She watched him change until he was no longer recognizable to her.
Amy grew up with him. They lived across the street from each other and their parents were good friends. So it was no surprise Amy and Daniel spent most of their childhood together. He was eight months younger than her, born in November. She treated him like the younger brother she never had. Especially since her older brother was out of the country, studying abroad.
She doesn’t remember much when she was a baby. Only what her mother and father told her. They did everything together. Learned to walk at the same time. Watched the same television programs as kids. Even went to the same school, took similar classes.
But something changed.
It didn’t happen overnight.
And because she saw him so often, she didn’t realize he was changing right before her eyes until it was too late.
She couldn’t count the number of times he went to her house and vice-versa. Their parents didn’t care either. Sometimes when Amy’s mom and dad had somewhere to be, Daniel’s parents took care of her. When Daniel’s parents had to go out, Daniel went over to Amy’s to stay the night.
She could remember their sleepovers so vividly. Her parents set up a room with two beds on opposite walls for Amy and her older brother. Amy slept on one and her brother slept on the other. But because he was away, studying in Europe, Daniel would occupy her brother’s bed on nights he came over. They talked well into the night.
Amy used to fall asleep first no matter how hard she tried to fight sleep off.
She always wondered if he watched her as she slept.
Amy would wake up first and watch him.
He snored but not very loudly. Not loud enough to wake her up from her deep slumber.
Though they lived across the street, Amy and Daniel also liked talking on the phone. They could spend hours talking to each other. Many nights they stayed awake, chatting and laughing.
At first his silence didn’t bother her. She was comfortable with his silences. Amy figured he didn’t always have that much to say, especially since they spent so much time with each other, shared a lot about their lives. So it was possible Daniel had run out of things to tell her.
Amy didn’t want to think about any other possibility. He wasn’t moody or grumpy. He wasn’t an introvert. He just needed some space, some distance.
The nights they spent talking on the phone were less frequent. The conversations much shorter.
So long as they still talked to each other, Amy was overjoyed. But eventually they stopped.
Or he stopped.
She called his house one day and his mom picked up.
His mom told her he was busy.
Another time he was at a friend’s house.
Eventually Amy got sick of the excuses and asked Daniel herself when she saw him in person.
He shrugged and told her he had a life.
Daniel may as well have shoved her to the ground and left her there.
She found out he had a girlfriend through a friend of his.
Amy was talking to Sean when he let it slip.
She couldn’t help but feel as though they would never be friends again.