My best friend has been missing since February 11, 2013. That is the last time we spoke. She had sent me an email. Shortly afterwards, she shut down all her social media profiles, moved, sold her car, cut off her phone, closed her business, etc. She basically became a ghost, or a nun.
On February 14, 2014 at 3:00pm, I sent my best friend this email:
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear [best friend’s name]! Happy Birthday to you!
And many more!
I love and miss you best friend. I hope you’re doing quite well with your new life. Whenever you decide to come out from hiding, I’ll welcome you with open arms.
You’re amazing. Always was. Always will be. I hope you have been making your life miraculous.
As I wrote this email, I started tearing up. The last time I saw my best friend was on December 21, 2012. This is how I lost her:
Leonard Kim’s answer to How did you lose your best friend?
The last time I heard from my best friend was on February 11, 2013. This was the last email she sent me:
Leonard Kim’s answer to Has anyone you’ve known simply disappeared? Under what circumstances?
This is what I would tell her if I had the chance to see her again:
Leonard Kim’s answer to If you knew this was the last time you would see your best friend, what would you tell them?
In the interim, while she has been missing, I would send her emails on major holidays, or when I was just thinking of her, since that was her last form of communication. I had a feeling that even if I sent her the messages, even if she chose to not respond, we would still be connected because she could see what I wrote.
This was a woman whom I have shared thousands upon thousands of emails with, and quite possibly a gazillion texts. A woman whom I shared nine years of my life being friends with. Someone whom I could ask anything, from what I should wear in the day to what I should do when life was falling apart.
She had dreams. She had aspirations. She was the most creative person I knew, who had a passion to become a writer. I, on the other hand, was strictly business and only cared about the money and how infrastructure worked. Since we spent such a long time together, her skills had rubbed off on me as mine her.
When I was about to off that last email to her, I wanted to cry. Then, when I clicked send, I had a response almost immediately. At first I was excited to see such a prompt response, then reality kicked in.
I had a failed delivery notification sent to my inbox. My best friend had finally closed her email, even though it was last open on Thanksgiving, when I sent her this email:
I know you’re alive and out there somewhere, anywhere, even though no one knows where you are.
I just want you to know that I’ll always love you. I support whatever journey you’re on to the fullest. I hope you influence change into the world. I’m thankful to have the memories we shared together. You’ll always be my best friend.
But now she’s gone. Gone forever. I was at a loss for words. My wonderful Valentines day had then shattered to pieces, as all I wanted to do was cry my heart out. I couldn’t though, as I was at work, so I had to walk back into my office to act like everything was okay, when it wasn’t.
Yesterday, I spent the whole day, digging through thousands of emails and computer files, creating a memorial for her. A memorial of the memories we shared together. Then I made an album on Facebook, for me to glance at whenever I’m thinking of her. I wanted to bawl my eyes out when I made it, but I couldn’t, as I had prearranged events I had to attend. So I just held it in instead.
I always thought I would see her again one day. I always had the hopes that she would come back into my life. I always hoped we could pick things right up where we left off. However, once she cut off her email address, I just knew she was gone for good.
And then there’s me. For some reason, I ended up living her dream. Not the dream I chose for myself. However, I’m blatantly living her dream.
I always associated myself as a business man. I never wanted to write. I never even considered myself a writer. I still don’t even consider myself a writer. This was her dream. The one she wanted to live. And here I am, blatantly stealing her dream, living the life she wanted…
I can try to say that I’m leaving the legacy behind that she had wanted for herself to achieve, but that’s all just a lie. I stole her dream. The dream she was meant to fulfill. The dream she had talked about for over half the time we have known each other. The dream role that she was meant to manifest with the stories of her life.
[Best friend], this seems to be my goodbye message for you, since we’ll never cross paths again. Words will never describe how I feel, but regardless, I believe that I should try to express myself. Thank you for showing me the world through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your perky creative attitude with me. Thank you for sharing years upon years of laughter and comfort, whether our souls were bright or gloomy that day.
I watched you go from being a lost little girl. You once cried away your heart every night when you buried yourself into bottles upon bottles of alcohol. I knew your soul was broken. However, your journey to overcome all your shortcomings, to become clean from alcohol, marijuana, even cigarettes was inspiring. When I last saw you, you were like a new person. You glowed of happiness. You had found yourself. You had overcome every single obstacle that had ever come your way.
I love you with all my heart. You will always be precious to me. Whether you had actually decided to fulfill your dream of which I didn’t take seriously to become a nun, decided to go off to Hawaii again, or if you’re out there changing the world, I just want to wish you the best. I have to come to terms that you’ll be gone forever and it’s going to be tough. However, you will always be in my memory as the most significant person to influence my life.
Goodbye forever my friend.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media