I remember coming home from college for Christmas some years ago as though it were yesterday. I was sitting at the kitchen island, on a stool, sipping my grandmother's hot Russian Tea, just talking about school and life and the weather with her. Suddenly she said "oh, I have something for you" and walked over to one of the drawers built into the island.
She pulled out an article clipped from the local paper, and I expected some news on a school mate of mine, some small recognition for achievement. She clipped those types of articles quite often, and either mailed them to me at school or kept a stack on the dresser in my bedroom.
This one was different though. This one was an obituary. One of my best childhood friends had died suddenly, and the article failed to tell me how. What I remember most, after the shock, is that she and I had parted friendly enough, but that we had simply lost touch for no good reason at all. One week we were on the phone or going to parties together, and the next I just up and changed schools and moved two states away without telling her I was even going. Now I'll never tell her.
I'll never tell her how much fun she was to hang out with. I'll never tell her how my moving had nothing to do with her, nor did my losing touch have anything to do with her. Ironically, I meant to call her and tell her these things that Christmas. The most painful thing is that I never told her how much she meant to me, and now I never can.