Open Letter to My Ex-Best Friend
by Thao Nguyen
Remember me? I was your best friend in middle school.
Do you remember how we would talk about all our crushes in code in English class? Remember how I lent you a jacket to tie around your waist when your period got too crazy? How about when we promised we would be friends forever and get each other the coolest wedding gifts? Do you remember all of that?
Do you remember when you decided you were too cool to hang out with me anymore? Remember when you and your new friends decided that I looked like a frog, and told everyone to call me a Toad? How about when you all would make croaking and ribbiting noises whenever I was near you? Do you remember all of that?
Well did you know how much that hurt me? Did you know that I would force myself to hold my head high while you croaked and ribbited, but inside I felt like I was made of spiders and worms and sludge? Did you know that it took all I had not to cry as you laughed at my expense? Did you even feel bad? Did you ever even respect me?
I promised myself that I wouldn’t let what you did get to me anymore. I promised myself that I would be happy and healthy and make good friends. But I let myself down. Thanks to what you did, I found it hard to trust any of my friends. Thanks to what you did, I thought they all laughed at me behind me back. Thanks to what you did, I was afraid to make any new friends. Thanks to what you did, I spent years thinking I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, cool enough, strong enough to be with any of the guys I liked. Thanks to you, all of my relationships were marked with fear and insecurity.
But I’m not letting you hurt me anymore. I’m done with not trusting the people who’ve shown me time and time again that they love me. I’m done blaming you for the insecurities I’ve let live on for too long. So thank you. Thank you for showing me that people will change and people will let you down and hurt you. But thank you for showing me that it was in me all along to be stronger than what people thought of me. Thank you for showing me that I had it in me to forgive and forget.
So, remember me? Your best friend in middle school? I’m not that timid, shy girl faking bravery anymore. I am stronger and wiser now. I am not afraid to be vulnerable and I am not afraid to be proud of who I am and how I look. You broke my heart, but others have fixed it.