An open letter to a friend

you don’t know what i’m saying — you never know because you don’t ask. instead, you focus on the way my head tilts forward and my foot stomps the ground, or how i struggle

to form a single word, my mind pushing forward a syllable that my mouth then rejects. instead,

you stare at me like i’m crazy. silence is all i hear. a long, drawn-out pause that not only makes me never want to speak to you again but also never speak again.

do you not know what to say? don’t you know that asking me to repeat the question is okay, that i won’t bite your head off for being a little bit decent? instead,

we stop talking, at least in person, reverting to passing each other along the walk, talking to our friends, extending a sideways glance at each other

as we pass. we see each other in the Space, in every space, and you avoid me like the plague except on social media where the world would think we’re the best of friends.

a like, the occasional heart react, a comment…they all make me remember you leaving me standing at the train station wondering why you left without saying goodbye.

Raelee Lancaster

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