To learn through social media that her biological father died. Her, meaning my best-friend from high school. The word “biological” says it all. The best wishes on twitter, that his soul should rest in peace. A tormented soul he indeed was. Not many people met her biological father. Not many people know. That sometimes it is better to keep the past as it is, a fantasy, than to bring it back and make it real.
After work, I ran as fast as I could through pouring rain to the bar she and I were to meet. I was desperate to get there before she did. Or even worse: before he did. I was sobbing by the time she came as I felt she deserved to decide whether or not she wanted to see him. Right then, right there. She did
A few days later, we drove her to the airport, her biological father and I. To this day, I never told her what happened on the way back. He parked his car in front of the pizzeria which was closed. He grabbed me, stuck his tongue in my mouth. His breath stank. He started pulling at me, his excitement was rapidly increasing. As politely as I could, I tore myself away. I stepped out of the car and intended to not look back. I was in the middle of the Bronx, throughways crossed over my head. It was dark. The stories of the Bronx made me think I was in serious danger so I was afraid. I went back to the pizzeria and shouted through the door, “where is the nearest subway station?” He told me where and offered to bring me home. “No, no, I’m fine”, I said and “thank you so much.” After which I ran.
Truth is all about how one interprets the facts. She continued to see her biological father as the misunderstood, genius artist. She had to. And why take away a person’s illusions? In doing so, I risk looking vengeful when in actual fact I feel sad for her. I always have. Some might argue this is why our friendship couldn’t last. I disagree. There’s a distinction between feeling sad for someone, and feeling pity.