From friend to—stranger?
The other day I stumbled upon a former classmate that I had back in high school. We moved our seperate ways when we went to college and we had actually lost contact for almost four years. So, I was at the store doing some groceries and I saw her, right? She saw me. We approached each other, and before I could even open my mouth to tell her something about how long it had been since last seeing each other, check out what she said: “Hi, Ralph! Uhm—do you know where I could get empty boxes so I could use to store some things I have at home?”
I was completely taken aback, but I pretended not to care. I told her that she could probably get boxes from the store’s storage area; she could ask the personnel. She said, “Thanks!”, and spun around and left.
That scene left me thinking a lot. It made me realize how much a person can change in just a few years, because it wasn’t just the way she acted that surprised me. The way she talked, slow and like her tongue was too large, was different. The way her eyes stared at me, like I was some sort of fascinating creature that she had never encountered before, was different as well. The more I thought about it, the more I was convincing myself that she was probably high on multiple drugs at the moment.
But she wasn’t high. She wasn’t ill, either. She was perfectly sober and healthy, but still she was asking me a question as if I worked at this grocery store we were at. I mean, boxes? Why would asking me for boxes be the first thing she tells me after almost four years of not seeing each other? I have to admit that it sort of pissed me off at the moment, but now I can truly understand what happened there.
She simply changed. Ever since the day she asked me for the boxes, I had had the chance to see her again a few times, and I found out that she isn’t the girl I used to know. She was once friendly, happy and fun, and now, she’s completely the opposite. She has told me a few things she’s been through that I’m pretty sure were the ones that made her change, and the best thing that I can do is to listen to her and show her that I understand.
So even though it’s sad that she changed so radically, I can’t help to find the situation a bit fascinating. I feel horrible for saying this, but I’m sort of glad that she changed because she made me remember how easily people are hurt; how easily people change by the influence of others. Thanks to her, I look at myself and I can totally see that I have changed a lot as well. Not to an extreme like her, but still, I have my changes.
Anyways, like I said, I’m sort of glad that this girl changed so much because she reminded me that some people will change into a completely different person and there is nothing that we can do about it. They have their own reasons on why they are like that, and we should respect them even if their behavior doesn’t quite meet our “preferences”. As long as they don’t go on mistreating you or doing indecent things, then we have to smile and do our best to accept the “new them” with open arms. We might miss the old friend that we used to know, but I’m pretty sure that we can learn to love the new one just as much.