Oh, the irony! Just a few days after Part Four of this story was published, the Epilogue played out…
The Tall One usually called or texted Violet every day. History had taught her that when she didn’t hear from him for several days, he had usually relapsed. So when over a week went by without hearing anything from him – even after leaving him messages asking him to let her know he was ok – Violet was very worried. She was concerned that if he didn’t respond to her, it must be because he couldn’t – she wondered if he was high, overdosed, arrested, dead on the side of the road… She considered calling hospitals and jails, even considered calling the Tall One’s sister.
Naturally, when the Tall One called after nine days, she was relieved. He said, “I’m alive!” and assured Violet that he was fine and had not relapsed. When she asked why he hadn’t returned her calls, he said he lost his phone on Wednesday, two days earlier.
Violet – OK, but what about the whole week before that? Where were you then?
Tall One – Well…. I met someone.
He explained that he met a woman at a church function, they were starting to date, and that he hadn’t called because he didn’t want to hurt Violet’s feelings.
Violet paused. She took a deep, cleansing breath. Violet doesn’t really remember most of the next segment of the conversation – that tends to happen when she is so angry that her head is exploding. Violet’s feelings weren’t hurt; she was angry because she had been understandably concerned about a friend who knew she would be worried about him and that friend chose to let her worry.
When Violet reiterated how worried she had been, the Tall One apologized for ignoring her calls. When she asked him about all of the times he professed that he is not ready for a relationship, he said, “You can’t help it when it just comes along.”
TO – I didn’t call to get criticized about my relationship.
V – I’m not criticizing your relationship. Oh, wait – yes, I am. I am criticizing your relationship with ME, your friendship with ME. This feels so much like 18 months ago.
TO – Oh no, she’s nothing like Jezebel. She’s completely different.
V – I’m not talking about her, I’m talking about YOU. I’m talking about how you treated me then and how you treated me now. Someone new came along and you stopped talking to me again. That’s not the way true friends treat each other.
TO – I’m sorry you feel that way.
He really didn’t seem to understand why Violet was angry. At the end of the conversation Violet told the Tall One that he has to decide if he wants to be her friend whether he has a girlfriend or not. The more she thinks about it, though, the more she realizes she doesn’t want to give him another chance.
Violet is certain that the Tall One will call again, probably when his new romance fizzles and he needs someone to talk to. Violet is a loyal, faithful friend who understands that friendships ebb and flow, but she is not a doormat and will not allow the Tall One another opportunity to discard her.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Violet is thankful that the Tall One didn’t relapse. She hopes he stays clean and in recovery, and she wishes him well with his girlfriend (and she wishes the girlfriend a strong heart and a clear mind – she’ll need it). Unfortunately, sadly, this is the end of her friendship with the Tall One. Violet has a very soft heart but she is not a fool.