Things I Could Have Said On Your Birthday


Yesterday was your birthday. You live forty-one hours away by car, six by plane. There’s a three-hour time difference. I have not seen you in seven months. We haven’t talked in two months. You do the math.

You used to be one of my best friends, even an almost love. Now, you’re a stranger to me.

I could have sent you a letter in the mail. That would have been too personal. An act reserved for good friends.

I could have messaged you a simple “Happy Birthday!” Maybe added a smiley face. That would have been friendly. But it also would have been fake.  Your reply, or lack thereof, most likely would have been a disappointment. When you hardly talk to someone, you expect your minimal conversations with him or her to be all the more precious.  But, when you get no reply, it’s like a punch to the gut.

I could have messaged you a birthday wish along with a question. Then, you would have been forced to reply. Forced conversations lack that naturalness to them though that you miss in the first place. It’s not worth it.

If I was being honest with you, I could have written, “Happy Birthday…go to Hell.” That’s a little too much though, don’t you think? Especially since it was your birthday and I didn’t want to be the one to piss on your special day. Your special, fucking, twentieth-birthday.

I’m not bitter though.

I’m definitely not bitter about the fact that when it was my birthday, and I was going through a rough time, you could not be bothered to remember it.  Our birthdays are the same day, just different months, but you could never seem to get it through your head. You needed a Facebook reminder that failed you when I deactivated my account a month prior to my birthday.

Every message that came to me that day by phone, I wondered if it was you before checking, but it was always someone else.

I could have done nothing. And that’s exactly what I did. Not to get back at you, because I’m not one for getting even, but because I had nothing to say. The truth is, we aren’t friends anymore, and yesterday I finally accepted that.

I knew it was your birthday and I did nothing about it, just as I would a stranger.