Sometimes, without warning, friends can do some incredible things. They can suddenly show traits that were never visible to anyone on the outside. They can turn from quiet and unassuming to pig-headed and ridiculous in the span of days, and they can turn close friends away in the process.

There are a lot of things that are important when trying to cultivate a relationship: communication, trust, respect. We on the outside may not see any contrary ideals, but inside the relationship, when these three things break down, the bonds between can also break.

So it’s safe to say that when you leave home in secret, not revealing your details until the next day and never face to face (or via phone) and nefarious wrongs are credited to you, you face the prospect of coming home to an empty house, or at least a hostile one. You have broken some golden rules. You have not been truthful. You have not relayed any sort of communication, about this trip or about any important subject. You have not even bothered to respect the feelings of the other party.

I don’t usually like to direct attention to one person, but this is a case that has disgusted me since I learned. I know that the person to whom this is meant may never read this. That’s fine.

You, my friend, have done something that will end up being unforgivable in my mind. You have hurt and lied to a friend of mine, and while you also are a friend there are things that take precedence. I know you’ll have a pocket of friends who will forgive you, but I’m not sure that I’ll ever be part of that group.

Instead, I’ll have trouble talking to you when we see each other. All that I’ll see is what you’ve done, which is to take leave of a great thing and gallivant off to something superficial. I’ll see that you didn’t have the heart to tell anyone what you were really doing. I’ll see that you don’t have any respect for how that person waiting for you back home feels. I’ll see that you are so full of yourself that it’s a wonder you could even live with someone else at all.

I’ll see that, with this one trip, you have alienated yourself from the majority of your friends. We were here consoling, discussing and coaching while you were sending messages back about how much fun you were having. Without her. That’s unbelievable to me. I thought you were an honest person. I thought you had a thread of integrity.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to turn over to an empty bed for five days while you tramped around Chicago like some sort of clueless moron. I don’t know what I would have thought. I do know, however, that it’ll be a long time before I, before many of us, forgive you.

You’ve taken something that I thought was an institution and thrown it away. You’ve hurt a friend of mine, someone that we’ve felt protective of, someone who you brought to us in the first place and someone that we’ve embraced as one of our own. You’ve done all of this with no thread of respect, with no clue about communication.

Without an ounce of truth.

You’ve fucked up, and we’re not helping you out of it.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 12th, 2005