I’m giving you up, my best friend. I’m giving you up. For eleven of the last sixteen years we have been inseparable. Thick as thieves. We snuck into bars underage together. We walked strange cities together. We’ve walked foreign lands together. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve grown. We’ve done it all together. Together. But I must cut all ties. I must say good-bye. I must move on. I must go on. We must recognize it is time we go our separate ways.
We’ve been here before. Six years ago. Remember? It was January 31. I was pregnant and terrified. I needed you more than ever, but it wasn’t to be. I wasn’t easy, but it was.
You were still around. I saw you with other people. I saw you at the pool, outside the store, and riding in cars. I saw you with my neighbors, and with my parents. Even when I couldn’t see you, I knew you were there. You stayed with some of my friends, but not with me. We couldn’t. I was having a baby and planning to breastfeed, and that just wasn’t your style.
Even after, there was no coming back together. I had a husband then. Remember him? He hated you. He wanted me to hate you. But I couldn’t. I didn’t, and as soon as he was leaving the picture, you were back in it. It was hard, that coming back together, but you stayed by my side. I begged you to stay and you did. Soon we were together again. And together we have been again for almost three years now.
You helped me through my divorce. That was no easy task. You were consistent, though, and always there for me. You helped me through yet another big change in my life, and you gratefully relocated me with. I will miss you. I will miss our breakfasts, our lunches, our dinners. I will miss venting to you. I will miss how wonderfully you get me through the pain, as well as the joy. I miss you already and we still have a couple of weeks until you have to leave again.
I think we should spend as much time together as possible over these last two weeks. I promise to wake up earlier so we have longer mornings together. I promise to take the long route to work. I promise to take more breaks at work and make them last just a bit longer. I promise not to skip lunch so we can be together. I promise to go home early and stay up late so we can have every single possible second together. My kids are coming this weekend, but that’s ok. I’ll stay up after they go to bed, and wake up before they do. They still take naps, and we’ll have that time together. After I take them back Sunday evening we still have one whole week left together. It will be a good week.
Do you remember when we first met? It was on an airplane. Can you believe that? Sitting in the last row of the trans-Atlantic flight. It was that cute boy who introduced us. Grant Andrews. Talk about a crush. He had such a presidential name, and a rebellious nature. It was a couple of years after that that we really began our friendship. What a time we have had together. My first car, my first apartment, my first job, my first alcoholic beverage…Rolling Rock. It was so silly. I didn’t even know what that was, but I heard someone else order it and I thought it had a cool name. That server never should have brought me that drink, and I was shocked at how giddy I was after drinking it. How silly.
I still like Rolling Rock, but I guess you know that. At least now I know what it is, how my eyes glass over and my lips curl up into a smile. Oh, my lips. You know my lips, how they pucker for you, how I bring you close, ever so gently against my lips. How your taste lingers, and reminds me I am not alone.
It’s hard to take you places with me anymore, so I go alone. You can’t fly with me like you used to. We can’t go to the art museum and sit on the bench and watch the faces changes and the colors swirl. We can’t go to as many parks as we used to. We can’t go watch baseball together. Not even minor league. We can’t go to concerts, indoor or outdoor. Slowly, over time, we’ve already started to prepare for this. We can’t do as much together, and I do miss that, and I miss you when I’m where you can’t be.
Oh, I will miss you even more very soon. Soon we will do nothing together. Soon I will long for you. I will beg for you. I will cry for you. I will scream and sweat and die just a little bit every time I think of you.
But dying is why you must go. That slow and painful death that you almost completely guarantee. The breathless, gasping pain. The beeps and whirrs. The bland walls and empty faces. I know you will not be with me then, and so I must say good-bye now.
For now I must have my life. For now I must have my joy. And all the shoes and purses I have denied myself to keep you ever so close to my heart.
Good-bye my Love. Good-bye my Cigarettes. Bye-bye baby, good-bye.