Almost Is Never Enough: Chapter One
I didn’t think I’d see her again. After all this time wishing she was close, now she was standing in front of me. Her face still the same as the day she left and her eyes continued to have that invisible wall that I used to see through. I knew she had changed. I knew she wasn’t the same girl she was when we were in high school. No, my best friend was gone and that was exactly the reason why I didn’t want to see her.
The world began to turn faster as she stepped towards me and gave me a hug. Her arms around me created a familiar warmth to enter my chest and send little prickles of nerves towards my stomach. My throat closed up when I caught her scent. It felt like home. I always loved being in her arms. I pulled away quickly.
“What are you doing here?” I managed to say after my brain had been trying to compute the reality that this woman was before me.
“I…I had to see you.” She whispered, her dark eyes meeting the ground.
Something about her voice made me want to run back inside the house and lock the door. This girl was and always will be the cause of my destruction. She hurt me too many times before and I’d be damned if I let her do it again. Her voice was mature, but it had the same chime that I loved. There was something special about her, even if not many people saw it. Maybe it was the mystery about her that I got to unlock that made her so enticing. Maybe it was the love and care I thought she had for me or maybe it was the fact that everything about her was absolutely beautiful because I was still desperately in love with her.
“Why now?” I asked her. “Why did you decide now after five years to come and see me? Did you finally want to come and explain to me why you left me? Why you just woke up and decided that you didn’t want to be friends anymore?”
She rolled her lip between her teeth and sighed. “You know it’s not that simple.”
“What’s not that simple?”
“It’s not that simple to explain, Elaine. I changed. I thought it was better to leave you when I did then have to carry on pretending…”
“Pretending you didn’t want to stay with me anymore?” I finished off for her.
“No.” She clicked her tongue in annoyance. “I didn’t want to pretend I was the same person that you knew anymore. I know it was hard on you, it was hard on me too. But you of all people know that people change.”
Yes. I knew the cruel reality of change. The inevitability that someone you love will not be the same person you love forever. They changed and you were left standing on the side lines waiting for them to come back. Someone leaving because of a personality change was a normal thing for me, I should be used to it.
“I know that. Okay? I just don’t understand why the person you are now requires you not be friends with me now?” I spat.
Why did she leave me? She was the last person I ever wanted to lose. After my dad left, she was my anchor. She kept me stable, she made me feel alright again. I got through it because of her. When she hurt me or started to ignore me, I gave her space. I was the clingy, needy one out of the two of us, but she was the possessive one. I loved how she only wanted to be with me. When she began distancing herself in that month before I left for England, I fought for her to stay. I didn’t anticipate her dropping me like that. When she left I was alone. She was the only one I could talk to. I needed her.
She didn’t answer my question. Instead she did what Stephanie Miller was good at: changing the subject.
“Look the reason I am here isn’t to talk about the past. I came here because I need your help.”
Years and years of thinking of ways to try and fix a lost friendship, then years and years of trying to forget it, she waltzed back into my life because she needed something from me. And although after all of it I wished she had never appeared on my doorstep that day, I knew that no matter what I would always be there for her. It was a promise we were both supposed to keep.