For years they all spent every waking moment with each other; every joke remains incomplete without sharing it with their group of friends; every holiday seems boring because they aren’t around each other. They share the smallest of things, the tiniest of details – What did you have for breakfast? What do you think about my new earrings? Did you watch that video I sent you about the little cute pug trying to swim?
Then one day, they just stop. One of them leaves, not because she wants to, but because she has to. But she’s excited, a new environment, new people and new experiences. She doesn’t feel that bad, nor does she feel missed, because she had started noticing the symptoms of their group falling apart – or rather, symptoms of her group dividing into further smaller ones, leaving no space for her. The jokes aren’t funny to her anymore, because they’re all inside jokes. New people have replaced her. None of them keep in touch with her (barely) but then again, neither does she. Both sides are at fault, I suppose.
And then when the old group, with some of the members cut off, meets again there’s just one word to describe it: awkward. Hasty eye contacts, uncomfortable and forced smiles, the rest of them are laughing about something and she’s just there, sipping her water, wondering whether she should fake her laughs. Everything she had in common with them just flew straight out of the window. She isn’t sure if she wants to join their conversation; what if they find her annoying? Or what if they think she’s trying too hard? What if she ends up saying something and nobody replies? So instead she just sits there, pretending to text so she’s doesn’t feel like she’s being ignored; reminiscing about the old days, when silences were never comfortable and when in fact there were no silences to begin with.
It’s funny how people drift apart so easily.