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How do you stay friends with people who don’t bother staying friends with you?

It’s not that you don’t want to be friends. No. That’s probably where all the resentment is coming from, isn’t it? It’s why you dare inquire about your friendship, if it’s worth salvaging. It’s because you still want to be friends, but suddenly the weight of keeping the friendship is all on you. How d’you do that? You used to share that weight together, like two people carrying a huge trunk aboard a ship. And when you’ve reached your destination, you realize that you’re lugging that stupid thing alone, while your partner is busy doing something else — something else without you in it.

It’s so easy to just say that you’re detached, you know? That you don’t care. Your friend can do whatever the hell he or she wants; it doesn’t really matter to you. “Friends come and go,” you say, trying to ignore the bitter taste in your mouth left by the slightly hurt tone in your voice. Your point isn’t that friends come and go. Your point is that you thought your friend would have stayed. And you’re just left with that realization that reality isn’t your expectations, and you just shouldn’t have expected in the first place.

Are friends supposed to be seasonal, like strawberries, the weather and theatre productions? Is it only supposed to be reduced to “that time of the month” or even “that time of year”? Are friends supposed to just keep you around when they’re feeling lonely or desolate — or what the hell, totally insecure about themselves — and they use you to build them up to where they feel they should be? What are friends for, anyway?

You ask yourself all these questions, and you forget that sometimes, there are just no answers.

Instead, you find yourself relishing the fact that despite your theory about these “friends” — well, you’ve got other friends that prove you wrong. And your answer to the first question, at the end of the day, is that you don’t.