Better to be Ghosted than Haunted

If I was to make a cheesy and unnecessary ghost analogy involving myself, I’m more of a Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost type.

Well, at least that’s how I want to perceive myself, though this story may convince you otherwise. It involves a friendship, a best friend of three years in fact, and a message that has been sitting on ‘opened’ for nearly six months. But I’m not a monster, I’m Casper.

Everyone has that one reckless and wild friend that they keep around because they’re carefree fun and know how to have a good time. That one friend, in my senior years of high school, was my best friend. We’ll call this friend Chris Carson, just to make things ‘simple’, and mostly to make yet another reference to Casper – particularly the 1997 direct to television film ‘Casper: A Spirited Beginning.’ Potentially getting side tracked here.

Chris and I bonded over drinking, dancing and lamenting over teenage boys. The bulk of our friendship seemed to be centred around house parties, as being in your final year of high school basically guaranteed an 18th birthday party every weekend. So we would go to these parties, we would get drunk and dance until our feet swell and kiss anyone who was around and drunk enough to kiss us back.

These were great times, but as the months went on a common theme had settled into these Saturday night events. Chris and I would get drunk, sure, but Chris would get really drunk. Too drunk. Intoxicated most of the time.

I think this was because of a variety of reasons – Chris was occasionally too reckless within her behaviour, due to an emotional break-up from the year before and a passionate love for alcohol. This love for alcohol caused her to be unwell for the majority of the year, lengthening every hangover and every bout of sickness, and inevitably caused her to be away from school almost every day of the week. So Saturday nights were our time, but our time usually became helping-out-intoxicated-Chris time.

The last time we caught up, was outside of high school, at a gig in Collingwood. I was there to listen to quirky bands and spend some time with Chris. Yet it became clear Chris was there to get drunk.

To put it concisely, the night started with a frustrated phone call between Chris and her mother as she’d not transferred any money to her account, Chris was notorious for being unemployed. She then begged the bartender for the strongest drink they sell, proceeding to down several whilst drunkenly and angrily forcing me to dance more than I already was (apparently my moves were not energetic enough, for a room of ten people). Eventually I was left to clean up the mess that was Chris, when the night was done.

Sure, this was a regular happening throughout high school, but something had changed. These weren’t house parties anymore, I can’t put her in a safe room and attempt to enjoy my night – we’re out in the real world. I’d outgrown my tolerance for these antics; I’d left high school, met an amazing man whom I’m enjoying a stable relationship with and worked hard on my studies.

My carefree high school friend had become just that – a high school friend.

My very last messages from Chris are her acknowledging the gap I’d built between us, making clear through my ignorance, that our friendship had run its course. Chris, I know I Casper-ed you and that may come across as being dishonest, but I’m being honest now. I love you, and I wish you all the best – but, I’ve disappeared from your life without a last word because, what else was there to say? I think deep down we both already knew this was best for us.

If you, the reader, still think ghosting is a horrible act – I don’t blame you, it’s really not a fairy tale ending. But, sometimes relationships fade and we have to be realistic. There are times when it’s easier to just let them go. No harsh words, no unnecessary fights. Sometimes, it’s better to just be a Casper.

Words by Kirsten Whitehead

Art by Stephanie Dimofski

IG – @stephiedim_design

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