Dear Ex-Best Friend

I try to tell myself that I don’t care for you anymore, but sometimes I still dream about you.

Months ago, I dreamed that I visited you in your dorm room at Binghamton. The room was revamped into Hello Kitty pink and plush. You let me sit on your bed even though I was wearing “outside” clothes and this time you didn’t scream when my jeans hit your laundry fresh blankets.

You reacquainted me with your stuffed animals and especially made sure that I said “hi” to your favorite, Muffin. Muffin is your puppy “daughter” whom you grew up with ever since you were a child. She’s the size of your hand. Her fur is white, curly, and it feels tough like sheep’s wool. She’s a shrunken and deflated version of her old self after an incident with the microwave. You buy her clothes sometimes, and in the dream she wore a gold turtleneck. I used to pretend to speak in Muffin’s voice. She had the personality of a princess. She was both cute and bossy. She was basically a smaller version of you. She was my way of imitating you, teasing you, but also letting you know I loved you, flaws and all.

I remember feeling sorry in the dream. I was sorry that I left you in this room with just your stuffies. I think I understood even in the dream that this room was not real and that it was actually an imaginary space somewhere in my mind, a space where I had saved all my nice memories of you. A space where I remember that you are just another little girl, like me, trying to figure things out in a woman’s body.

I have a hard time explaining to people how I feel about you sometimes: how I’m glad we are no longer friends–because what we had was an abusive relationship–but how I also sometimes miss you, think of you, and feel guilty about breaking up. I think this dream helped me figure some things out. It told me that I feel sad about leaving the little girl behind because I think she is lovely and I know how much she needs to be loved. But when I wake up, I remind myself that no matter what I dream, we cannot be friends anymore, that I cannot be the one to love you, at least for a very long time, maybe even forever, if we ever want to grow up into the women we need to be.

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