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Dear Jabez

From a Healing Black Girl

Dear Jabez,

This is a letter to you Jabez because trying to speak with you is like trying to train a mustang to be a domestic animal. I'm not calling you an animal, I am stating the fact that it is difficult to get into a conversation with you.

I am writing this in hopes of releasing myself from the thought of you. I noticed since 2015 that you occupy a space in my brain and heart that keeps me from accepting what God has in front of me. This is important for me to say. You never gave me a chance so here it is.

Before I get things started, I need to tell you this one very important thing. More important than getting all this weight off my spirit: I am sorry.

I am sorry that I was so infatuated with you that I crossed borders that, as friends, should have never been crossed. I'm sorry I had a friend, we had a friend who chose to take a situation into their hands. I'm sorry I called you a coward and compared you to my father. You understood what he did to my family. For calling you that man who could care less about his left behind kids, that was unnecessary and hurtful. I wish I could take my words back but wishing gets you nowhere.

I'm going to stop with the sorry's now. As I am writing this. I have to keep deleting things since part of me is still upset about the situation. You deserved this sorry, my old friend, because no one should be compared to my father.

I need you to know that friendship was so important to me. I'm pretty sure you don't understand how. I didn't have a lot of friends, and by the time senior year was beginning and ending, I didn't want any more. There were too many situations that happened with certain bigoted classmates. Friendship was so important that I thought:

"You know what? My friendship outweighs my infatuation of you so much I would rather suffer in my teenage angsty love than be alone."

You, Bethany, and Natalie were all I had after I graduated and I find it hilarious that you all just... I was alone Jabez. It only took two years after graduation, but I became alone.

Why couldn't I speak to you now instead of writing this out? You know what, I've asked this myself many times and you know what it comes down to: I am a writer. Speaking isn't my forte, it is my weakest link. Plus, no one likes to listen to me when I speak. People's eyes glass over as soon as I say something. So, all I've got is a pencil and paper, or a computer. And let's be honest Jabez, you wouldn't want to talk about this face to face. You would rather pretend like none of it had happened. Like a conversation needn't be had. It hurts, even now, to remember that you wouldn't listen to me. At that moment you became like everyone else, and I hated it.

Before I started college in town, I hadn’t seen you in ages and I was blaming myself. I kept saying that if I had fought harder to not like you, if I wasn’t friends with Becky that things would have been better. I blamed myself for everything and not once did I blame you guys. I internalized it to the point I began to eat less, and I harmed myself. Writing didn’t please me anymore, so I resorted to old habits.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror one day and found myself skinnier than I had ever been. I hated my body before, but then I hated it and vowed at that moment to eat, and that is exactly what I did. I started talking to people more, I ate better (meaning more), and fought to forget you. I had succeeded, and then I get to our current college and lo and behold, you were there. In my time of trying to heal, I had completely forgotten that you would be there. It didn’t take long after that moment to have nightmares of you harming me. It became hard to tell whether I was in reality or inside my head. So, every time I saw you, I turned away.

That one day you came running after me in the library terrified me so much I hid in the bathroom for at least ten minutes.

I don’t say this to hurt you at all. That is the last thing I want to do to you ever again. For some screwed up reasoning, I still love you, old friend.

Now it’s 2018 and most of these things happened from late 2015 to early 2017. Mentally, I’m in a better place since then and I strive to be completely whole. That is a healthier me and happier me. Of course, I think about you Jabez, even Becky since she invited me to the anniversary. I think about how much love and effort I put into relationships, only to get little back. Our experience has changed me to re-evaluate who I am friends with and what I can share. And I’ve created great friendships based on my caution.

I only write this because I felt like this was the final step to me getting better. I’ve been meaning to write this all out. It has been nagging at the back of my brain for ages and I am so glad to get this typed out. I will not lie and say I’ve never thought about our friendship and how wrong it turned on both of us. I thought about it all the time, to the point of obsession. Now I look back with a sigh. Don’t think that I never cared about you Jabez because I did, I still do.

One last thing before I end: I only hope for your best Jabez, and I forgive you.

Sincerely,

A Healing Black Girl