Something About a Soul and a Friend

Read part one of this story here, and part two here.



Officer, we really were friends.

I remember loving him dearly, once upon a time in my life. He was my best friend, and I was sure that he would be the one I would marry. But after some time, maybe about two years, things started to change, or rather his true colors started revealing themselves.

I’m literally in shock that it’s him. I haven’t seen him in years! We haven’t talked or anything for a really long time! We were friends for a while when I lived in Florida but I’ve moved several times since then. Officer, do you know how he found me?

He shifted in the seat beside my hospital bed. “We’re still trying to figure that out, miss. But I need to know more about your history with him.”

Yes, yes, of course. We met at my first real job, it was a law firm. Probably one of the weirdest guys I’ve met, and trust me, officer, I have met and befriended my fair share of weird guys. We would talk all the time! I brought lunch for him or picked up lunch for him most days, ran errands, and really cared about his wellbeing. And well, I hate to admit it now, and I hated to admit it at the time, but I fell in, uh, in…

“Love?” the officer interjected.

Yes. I was sure that he was the one for me and that our friendship would turn into more than a friendship and eventually we would both admit our love for each other. Officer, I was lovestruck and I didn’t pay attention to the red flags until the damage was done.

“The red flags? What damage?”

Yes, bright blaring blood-red flags that screamed at me and I was too blinded and deaf to see them. He was moody. Like, extremely moody. You had to be really careful about what you said to him because the smallest thing could set him off. If you dared tell him he was wrong about anything, even something that he assumed about you, it was off with your head and to the bottom of the deep blue sea until he was ready to talk to you again.

Early on, I figured he had some abandonment issues. It was why he was quick to push people away, always the first to leave, liked to make people think he was busier than he was, and he labeled it as maturity. I understood though, he wanted people to value him, value his time, who doesn’t want that? But it wasn’t genuine, you could tell, he was always calculating the timing of everything. He fed off of people wanting to be around him, of them asking him to stay a little longer. He liked to keep people wondering if he was going to show up to an event so that either they would be really happy to see him, or they would be really sad that he didn’t come. It was those emotions he liked to draw out. He wanted to be wanted. Which is normal, but the way he went about doing it was… not healthy. Not for him, and definitely not for me.

A couple times he accused me of being manipulative, and I know that I can be, though it’s mostly unintentional. But I had nothing on him. Officer, you know the term “gaslighting”? That was his form of manipulation. Oh, I should have run right then. But I’m always picking out and focusing on the good in everyone, and plus I loved him, right?

Anyway, at some point, I told him about my feelings for him and he kinda disregarded it completely and then he got a girlfriend. A girlfriend! So, of course, I was hurt, but did I do anything? Nope. But check this, officer, when his girlfriend visited, he had the NERVE to ask me to come hang out with them. And of course, despite my hurt feelings, I did. I liked her, she was really nice. And whenever he invited me to come hang out with them, I would try to explain how awkward that was for me, but he never cared to take my feelings into consideration. The only time he did was to tell me how immature I am and how he can’t invite me places—basically, he tried to make me feel bad to avoid taking responsibility for his own inconsiderate behavior. Very mature, right?

Despite that, I still remained his friend and I still loved him! I became cool with his girlfriend, I liked her. Eventually, though, they broke up, and I was genuinely sad. I really did like her. I still wanted to be friends with her though, and he didn’t really like that. I mean first, he forced me to hang out with her, while I was in love with him and then when I genuinely wanted to be friends, he got mad. I mean, I thought we were grown adults, but apparently, we were still in high school. After that, I started to question if I had befriended the devil himself. We still spent quite a bit of time with each other and he would go on about how he was so nice to me all the time and how I was such a horrible person to him.

We started to get into more and more arguments over drama he came up with in his head and my friends saw it too. It really began to take a toll on me, officer. Don’t get me wrong, man, I am no angel and I have my flaws but I don’t think I did anything to deserve the way he talked to me sometimes. Regardless of that, in my eyes, he was still a good person, just kind of troubled and still hadn’t found a way to handle his demons. He did great things, gave me good career advice, helped me move, even cooked for me. Officer, he truly was a really nice person. He was a talented guitar player too. I can’t believe he did this. I’m, wow, like wow! Like whoa, really? Him?

“When was the last time you saw him? When was the last time you guys talked?”

