I have survived my first Yom Kippur in Israel. I reveled in my quiet beach and being able to frolic in the streets. In fact, myself and five of my Fellows, Shelly, Brian, Seth, Zach and Brandon played American football with three Israeli kids on our street. Now the cars outside are blasting their horns and Israel is back to normal. But I’m not. With Yom Kippur over (in Israel anyway), I beg for one last chance for forgiveness.
I briefly alluded to my friendship with a girl I call the Dandelion in my “9/11 Abroad (Again)” post. She was a girl who was in my cohort during my study abroad program in London. We had our ups and downs but we remained friends. I met up with her almost two years ago during Christmas of 2011 as she had relocated from Texas to New York for a new job. I was so excited, until we went to a pub for dinner and the Dandelion got drunk. This wasn’t the first time that I had to take care of her while she was drunk, either. I could’ve handled that, had we not gone to a nearby bar with four British guys who kept hitting on the Dandelion. They didn’t care about the fact that she had a boyfriend and one of them would not physically lay off her. I was on crutches at the time and I kept hitting him with them, but it didn’t do any good. How had the most anticipated reunion of the year crumbled so fast?
I saw the Dandelion for what would be the last time the next night. I had to tell her what had happened. She was able to function and told me to let her know when I was going to be in New York again. I was in New York three weeks later and left her a voicemail and sent a text message. She never responded. Apart from a “Like” on Facebook in August of 2012, I haven’t heard from her at all. Where did I go wrong?
I have been in Israel for three weeks. The Dandelion doesn’t know I’m here. I know I could get killed here. The Dandelion would have no way of knowing if I died and it kills me. She never checked up on me during the Boston Marathon bombings this year, either; I am her only friend in Boston. But why does it bother me so much?
I guess it’s because everything made sense when she was around. When she was around, I knew my place, I knew what to do and I didn’t ever have to worry about anything. She was my everything in London.
I just really miss her.
When I think of her abandonment over the past twenty-one months and then I see her having fun on Facebook—seemingly unaware of her inactions towards me—, it’s like my blood goes cold and everything around me falls to pieces. I don’t know what to do anymore. My stomach is twisted into knots and I have this nasty, agonizing feeling in my chest like my whole world has completely shattered in front of my very eyes.
Anytime I even so much as mention to people our failed 2011 New York reunion or try and think about what I could’ve done to prevent us from meeting those British guys, I completely shut down. I realize now that this is the hardest thing in the world for me because it’s making me face the pain of losing the most important person in London head on. This is something I never really did after it happened, mainly because I still don’t understand it almost two years later.
I miss her so much. Things just don’t feel the same without her. I still remember everything she ever taught me. I feel broken without her around.
All I’ve ever wanted to do since she abandoned me is to tune the world out and to harden myself in an effort not to get hurt ever again. This is why I have to make sure I cannot get emotionally attached to the people in my Israel cohort.
I admired the Dandelion so much and when she abandoned me, she broke me. That’s what she did. She makes people love her so much that they can’t handle this world without her in it.
For Yom Kippur, I beg her to just talk to me again, to let me know what I did to deserve her abandonment. I want her to forgive me if I did something wrong. I’ve been told that her disappearing “would’ve happened anyway.” Would it have? I don’t know. And not knowing is the hardest part. My lovely Fellow, Shelly is the person in Israel who I have spoken to the most about the Dandelion and how meeting her shaped me as a person. She says I can’t change what happened and that she should essentially be a nonentity now. But how do you forget a person who meant so much to you? I wish I could talk to her, to tell her all my troubles in person. Even the phone would suffice. But until then, it’s hard when you only have a photograph to tell your troubles to.
*December 25th, 2011*