I have been debating about whether or not to blog about this. This is something I would have talked over with James and I have decided to write about it in hopes of gaining some clarity.
My family moved to Idaho near the end of my freshman year of high school. I was painfully shy, and I had just left a school in which I had known most of my classmates since kindergarten. The "newcomer" to our class had joined us in the 5th grade. I went from a high school of 102 students, where I knew everyone at least by name, to a class of 230. It was quite a change and a terrifying one at that.
There was a girl in a couple of my classes that seemed pretty nice and it was a relief to walk into class and see her familiar face. One of the classes we shared was history; her best friend was in that class as well. It turns out the best friend didn't like me all that much as she thought I was trying to steal her friend. We all ended up working on a project together and the best friend realized I was no threat-just a new girl that was actually pretty nice and just trying to get to know people.
She and I became friends and by our senior year, we were pretty close. During the summers, I would often ride my bike the 5 miles to her house to spend the night and would end up spending a couple of days or the weekend. Her family took me in after my then step-mother kicked me out two weeks before we were to leave for college.
Even though either of us could have gone anywhere for school (well, maybe not Ivy League in my case!), we stayed close to home, enrolling at the University of Idaho, as did a lot of our classmates. We went on a campus visit together. She talked me into going through sorority rush, something I never would have considered. We were in different rush groups but ended up pledging the same sorority-how cool was that-sharing this experience with my best friend?
It was during the first semester of our freshman year that our friendship started to fall apart. We were drifting apart and I started to confide in another sister more and more not realizing what this was doing to my friend. I met a frat boy who I took an interest in; she had a boyfriend back home. The night before Thanksgiving break, I spent the night at his apartment. Nothing happened-we were watching a movie and it got late and we just fell asleep. She tracked me down the next morning and was livid and refused to believe either one of us that nothing had happened. I was supposed to go home with her for break but was able to convince my dad to let me come home even though I wanted nothing to do with my step-mom. When we got back from break, out of "concern," my friend told the frat boy's best friend that I was psychotic. And that was the end of the frat boy and our friendship. She ultimately ended up leaving the sorority. Ironically, joining the sorority was actually one of the best things I could have done since it really helped with my self-esteem issues and with my shyness.
I have not been in contact with her since she left the house which was about 16 years ago. The other day, I got a friend request from her on Facebook, which I have yet to respond to. I truly wish her the best in life; I just don't know if I want to reintroduce her into mine. I have a couple of pictures of James posted, but my relationship status is not on there. Since James died before our wedding, I am listed with my maiden name. When I signed up for Facebook, I just wanted to be Heather, not the girl to pity because her fiance died so for the most part, I have left him out of that aspect of my life. I can't help but wonder if I accept her friendship request, will she take smug satisfcation in "knowing" that I turned out to be the pathetic loser that she predicted I would become, or has enough time passed that maybe she does want to see if our friendship can be renewed? I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but ever since I got the request, I have been plagued with feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness. If she sees male friends commenting on my status, will she feel compelled to "warn" them about me, or will she genuinely feel bad if she finds out about James? Of course, I am not completely blameless for the deterioration of our friendship. I had my fair share of problems and I know I hurt her too.
I guess I could add her and if it doesn't work out, I could just remove her. And if it does work out, I will have regained a friendship that was once very valuable to me.