audio, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

Carry you

a dark tree-lined road with shafts of sunlight
image by seth0s via pixabay

listen here:

I thought I could carry you with me.

We walked hard roads together
leaning on each other in bad times
laughing side by side in good times
we didn’t know our lines would run parallel
only for so long.
A tiny shift
a tiny space
the lines diverging
and I try
try to hold on
after all
we are seen and we are known
we are something to each other
not easily found, I thought.
But since I set my compass to wider horizons
you dig at me with your discomfort
scratch me with your disapproval.
And I try
try to hold on
after all
I will miss you too
your sarcasm and tears
your perspective and your fears
the way we huddled together for warmth
long into dark nights.
But with every angry jibe
the chasm grew, so
I placed you tenderly behind a shield of glass
raised for my own protection
seen, not felt
cry if you must
and don’t forget
I love you even as
you shrink in my rear view mirror.
I should be looking forward
and I try
try to hold on
after all
time is the great separator.
Almost beyond touching distance
yet it still hurts.
I wish you well

I wish I could carry you with me.


Friend request

the reply Facebook won’t let me send

ottavio via pixabay

Funny how life goes, isn’t it?

We shared so much over the years, and yet here we are. Yours is the last name I expected to see on my timeline.

First things first. I knew your ex-husband before you did, at college. It was a twist of fate that brought us together, working in the same city, and then in the same firm as colleagues who became friends.

We produced four babies within five years. Remember how people joked that they should avoid sitting on the same chair as us? We laughed, and we raised toddlers together. Those birthday parties, overlapping guest lists, Sunday lunches. It was fun.

I hope you knew how I supported you through the difficult end of your marriage years later, shielding you from stress at work. That’s what a good colleague and friend should do, right?  You invited us to dinner with your new partner at your new house. We talked and laughed over a casserole and a bottle of good red.

I didn’t see any cracks, everything seemed fine. Maybe I was blind.

I thought you were just busy with your life changes, but you were a little distant. No worries, we’re all dealing with our issues. We chatted on the phone, trying to steer a way forward for our firm. Then came the meeting at which you demolished me. You were unhappy with everything I’d done, everything I was doing right then and planning in the future.

No knock on my door, no private chat, just an explosion of criticism and bad blood.  All our encounters afterwards were underpinned by anger and hostility. I never saw it coming, but you don’t expect a friend to bury a dagger in your heart.

That’s why it hurt so much.

Two weeks later you resigned. By email. Finally, you gave me a taste of how you treated your ex, throwing threats and lawyers into what should have been a simple agreed exit. It all left a very bad taste.

I still don’t understand how or why it played out this way.  But I accept that you have moved on. If I hurt you unknowingly, I am sincerely sorry.  My regret is that we couldn’t talk about it, and allow me to make amends.

So, your friend request? I must decline.  Looking back, I realise that the foundations of our friendship had been eroding for a long time, long before you dropped your bombs and walked away. It would be foolish, would it not, to do the same thing again and expect a different outcome? We stand on opposite sides of the river, and there’s no way back.

We can never be friends. You didn’t just burn your bridges, you poisoned the wells and salted the earth in your wake.