There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now, and I’m not sure how you’ll take it, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I know we’ve been practically inseparable all these years, so I hope you can understand that now just feels like the right time to finally call it quits once and for all.

Your loyalty is admirable. No, really. Your presence has outlasted even my closest friendships (though, to be fair, I think you may have had something to do with that).

I still remember when I met you in sixth grade. At the time, I thought you were just a passing acquaintance (after all, how many 12-year-olds can say they have a friend like you?), but your company was so persistent, I couldn’t help but accept that we would be together for a long time. Now, I couldn’t imagine having grown up without you.

You’ve accompanied me through all the major milestones. Remember when I switched schools after freshman year and you followed me to my new one? We spent that first day together as I ate lunch alone, and you told me I would never make friends there. That was true for a while, because whenever people reached out, you assured me that they were just being nice and didn’t really want to hang out with me. I appreciated your pragmatism at that critical point in my life — I would have mistakenly believed that my friends genuinely liked me if it weren’t for you.

Senior year, I was so excited when we got into the same college, and even more so when I found out we would be rooming together. Our interests were so similar, we joined all of the same organizations, though you were a little less outgoing than I was. After every club meeting, no matter how well it went or how many friends I made, you would warn me that no one there was really interested in what I had to say, and I would believe you. I’m glad I stuck with it despite your advice, because most of the time, being involved gave me a nice little break from your company.

Oh, and when I got a boyfriend here, you were so jealous! I know it’s just because you missed spending time with me, but rest assured that every minute I spent without him, I spent with you. Sometimes I couldn’t even enjoy my time with him because I was thinking about you too often — that’s just how intertwined our lives are, I suppose. Funny how that works.

Now that he and I are no longer together, you and I have been closer than ever. You attend every party with me as my wingman, convincing me to drink excessively and hook up with strangers. In the morning, you follow me home as I walk from their place to mine. You shroud the sunrise and make the air piercing cold. You tell me that this week, the temperature won’t get above 50 degrees. In a way, you make it less lonely to be alone.

And you know, it’s not often I can say a friend of mine really hits it off with my mom, but you’ve been there for her, too, just like you were for her mom. You’ve even started to work your charm on my brother. My dad still isn’t fond of you, and admittedly I’m kind of glad. I don’t think you guys would have gotten along very well anyway.

I guess what I’m trying to say is although you’ve been with me through thick and thin, it’s just not working anymore. To be completely honest, you’re kind of an asshole, and I think I would be just fine without you. I’ve come to realize that my friends really do care about me, and being actively involved here at the University makes me feel more fulfilled than you ever have. You only weighed me down, and I often think of what I could have accomplished if I weren’t spending so much time with you. I know you’ll be tempted to reach out, but I would really appreciate it if you didn’t contact me. Like, ever. I’ll probably be too busy to hang out anyway. After all, I have to make up for all those years I wasted with you somehow.

Love,

Lauren

Lauren Schandevel can be reached at schandla@umich.edu.

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