to finish it. It is strange how we could be thinking along the same lines. It is sad to drift from friends but as you said, there is always time to reconnect and remember those good times. I am grateful for all my friends also, no matter when they drift in or out of life.

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