Domestic Tragedy

by Crow Jonah Norlander

            We never meant to gain their confidence only to outgrow them. They were once our best friends, the ones who listened, the ones who understood or sat across from us so we could see them nod. They leaned forward and asked us to clarify. We were glad to explain. We wanted nothing more than understanding. We could learn to love that they always try too hard. We could overlook glaring differences. We used to try too hard. We could ignore the fact that our time together meant complications.

We met them and were pursued. We felt flattered. We convinced ourselves that we were lucky. Caring deeply for their feelings, we listened to their stories. Their family situations were tragic, and we sensed the source of their issues. We didn't say anything. We realized how well they could cope. We felt selfish. We were so self-centered while they were so selfless. We wanted to change. We wanted to help.

Intoxicated, set at ease by the luxury of familiarity, we stopped thinking about them and started being with them, sharing with them. Others made us worry about what they were thinking. We questioned what we had been so glad to take for granted. We realized they were right about them. We dealt with it. We stuck it out. We ignored intuition and expected things to fix themselves. We harbored grudges. We got complacent. We got angry. We lost interest.

We never broke the news. We grew apart together. We knew we owed it to them, but never made it right.

We kept it to ourselves. We pretended nothing had changed. We knew we changed. We hate them. We hope they never know.