I saw it on Facebook last night as I was mindlessly perusing the pictures of new babies and end-of-summer vacations, and about fifty links to the YouTube video of a Jewish singing group singing a popular Hebrew song to the tune of Anna Kendrick's "Cups."
I knew that she was getting married this past Sunday. All day, as I enjoyed the last hours of my Jersey Shore family vacation, people I knew were posting pictures of the festivities. I could almost follow the events in real time as I refreshed my Facebook feed.
She got her nails done. Got dressed. Took pictures. Walked down the aisle. Stood under a chuppah and married her man. Danced the afternoon away.
And I wasn't there, because she didn't want me to be there.
Every time a new picture was posted on Sunday it was more evidence that what we had was no longer. Every time I saw the smiling faces of people I have known for twelve years - many of whom remain my closest friends today - my stomach jumped, but didn't settle.
I was in a free-fall, never quite knowing when I would hit the ground.
Day became night and the pictures slowed as the afternoon wedding came to an end. I went to sleep, still reeling from the constant barrage of documentary proof of the end of a friendship that I had always assumed would last forever. And I woke up yesterday morning resigned to the fact that Sunday was just substantiation of what I had really already known.
And then last night I saw the final picture.
A semi-darkened ballroom. All of my college friends huddled together, arms around each other. Her in the center, smile beaming, wedding dress glowing.
Maybe it was seeing everyone together that got to me, but I found myself staring at the picture, looking for an empty space that I would have filled. Wondering if anyone was thinking about me. Wondering if she was.
Tears pricked my eyes as the loneliness that had been hovering since Sunday came crashing in. I laid down on my bed and let them flow. I cried for myself, for her, and for the girls we used to be before everything changed. I cried for the whole life that I will have that she won't be a part of. I cried for the new husband she has that I have never met, and for the kids I hope to have that she will never know. I cried for a friendship that was once full of promise and fun. I cried because that's what I do when the hurt is too deep for words.
And when I finally cried myself dry I sat up and I understood. All the complexity had been washed away and I was left with only this.
I miss my friend.