I just got back in touch with an old friend through facebook. I know that it's got so cool that it's stopped being cool, but I use it to keep in touch with my cousins. And then I found out that a friend who I hadn't seen for years, who I'd started to worry about (was he OK?), was on there. Alive and kicking and having moved away from the last place I'd known him at.
I requested to list him as a friend about a month ago now in a haze of relief that he was OK. He's the kind who is a genius in his field but isn't very good at everyday life, and who doesn't keep up with people very well. I sent him a message after a couple of weeks, knowing that that would email him again, wondering if the first email had gone astray. This morning I got messages that he and his girlfriend had added me as friends.
I suppose I should mention that although we're friends now, we used to go out. For two years. Quite seriously. I dumped him just after we'd moved into a flat together.
I know. I have the shittiest timing in the WORLD. I realise now how cruel it was. I kind of realised at the time, but all the other options I had seemed just as cruel.
I am so excited to be back in touch with him. He is one of my favourite people in the whole world. He was a nightmare to live with in some ways, but great fun (I remember coming home one day to find he'd made carrot cake for me on a whim) and a genuine nice guy. After the breakup, we lived in that flat for 18 months. It was probably a bad idea, and it was really hard at first, but it made us learn to be friends again. He came to our wedding with his girlfriend, but I've hardly seen or heard from him since then.
But I'm aware that he's not so excited about it. Partly because he doesn't get so excited about these things; partly because it's been a long time now and what does it really mean, that we've added each other on facebook? Sure, we have family that lives near him and we'll try and get down to meet up for a coffee. But I'm never going to be close friends with him again. I know his girlfriend never trusted me; fair enough, he was a bit of a mess when they got together because I'd treated him so badly. I can't blame her for not liking me. I don't like the me that treated him so badly.
I tend not to regret things. It's bad for the soul, and it doesn't do any good. And yet I wish so badly I'd never gone out with him. I value him so highly as a friend, and yet... he's never going to be a close friend again.
We live and learn, I guess. But I wish I could have skipped that one.