It's that horrible moment. You are talking to them, laughing, and they are looking at you with blank eyes and lips pressed tightly together. Their expression is dead, and you break off in the middle of a sentence, uncomfortable. What you took for rapt attention was actually something more like anger. There is hostility, misplaced and undefined, hanging in the air. So you back away and leave the thought unfinished. They aren't interested anyhow.

It's that first time you hold something back. Suddenly, they don’t seem like the person to gush to, to share secrets with. Their questions are an intrusion and why won't they just leave you alone? They press and the press, most likely in an attempt to bring back the connection, but it annoys you. Your life is not for them to know about.

It's them. They smoke too much pot. They aren't going anywhere in life. They are trying to bring you down. All of the things that endeared them to you have gone away, or you can’t see them anymore. You wonder why you didn't see these faults before and if they've changed or you've changed. Maybe it's life that changed, and you keep holding on to someone. Why?

Because you loved them once and they loved you and love doesn't give up that easily. There was a time when the happiness of that person would have been the most important thing. You may have seen each other through multiple significant others, jobs and family problems. He bailed you out of jail. You saw her through an abortion. Each time you swore that you'd never part because what you had was the strongest thing, the most important thing.

It shouldn't be as difficult as it is, you think, but then you remember that romantic love is overemphasized and the love between friends is seldom discussed. There aren't any guidelines for falling out of love with friends. You won't "break up." Your lives are for the most part too intertwined to make a clean break, and besides that, guilt will make you stay. You wish you could love them like you used to. Going out without them still feels like cheating.

You keep trying. And wondering. How could you love someone so much, and then let it all go?

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