Fading Friendship

by Alice

What was ice and slush yesterday is finally just wet concrete. I trudge to work in my rain boots, which are a bit overkill at this point, but they are also the most likely to keep the cold out. I notice a man wearing tennis shoes, walking so fast in his pressed slacks that I wonder if he always wears jogging shoes, or if he needed to jog today to arrive at work on time.

A man wearing inconspicuous black shoes greets another. They’re both young, look like bar tenders, and I notice the other guy is wearing a pair of Vans, the symbol peeking out from under long wide jeans. Suddenly I think of Carter, and how my sister made fun of his Vans years ago.

I think of how odd it is that people I hardly know are invited to the wedding, but Carter, one of my dearest friends from high school and college, who has seen me through several breakups (including our own brief fling in high school), one of few to win the affection of my parents, and one of the few I still try to meet for coffee when I’m in town, is not invited.

But I know why. He’s still friends with my ex. And on some level, I’m trying not to hurt that boy any more than I already have. For his best friend to have an invitation to my wedding on his fridge seems a bit cruel.

So yes, I’d like to have Carter there. He could sit at the table with my high school girls. He’d dance the night away and be the life of the party — he always is. But I took him off the guest list because it seems selfish of me to invite him. I hope he understands, but I have a sad feeling that we won’t be getting coffee the next time I visit.

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