Our time is valuable. Our choices are our own and its derivative is the weight we bear. Lesser ideas, aspirations, jobs…and people have no place but to fall aside for what we deem more important. It’s the latter that has always lingered heavily on my mind. I wrote once about lost friendships and although this is similar, it’s also quite different. This is about my scars, my habits, my worth as a friend.

I grew up innocent. I had spectacular parents who taught me the necessity of sharing and how to be kind even to those that looked at the world differently or even with disgust. As I grew, there were battles where these youthful ideals were threatened. My wounds birthed scars and as a result, parts of my innocence died. Time passed; the fight continued.

Friends, adventures, and memories past occasionally manifest as a smile when you least expect it, leaving you wondering if you will ever be that person again. But somewhere inside you know you never will. The scars build upon each other so slowly you don’t even realize it. And suddenly you stop wearing your scars and become them.

Somewhere down the line, a scar created a quitter. Selfishly, years ago, I remember thinking how unselfish I was, that I give too much in relationships, I give everything I have. And thusly, I do not question the people, companions, friends, acquaintances, who choose to exit this small stage I live on. For I have given and they want not. I do not question even when my heart aches. I don’t fight. I respect their wishes to fade from my life. Sometimes choices seem justified, especially in the closest relationships. Sometimes, I’m left baffled. Their perspective I’m not privy to and they do not share.

My scar itches with regret, always demanding attention when there is the most to be lost. So, still, the tradition continues. I look back at my phantom friends and forward to the fate of future ones. Always wondering the unknowable, was I a good friend? Did I let them go? Did I give up on them? Am I a quitter? Or was it inevitable?