What If I’m Actually The Bad Friend?

I message you for the hundredth time. My message remains left unread. I wait, wondering what I could have said, how a “hello” could be so wrong. All I am left with is waiting.

You beat around the bush. I ask about meeting up – it’s been months since I’ve seen you. You say I’m never around. I say I can’t stay where I’ve been if I want to go anywhere. I’m out chasing dreams and maybe that’s something to be jealous of. But you’ve got a partner who takes more precedence over me now. Love became a replacement for years of friendship, and I’ll stay wondering if you’ll ever be the first to contact me.

We communicate about making plans. I give you obscure dates and times which for me are not obscure because I never take a break, but for you are difficult to plan around. But I’m trying, aren’t I? Doesn’t that count? You ask which days I’m available. I give you a list. I don’t hear back. I wonder if I should respond. But then I worry you’re like my other friend who leaves me unread for weeks on end, as if I’m some sort of TV series they can pick up right where they left off. Eventually shows fall off the air because they’re obsolete. I wonder if I am, too.

You haven’t once asked genuinely about my life. But I am always your punching bag for complaints. I listen to everything you hate and provide useless advice for situations I’ve never been in. I don’t know why anyone would ask me for advice, I’m friendless, but I guess I’m good enough to ask for advice. I’m good enough when it’s needed but never when I need somebody. I’m too comfortable remembering I am always replaceable.

You tell me I enjoy being the victim by complaining about everyone in my life. You’re probably right, but I shouldn’t have to complain about friends, right? Shouldn’t I have friends that love me and care for me, no matter what crazy dreams I aspire for? So why do they leave me and leave me unread? We live in an age where it’s so easy to ignore someone until you’ve ignored them out of your life. We live in an age where it’s simple to ghost someone rather than give the honest truth. So why shouldn’t I complain when I’m treated unfairly? When did I have to quiet myself so others could feel important? I have become too honest, honest enough to lose everyone, and abandon the ones who didn’t lose touch with me.

Before I fall asleep the night you brashly reminded me that I am an unlovable person not a single soul could become close with, thoughts run rampant in my brain, and I can no longer fall asleep.

I am the person people start plans with but never follow through. I am messages left unread, intentionally. I am forgettable. I am never in the same place at the same time. I am disappointment when I don’t show up for an important event. I am resentment when I ask you to help me but can’t bother to be there for you. I am anger when I complain about life but I haven’t heard anything about yours. I am always the victim, but never one to claim the blame. I am disposable.

I am everything a friend shouldn’t be.

When I wake in the morning, I message all my friends. I give this one last shot because maybe you are right. Maybe I’m actually the bad friend. I’ve relentlessly chased dreams all these years and left everyone behind in the dust, disposable. The last one standing is me, but no one with me. I can’t rebuild the bridges I burnt to the ground, but I can make one last attempt at being good because I have lost enough years being the bad friend.