The last time? Well, let’s see. Right before Hurricane Irma, he got a new girlfriend. We got into a really huge fight and stopped talking. By this time I was over his little “I’m not talking to you” moods, so I didn’t try to heavily pursue the issue and fix it as I normally would. Then he hit me up around his birthday to tell me that he forgave me. It was only then that I started to realize that he was a real-life narcissist. What’s worse, he would tell me all these horrible things about myself, and it was clear to me that he was projecting his feelings about himself onto me. But could you tell him that?  Oh no, then he’d go crazier on you. He could be really abusive with his words. I had to bite my tongue A LOT, officer. Sometimes I really wanted to light into him, but I never did.

Then I had surgery, got a new job and he was really nice during that period, and then he started distancing himself from me. At first, I kind of noticed but it wasn’t a big deal to me. Then this one time, we were talking on the phone and he told me that he stopped inviting me to things because he didn’t know if I could hang out or get along with other people… something to that effect, and I think I was just like “oh okay.” I remember being… just kind of speechless because he made the assumption that it bothered me that he wouldn’t invite me places anymore when I didn’t even know he was going places. I’m sitting here living my life, making new friends, enjoying time with my crew, and he thought that I noticed that he was going places and not inviting me. Again, narcissist much?

Anyway, I let it go. In my head, I would still be his friend, but I would keep my distance. Then in August, before our last conversation, he helped me move into a new apartment, but he gave me so much shit and stressed me out about it so much that I regretted asking him. He knew how much I hated having to ask people for help, and that year I needed a lot of help from a lot of people so I had been learning to suck up my pride and ask. It was the third time he helped me to move and the last time I asked him for assistance.

The officer leaned forward in his seat ever so slightly, asking, “What happened?”

His birthday came five months later. At first, I didn’t know if he had plans. We were still friends, at least that’s what I thought. But we weren’t super close like before. I didn’t know if his girlfriend planned something for him and I wasn’t even sure if he wanted to hang out with me. I wished him a happy birthday but I failed to do anything further than that until the next day or so and I got the urge to check on him.  I still wanted to celebrate his birthday with him, he was my friend.

So I checked on him. Officer, at this point, I was very used to his verbal abuse. He had called me a liar, and a manipulator; in his eyes, I’m a really horrible person to him and I must be like this to everybody and so I was going to have a really hard time in life or whatever. This time was no different, except that I no longer felt like fighting back. I was happy with my life, I had great friends, a supportive family, very little drama, and was just super grateful for everything I had been blessed with.

You know officer, I want to be able to help everyone with everything, but it is the hardest thing for me to ask for or accept help from others. That’s a serious flaw, a pride issue, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning to swallow that pride. I’m always afraid that someone will hold the fact they helped me over my head. That they will throw it back in my face. And in our last conversation, that is exactly what he did. At that moment, I realized that it is what he had done our whole friendship. So I simply stopped talking to him. And we hadn’t spoken in over eight years… until I was stuck in his stupid cage for three months.

“Did you think he would ever do something like this?”


“Okay, miss. Thank you for your statement. I am truly sorry for what you had to go through. I hope you feel better. “

Officer? Will you guys help him? I don’t think he’s a bad person… he just hasn’t learned how to deal with his demons yet.

“We’ll do what we can.”

Standing up, the officer patted my shoulder in reassurance, turned around and walked out of the room. As he walked out, my stranger walked in with sunflowers and a bag of milk chocolate almonds.

“How long were you waiting?” I asked.

He grinned. “Oh well now it’s eight years, four months, fifteen days and some change, of course.”

I laughed. “Come here, you lunatic. I missed you so much. Listen, no more messages on wine bottles. We’ll have to find other ways to keep our relationship fun.”

He leaned over my hospital bed and hugged me tightly. “I never want to lose you like that again.”

I smiled up at him. “And I never want anyone to kidnap me again, but really, we need a new tradition. This ‘pretending to be strangers’ thing is turning out to be pretty dangerous. And apparently, it’s a hackable tradition. Available to anyone who wants to kidnap me.”

“When did you realize that it wasn’t me?”

“After I woke up and realized I had been caged for nearly three weeks!”

“So before that, you really didn’t know it was somebody else?”

“No! I just thought you really went all out this time, like Hollywood makeup and everything! I was impressed with your accent. And I sure as heck didn’t remember what he sounded like after all this time. I am such an idiot.”

“No, you’re not. You had no idea someone would actually do something like that. We had no idea! Are you gonna press charges?”

I let him go and began to fiddle with my hands in my lap.  “I don’t know. He’s not a bad person.”

“Hmm, oh yeah, not a bad person at all. He just kidnaps the love of my life and keeps her in a cage for months.”

I know, I know. I can’t help it. It’s just…

I really thought we were friends.