Loose ends

I believe God likes tying up loose ends. God’s an author, after all (The Author) and authors don’t like leaving loose ends in their work except to get the reader to keep reading. God’s writing a pretty big series, so ends can hang loose for a long time. But they tend to tie off eventually.

In my own life, I made an Enemy in my first year of college. I wasn’t sure why or how it all happened, to be honest, except that it was part of the drama and angst of a late-teen’s life. I’m hardly blameless in all this, but I didn’t deserve the treatment I got from that group either. The next year, I distanced myself from all of them.

A week before college ended, I was walking home in the rain and looked up to find my Enemy walking home also, and I offered to share my umbrella.

By the end of the walk, there were no more hard feelings. We’d both matured, and misunderstandings got clarified, and it was okay. I’ll never be his best friend (in fact, I hadn’t thought about him until I wrote this) but there’s no animosity.

I expected the same thing to happen before I left Angeltown. I fully expected that a woman who used to be a friend and later wrote me off as a hopeless case would cross paths with me. That we’d meet or somehow hear of one another, and there would be forgiveness exchanged. Or something.

We used to be good friends. But over time I found it difficult to deal with her continuous competitiveness: she needed to believe she had the better car, the better husband, the better children; they went to the better music class; her church was better than mine; her reading was better than mine; she watched better shows than I did; and so on and so on and so on.

I didn’t care. I still don’t care. Although I laughed a lot in private. 

We drifted apart. She stopped attending the group where we’d initially met. Then about a year ago she mailed back to me all the books she’d borrowed as well as all the books I’d ever given her. That, to me, was as kind a “bugger off” as I’ve ever heard. Washing her hands of me in the gentlest way possible, although I’m not sure why she wanted me to know. I didn’t reply. 

I was sure God would arrange a paths-crossing before I left Angeltown, and it didn’t happen.

I hate having a big cypher in my head. It’s a question mark without a sentence. 

A year from now, she might include me on her Christmas Card list (just so I can see her life is still my superior) and it will get returned to sender. She’ll never find me again unless she cares enough to google me, and maybe she’ll feel hurt that I didn’t tell her I was moving.

Loose ends. As a writer, I despise them. As a character, I dislike them even more. But then again, as an author, I wouldn’t tie them off until they’re ready to be tied, and possibly neither of us is ready yet. So we trust the author and we carry a loose thread into the sequel.


  1. CricketB

    As always, I look at the other side.

    Why did she feel the need to compete? Was it compensating for some other, deeper need that wasn’t being filled by these otherwise perfect family and actions?

    Sounds like she’d decided the group as a whole wasn’t doing what she needed, not because she was writing you off.

    The books you gave her are a bit of a monkey wrench in the next theory, but maybe she’d forgotten they were givens rather than loans.

    Was returning the books a way of cleaning her own life? Was she preparing for a move? Did she finally look at that “todo” of returning the borrowed books, and actually do something about it? Was it a way to move on from the mistakes she’d made around you (including not returning them on time), something she’d rather do as easily as possible?

    It’s an interesting loose end.

  2. Jenni

    I got all my emails sent back to me. Who does that?

    I wonder what happens if that loose end never gets tied up in this life? What kind of an effect would that have eternally?

  3. philangelus

    I don’t know about eternity. Maybe God ties them off when we get there. Or we meet with people we had unresolved issues with, and we realize it wasn’t so big after all.

    Cricket, I know deep down it was insecurity on her part, and the need to feel she was better than me. I was just so different from her in so many ways, in my attitude and my beliefs (we were both Christian, but of course she was a Better Christian by whatever yard stick she was using) and I think she had to translate “different” into “worse” for several reasons.

    I like not looking at the world in a hierarchy, but I guess she couldn’t.

    Jenni, why would anyone send back your emails? That’s just crazymaking. I’d delete the stuff and move on with my life if I ever felt that way about someone. Yikes.

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