The silence is killing me, I thought as I locked my phone, hoping a new message notification would light up the screen. After roughly 27 messages, two phone calls and a voicemail, I’d just sent my final text to the person who used to be my best friend at UC Berkeley.
The two of us met freshman year and — since we were enrolled in almost all the same core classes — rapidly became inseparable throughout college: we routinely pulled 5 a.m. nights studying, were each other’s go-to for late-night pizza runs, and drove back to LA together almost every holiday break.
Then one day after graduation, he suddenly stopped responding, aside from claiming he “didn’t have enough time for himself.” That breakup, although platonic, was the most painful I’ve experienced: After four years of building such a close relationship, I thought I’d at least receive an explanation for why he wanted to end things. Instead, I received only a curt, indirect message about self-care and — what hurt me the most — an overwhelming silence.