One of the few things that Mary could remember about her ex-best friend was that she loved science. Jane loved the practicality of it. To her, everything that was tangible had logical explanations. And she liked it that way. Mary, on the other hand, was different. She preferred to ponder on the many unanswered questions of the universe. For her, maturity came at a young age. Instead of restricting herself to theories, she had an open mind about new ideas.
To them, it didn't matter how different they were. It was always 'Mary and Jane' or 'Jane and Mary'. They were the epitome of true friendship. Both of them constantly learned from one another and after a while, even adopted each other's characteristics. They were thick as thieves, and they had planned for it to stay that way. But life never goes the way it was supposed to, and nothing is ever predictable. Mary and Jane lived their lives with wide-eyed innocence. Being young and naive can do that to anyone.
It began with a phone call and ended with another. Both times, Jane was the bearer of bad news. She cautiously dialed the number and told Mary that she was moving to America. It was as simple as that for her. But on the receiving end, Mary felt the weight of the words on her shoulders. Jane rambled on about her new life in America, blissfully unaware of Mary's detachment.
They ended up staying on the phone all night long, talking about anything and everything. Jane launched into her usual rambling about how the Earth circled the Sun, and how gravity held all the planets together. Mary would always challenge Jane's plausible science theories for the fun of it. But Jane's usual ramble was a little different this time.
"Imagine: The Sun is a representation of life, in the metaphorical sense. Our circular trips around the Sun represents our lives. As long as we have our friendship, which in this case is gravity, it will hold everything in place, and nothing will ever change for us. That's my take on how I think we'll turn out. " Jane said with confidence, as if it were all accurate facts of the universe.
Little did she know, Mary was already starting to have doubts. Hearing all about Jane's new life made her feel insecure. What if it didn't include her? She was going to be on the other side of the world, with new friends and new classmates. Mary refused to be open-minded about Jane leaving. She was terrified of being left behind. She agreed with Jane half-heartedly, as a quiet voice surfaced from deep within her mind, and told Mary: " You don't believe her." Mary chose to keep that unpleasant thought to herself.
The last day Mary had with Jane was spent in an airport. Mary forced a tiny smile. She tried to smile for Jane's sake, she really did. She stuttered on her words and could not get them out, feeling like she had too much to say, yet nothing to say to Jane. In the end, she decided on a hug and a friendly goodbye. They looked into each other's eyes for the last time, and Mary could only feel the sting of regret. It was too late to ask her to stay. Just like that, her best friend was gone, and a million words were left unspoken.
Time flew by like a bullet train. As the years went by, the frequent phone calls became lesser. Jane and Mary both became busier, and they each experienced the ups and downs of life, just not together. The memories they shared and once treasured became hazy and blurry; the promises made were gradually forgotten. Instead of calling each other to talk about their lives, they would simply go on each other's social media pages to get updates. With just a few clicks of a button, Jane could see that Mary was doing fine, or at least she was, according to her statuses. And Jane believed it, because it didn't matter to her how Mary was doing anymore. Mary was in her past.
They used to be inseparable and now they grew distant, separated by miles and miles of silence. Jane thought for the longest time, longing to find the reason why they fell apart. But the truth is, there was no explanation or no logic behind why. Certain things cannot be controlled, and sometimes life works that way. Their friendship, or lack thereof, was another prime example of how life could get in the way and mess everything up.
Taking in a deep breath, Jane picked up the phone, and dialed Mary's number for the last time. They were having their last conversation together, and somehow the both of them knew that. They could feel the distance over the phone. It used to be an excruciating feeling. Now, they felt nothing but the silence that hung between them.
"I think I'm happy with my life now. Are you?" Jane asked, her voice void of any emotion. Mary was unable to tell how Jane was feeling through two sentences.
Two sentences; that was all she'd heard from Jane in months.
"Yeah, I think I am too." Mary answered back almost immediately. Jane was half expecting for her heart to sink. To her surprise, it didn't. She no longer recognized Mary's once distinctive voice. To Jane, Mary felt like a completely different person-which she was.
Three sentences was all it took to create more distance between two distant best friends.
"Then, I was wrong. We turned out okay without each other. If so... I guess this is really goodbye. " Jane voiced out the words she never thought she would ever say. Once again, Mary was on the receiving end. This time, she willingly embraced change.