Have you ever tried to keep a snowflake? It's so beautiful and delicate and it seems the harder you try to stop it from melting, the faster it melts. At first you can still see the shape in the water but then even that grows hazy.
I have (had?) a friendship like that. It was beautiful yet incredibly delicate and it took me a long time to nurture it into being. My friend didn't open up easily and only lately started giving me glimpses of the soul that lies beneath that sarcastic outer shell. And then I went and did something stupid and the whole thing melted before my eyes. The trust my friend had in me was broken. The respect was gone.
My hope is that my friend feels there's something worth hanging on to. It may take a while to get back what we had but maybe, just maybe it's not completely over. I think it's this stupid little spark of hope, the one that says that my friend isn't ignoring me and this is all just a coincidence, is what makes everything worse. It tells me that maybe my friend is just busy. Maybe feelings haven't changed at all and it's just that taxes are due, or a house needs renovating. The spark of hope flickers and grows in my chest and I check for that familiar string of entertaining, though-provoking, insightful e-mails...only to find nothing. The spark shrinks, but never completely goes out. If it did extinguish, I could go about the grieving process because I'd know that snowflake is gone forever. But it's a stubborn spark that flickers like a distant star that refuses to die and it makes breathing painful.
I wish I could say that I couldn't imagine doing something so awful that a wonderful, precious friendship changes forever but I'm afraid I know exactly what that's like.
I'm sorry. I hope you forgive me before I forgive me. But how do you fix a melted snowflake?