After a less than stellar weekend last weekend (though I got to spend time with lots of friends, which was a good part – I’m not going into it on a public post) and a less than stellar week, I got some news on Wednesday that completely sent my week into the crapper. One of my very best friends sent me a message telling me that he’s moving back to LA – today.

I'd say J/Chicken Little is ready to get on the road.

I'd say J/Chicken Little is ready to get on the road. (Inside joke.)

J and I have known each other for 16 years – almost his entire time living in the DC area. When we met, I was 19, freshly single and well, 19; he was 29, finalizing a divorce and so much more mature than I was. While there was an attraction there, he and I became fast friends. We could talk about anything, absolutely anything. When I dated his roommate, he and I became closer than ever – which, obviously made my boyfriend a bit (read: a lot) uncomfortable… which is odd, considering that the bf was cheating on me at every and any opportunity, but that’s another story for another time. We’d been friends for over three years before we decided to give a relationship a try; three years later, we decided we were best as friends. We’ve seen each other through moves, relationships, health issues – always there for a shoulder to cry on if either of us needed it. I can honestly say that I would not be the woman I am today without his influence – he helped me grow up and helped guide me through those murky waters of my early 20’s. I know he’d say I helped him see the lighter side of life and how to see outside the box… that there was a life outside of the USMC and giving him refuge from it. (Hell, when he retired earlier this year, I was the one person he said HAD to be there.)

So to hear from him less than two days before a major move back to California hurt. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me sooner. I know him – I know that it wasn’t a last minute thing, I knew he would have planned everything out. As soon as I got the message, I called him and screeched “WHAT???” into the phone and told him I’d be over after work. On my way, I kept trying to puzzle it out and all I could come up with was he was afraid I’d try to talk him out of it. Once I got there and he told me all his reasons for moving (out of state tuition and housing is v v expensive here, being closer to his mom and sister, job offers), I asked why he didn’t tell me before. I mean, while yes, I was (and still am) devastated that my BFF isn’t going to be right here for a hug or a long, lengthy dinner, I, of course, am happy that he’s being proactive and taking steps to get to his eventual goal. He pretty much confirmed that it was because he was afraid I’d talk him out of it – not that I would actively do it, but that I’d say something that would convince him to stay without trying.

That’s a lot to tell someone – that they could change the course of your entire life with just a few words. It’s kinda scary, knowing now that I had that much influence – and in the long run, I’m glad he did what he did in keeping it from me until everything was set in stone. While his mom is thrilled that he’s moving back to LA, I know that she’s a little sad that the two of us never rekindled our romantic relationship… and I know my parents will feel the same, which is why I haven’t told them yet. There will always be a part of me that loves him, I’m just not in love with him… and I know he feels the same. I will miss him dearly. Granted, he’s only a plane ride away – and I’ve already been told that my presence is required at his graduation in a couple of years. Heh.

So, I’ve spent the last two evenings helping him sort his place for the movers to pack up and get his car ready. We said our goodbyes last night. A couple of hours ago, I got a text from him telling me that he was getting on the road in a few. There’s a weird sadness, but a bit of excitement there for him. I’ll miss him dearly, but there are new things, new experiences on the horizon. For both of us.