Andrea Jarrell writes about the slow ending to a decades-long friendship.
This was a beautiful piece by Andrea. I'm not sure how I missed it in the anthology, but I'm so grateful I found it here.
When women reach this age, most of us have a few failed relationships. I sometimes feel like I'm the only failure. Stories like these remind me I'm not alone.
I think the decision to stay versus leave has a big impact on female friendships. Andrea chose to leave her bad marriage; her friend chose to stay. It's hard for both parties to watch the other choice play out. Andrea felt relief because she made the right choice. Her friend resented her as a means to shift blame from her decision to stay.
I don't think that corrects itself once the other person decides to leave. As an update to my own essay here, I found out my former friend divorced her husband in 2021 or 2022. I found out through the grapevine, not from her. I still don't think she'd be happy to hear from me. In fact, almost anything I could say would come across to her as rubbing it in. So I celebrate her birthday and send her good energy, and I sincerely hope she's happy.
So very sad yet beautiful how it is packed with so much emotion. I had two close friends in college but we drifted to jobs in different states. We had met at freshman orientation. One of the friends went back to college to get a PhD and the other one settled in California--I was in North Carolina. The PhD friend died in a freak horseback riding accident. I called the friend in California, crying my heart out because an ice storm was preventing me from getting to the memorial. When I finally stopped crying, the California friend, said she didn’t remember her. I thought of all the frat parties, bars and hanging out together at my apartment. She had moved away emotionally and I was done.
This is so beautifully written. <3
In some ways your friendship reminds me of Tully and Kate in Firefly Lane (books and TV series). I'm sorry it ended the way it did.