Last week at work the most bizarre thing happened. A long lost friend of mine showed up and requested a table. I’m a host at a restaurant so asking for a table wasn’t strange, it was seeing her again in the first place. I live in a major city and the odds of running into someone I know are really slim, even within the same neighborhood. On top of that I’ve moved a lot over the years so I don’t expect to see people once I move on.
Photo by Vivian Lee via Flickr.
I’m not even sure if my long lost friend recognized me. She spoke very quickly and when she came back to the host stand to ask about her table she talked to my co worker instead of me. I didn’t take that personally. Either she didn’t recognize me or she didn’t want me to recognize her, which is understandable.
What threw me in for a loop was how rough she looked. She looked like life had been hard on her during the past nine years since I last saw her. My coworker even suspected her of being on something/not all there. I don’t know what happened to her, but she seemed way to exhausted for a 20 year old. It wasn’t the normal levels of tired, but the heavy exhaustion one feels when their whole life has left it’s full weight on their shoulders for years and years.
Seeing her in such a rough state really made me think. Back in middle school when we were friends she was the coolest person I knew. Her parents were so relaxed about what she did and when. Growing up in a pretty strict household growing up (or regular level of strictness, depending on how you look at it) I wanted her life. We parted ways after merely a semester together when she switched schools and clearly went very different paths. Who would I have been if I had continued to run with her crowd? Would I have ended up looking twice my age at 20? Would I have been drug addled and worn down, hazily requesting a table on cold Friday night?
I was bummed out for the longest time when my friendship with her faded but seeing her nine years later I realize that some people come and go in our lives for a reason. Some friendships fade in order to make room for people who will influence my life in a positive way.
I know, in the end, I don’t know what she’s been up to and I’m assuming a lot in this post. It made me think, is all. I wish her the best and hope she enjoys her life as much as I enjoy mine at this time of my life.