I want to retire being afraid. Our friendship has grown stale, if you can even call it a friendship. I tried to be nice to her, accommodating. Didn't raise a fuss when she followed me home from school. She was usually pretty quiet, except for the low mumbling on the bus or the way she'd get fidgety when we were on line at the grocery store. I never invited her out with me and yet she'd always show up ~ stirring in a corner by herself, judging me from a distance.
When I started college, I was sure she'd get bored and move away, but she just got better at hiding. She'd pop up when I'd least expect it, sometimes shooting small scraps of paper out a straw at the back of my neck.
There are so many things I missed because of her.
She'd call me on my way to a job interview or have an emergency when friends invited me out after work. The worst was when she would steal my art supplies so I couldn't paint or sit between me and the cute guy I liked at the movie theatre.
There were stretches when we'd lose touch for a while, and I'd almost forget about her. But she'd always turned up needing money or a place to stay.
But I've grown tired of her antics and the sick feeling I get in my stomach when she returns. I have my own family to look after now, and I don't want my son picking up her bad habits.
I'm done with our exhausting conversations and replaying all the plans we make but never actually do. She is content living in her box, watching reality TV and eating junk food. But I want more. For myself, my family and the world I inhabit.
So I'm letting her go once and for all ~ not gently, the way I've tried in the past; that never works. I've said my good-byes, given her change for the bus and the business card of a really good therapist, and I'm pushing her out the door. It's time for me to move out of her relentless shadow and let the world know that I'm still here. And this time, I've got shit to do.