With time, we both went to college together. We both began to explore the world together. We both ventured into the world of girls together. Boy, was that scary. I still remember how excited I was for that. Peter used to love telling me that no girl would ever really love me. I believed him far more often than I should have.
Eventually we both got married. And that is when things started to change between Peter and me. We started to become distanced from each other. A tiny bit then, but distanced nonetheless.
We still kept each other deeply enrooted in each other’s lives, but I began going down one path and he began going down another.
We were both sad and miserable in those adult years. Neither of us had a strong marriage. Neither of us was happy.
We both started packing on the pounds. I think we were both in a 3XL shirt and size 46 pants when I finally said, “enough.” I remember the scale read 350 lbs. that day. I don’t know what Peter weighed. I think he was heavier than that. Much heavier.
Oh, Peter. What happened from that point on, my dear friend? What has led to this moment where I have no choice but to say goodbye forever?
Why couldn’t you have stepped on the scale and thought the same things I thought.
I thought, I am better than this. I don’t know what you thought, if you thought anything at all. I only know that I began to change for the better after that, and you either got worse or you remained the same; I don’t know which. I only know that the more I turned my life around from that point on, the harder it was to know you; the harder it was to believe you were a friend worth knowing at all.
I did what I had to do to lose weight. I started exercising and getting healthy. With each pound down, and each loss of a pant size, I began to feel more worthy of love and respect. My confidence began growing. The self-esteem of my youngest years started returning.
And with every step I took, and with every drop of sweat to drip off of me, you were there. Hounding me. Telling me I couldn’t do it. Telling me that it couldn’t last. Telling me that my happiness and confidence were temporary. And for some reason, always telling me that no woman would ever truly love me no matter what I did.
I will never understand that, Peter. I will never understand that. Friends don’t do that to each other.
I lost 50 lbs. You were there to tell me you could see no difference. All you did was complain about your own life at that point. All you did was tell me I’d be back to join you soon enough. We argued a lot around that time. I still remember pulling out a photograph in which I felt so skinny, and you just pointed out all the faults you could still see. Why?
I lost another 30 lbs. I was feeling so good about my life and where I was headed. And I kept you in my life, even though you would not shut up. And you still would not stop saying such negative things to me. You told me I would never be good enough. You called me a fraud. You told me that everything I was doing was for all the wrong reasons. You again told me, repeatedly, that you and I were the same.
I eventually lost 30 more. I was down 110 lbs. at that point. And that’s when you said those words I will never forget. “Getting healthy doesn’t make you better than me. No one will love you any more than they have ever loved me. Which is not much at all.”
Those words, Peter. Those words. They cut deeper than you could ever imagine. I cried for me, because part of me believed you. I cried for you because I realized what a sad and lonely man you really are.
It was when I heard those words come out of your mouth that I finally began truly distancing myself from you.