Let it go

Friday, December 12, 2014

When I was a sophomore in college, I roomed with my best friend in school. She was everything I wasn't: pretty, thin and confident. She could waltz into a party where she knew no one and leave an hour later with 10 new friends. I counted myself very lucky to be one of these friends.

The summer before we moved in together, I asked her if our friendship would survive rooming together. She said it would, and she was so confident about it that I didn't question it again. I began questioning it when we returned from Christmas break that year.

For some reason, she started pulling away. She began sleeping over at a fraternity apartment, knowing that fraternity made me uncomfortable. After all, the boys in that fraternity had spent my entire freshman year buying into my then-boyfriend's claim that I was crazy. They wanted nothing to do with me unless it meant they could ridicule me. And my best friend seemed to want to be around them more than she wanted to be around me, leaving me alone on Friday nights for the first time in six months.

She continued canceling plans with me and coming back to our room rarely or so late that I was already asleep. Finally, one night when she was in our room before midnight, I confronted her. "Why don't you want to be around me anymore?" I asked. She denied everything and said she was too busy to spend time with anyone.

Instead of letting the situation cool down, I began screaming and crying. I accused her of abandoning me. I told her that she had let me down just like everyone else at college. Her mouth agape, she took several minutes to muster up a response.

"I'm not talking to you about this until you go see a counselor," she said.

That offended me more. I left the room and didn't talk to her until we were leaving school in May, when I learned that she had started a relationship with one of those fraternity boys. It stung more than it should have when I realized that she didn't tell me about it, remembering when she promised to tell me when she fell in love for the first time.

Obviously, we didn't room together the next year or really even speak despite being in the same sorority. That doesn't mean I forgot about her. No, I insulted her any time I could. If she came up in conversation, I made sure to let everyone know how she had shafted me.

"If she could just apologize, everything would be fine," I recall saying.

I couldn't let it go. For a year, I blamed her for all my unhappiness and I let everyone know about it.

I'm ashamed of this. I wish I had been able to take a step back and see the situation from her point of view; I'm sure it would have looked a lot different from that perspective. Fortunately, I realized this my senior year.

During one of the last weekends at college, I ran into her at a party and apologized, acknowledging that we could never be friends but we could at least not be enemies."

I'm not proud of the person I was two years ago," I told her. "I know it won't be easy, but I hope you can see that I'm not that person anymore."

She didn't apologize, but I didn't need her to. It turns out the only person I needed to forgive was myself.

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Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News.