I don’t know where you are or what you’re doing. You deactivated your Facebook, and I can’t text you. But I want to tell you something.
I finally finished moving in last night, and your letters were buried in the final box.
I read one of them to a friend who was at the time sitting in my room, the one you sent me from boot camp right after the first six weeks of no communication with the outside world. And as I re-read your words to her I realized there was a reason I held onto them for so long. I think that they were, and continue to be, a reminder that somewhere out there is so much more. That one day, I will hopefully find myself falling into step with someone who knows me as quickly as you did. I’m young enough to know that this might very well be a dramatic emotional reflection. But I’m also old enough to know that whatever I felt with you at that point was the closest thing I have ever felt to love, regardless of the fact that we were barely adults.
Our friend was surprised that we hit it off. We ended up sitting off to the side talking all day and all night. I remember that it felt as though the world shrank and we were the only two in it. From that whole week, I can’t remember much of anything else. Since, there have been others, guys that I was irrevocably attached to, sometimes for emotional reasons, sometimes out of boredom, sometimes for stability; none of them knew me as quickly as you did. But we’ve reached an age where we live such busy lives that there isn’t a point to just hooking up with random people all the time. We’re becoming more selective with who we spend our tiny bouts of free time with. Sure it’s fun, and yes that’s how we all learn. But deep inside, our search for potential permanence is now ever-present.
I haven’t spent these years dwelling on you like in a Nicholas Sparks book. I haven’t thought about you in a long time actually. Until last night, your letters were untouched, dusty and fading from storage.
I’m sorry we lost touch over time. You resented me for it on and off. And who knows where you stand now? But it’s crazy to think that life is like this–people falling in and out of touch simply because of circumstance. While I do care, and while I hope you are well, I’m not really pushing myself to find you at the moment. I could reach out to our friends and ask them for your number again. But I wont. I’ll always remember that week, but I think I’m going to keep you there. The circumstances didn’t work out in our favor. You were meant to be a snapshot. I don’t think I’m committing an earthly sin by not going after you; maybe the romantics here can write a different ending for me. But for now I want to keep it as a sneak peek for what it will be like, finding that person sometime in the future. I hope you’ve moved away from resenting me and I hope you can come to think of me the same way I think of you.
A friend of mine believes that we can group close friends into three categories: seven seconds, seven years and everyone else. No type of friend is better or worse than the other–they are just different. For some reason unbeknownst to us, the seven-second friend will know more about us in seven seconds than the friend that takes seven years to get to know will. My friend is not by any means devaluating the seven years friends with this categorization; seven years friends are the most loyal, the most patient, and the biggest parts of our lives. Her point is that seven-second characters in our lives are like a baby spark. They know everything, quickly. They immediately know what to say, which buttons to push. And it’s a total mystery why they do.
You were a seven-second spark. If one day our paths cross, we’ll reevaluate. For the time being, it’s comforting to leave it all as a reminder that there’s more to find out there. But as I read over what I just wrote…if you were meant to be a seven-second friend, then why did I write this?