Last night I got some bad news. One of my best friends — one that I met the first day of college and have been best friends with ever since — told me that she’s getting a divorce. Of ALL the marriages I know, this was the one that would make it. These two people are the smartest, funniest, nicest, most interesting people I know. They were soul mates, if ever there were. Somewhere along the line, he became an asshole and cheated on her, and decided to stay with his girlfriend. Even HIS friends won’t talk to him now.
These two met while we were all still in college, during our junior years. My friend and I were living together and living up, going out every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to the bars, like we had been doing since our freshman year. She was introduced to him through other friends, and they immediately hit it off. It was instantly serious. My best friend was no longer mine. But that was OK, since my future husband and I were also hooking up. We eventually graduated and moved on with our lives. Our outings and conversations grew more infrequent, but it never bothered us. We both had new best friends – our husbands. Our bond has always been deep enough to withstand such strain.
When my friend called last night, I thought she was going to tell me she was pregnant. When she said divorce, I actually thought she was joking. This girl is a bright light. She is the smile in so many people’s day. She is trusting, loving and loyal. The fact that her husband did this to her of all people pretty much ensures his karmic hell.
The break-up occurred in April, but the dust is just now settling. Now that she’s sure this is really happening, she’s systematically calling friends and family to tell them the news. I imagine each call is like living through it all over again. Shouldn’t HE be the person making these calls? She told me that I was the last person she called, because I was the toughest person to call. They were our twin couple — so much like my husband and I, our relationships and personalities so similar.
At the beginning of the phone call, I felt so sorry for my friend. But she is strong and positive and remarkable, and still full of light. She will move forward and find someone worthy of her. He, on the other hand, I do feel sorry for him. He has planted some bad seeds, and they’ll eventually be harvested. He was such a good guy. I still can’t believe he was capable of this.
If this could happen to this marriage, it could truly happen to any marriage. They were best friends, and this was the best of marriages. I don’t know how you re-group at age 34, and get back out there in the singles scene, biological clock ticking and all. It has to be maddening.
Hearing her talk, I just wanted to absorb all her pain, free her from the burden, if only for the duration of our call. Surely I could conjure up some magical thought or passage that would part the clouds and make her feel whole again. As deep as I dug, looking for that relief, it didn’t happen. There’s nothing I can do to make this better. And I can’t help but question my own perfect marriage. Fuck him for doing this to her, and fuck him for doing this to me.