From Friends To Strangers: The Slippery Slope

It's been one of those reflective and sober days, where I just sit and think, or maybe eat and think. Nevertheless, lots of thinking's definitely been involved. Moments like these are happening more often these days- Reflective, sober, CALM moments (Being calm used to be such a rarity for me, but I guess not anymore).

And today, I've been thinking about how people switch up. How life and circumstances make people become strangers from friends and even lovers. How does it happen, I often wonder? It's such a scary thing, how two people who used to mean everything to each other, easily turn strangers. It always baffles me how indifferent we can become.

A few days ago, I was on the phone with a friend who had just parted ways with his girlfriend of 4 years. He told me, he saw her in town and had to pretend he didn't know her. And while I, being his greatest confidant at that time, tried my best to understand his reason for doing so, I couldn't help but think.... How do we even develop such apathy?

 I am sure you're going to say stuff like "Sometimes we don't get much of a choice in life", " It's for the best", "Sometimes we're too bitter or hurt to show our true feelings" or "Sometimes we're even so broken by it all that we can hardly acknowledge the presence of the other person or at least say a polite hello". 

But then, what happens between us and the people who did nothing wrong?

At first, we all begin as strangers to each other. Then we discover other people compelling in an irrational way. We discover souls made of the same stuff as ours. We find in them, neighbours, classmates, friends, partners and then our lives become intersected in a way that makes it feel like they could never have been separate. Then we find the best relationships or even friendships and fall in love with each other. Some of the best moments in our lives are experienced with these people. Our hopes, fears, passions, dreams and even insecurities are shared with that person or these people. 

We text and talk to each other every single minute. All details of our lives are shared. From the big toe you hit on the dining table, to the class you failed at school, and even the major moves in our lives, they become part of every one of them. We practically undress our souls and help them seek shelter inside our world. All the activities of our whole life revolve around that friend, that lover whom we cherish more than anything at that point in time, and then one day, BOOM!!! Everything stops. The person doesn't die, but just..... leaves.

Those once long paragraphs become empty lines of "How do you do?" And other mere pleasantries.


Sometimes, it feels as though it'd be better if the person did die, and actually left the earth, not because you wish them harm or anything so morbid. None of that. But maybe then, your soul wouldn't have to live with the knowledge that it wasn't something beyond the person's control. Maybe then, the memories wouldn't make your soul ache so much because you both still walked the same earth.

In truth, your soul does ache, and your body hurts, but you have to pretend not to care at all. We all begin as strangers, but we always forget that we scarcely choose who ends up a stranger also.

It's really interesting to think about how we turn people who used to be our everything into nothing again. How we condition ourselves to forget -by learning or simply forcing it. 

I think you never stop knowing each other in that way. You may have no choice, but to turn them to someone different in your mind. No longer that person who knew all your anxieties, what made you cry, and how much you loved them and more. 

I feel that when our lives revolves around someone or some people, it just doesn't stop doing so even if all that remains is a form of that memory. There must be those bits that still linger. Those memories that were impressed on the things you said, places you visited together and even songs you both listened to, must all remain. Eventually, we find ourselves listening to one of those songs play at the mall, on the radio while you're in the bus/car or passing by one of those places again and realise that we're revolving around them once more. But then, maybe we never stopped. 

I would love to believe that you either love a person(in some type of way), forever, or you never truly loved them at all. Like once two volatile chemicals cross, both are changed. I do not want to think or believe that we write the other person off simply because they don't matter anymore. I know love is expendable. But I do wonder, and also hope, if we force it to be, purely out of necessity. It definitely feels so natural for us to learn to forget. To MAKE ourselves forget. Still, the truth remains. 

That you never really stop knowing someone you opened your soul to. You never forget how they touched your life, no matter how hard you may try to repress all those feelings. Because there are those tiny fragments, those tiny bits & pieces that stay stuck with you forever. 


Sadly though, in the end, it always comes down to one thing. Circumstances make us go our separate ways and we pretend like nothing ever even happened. I guess for some, it's easier to avoid than to confront.

But like I said, we all begin as strangers, but we always forget that we scarcely and very rarely choose who ends up as a stranger too.

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  1. I felt as if this article was written for me. Life is full of uncertainties and sometimes everything seems so temporary.

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  3. Wow this is just mind blowing, and I won't say I don't relate to this article.
    I particularly love the parts that emphasised more on how we just become strangers after so many things done together.
    Well done.