Is true friendship unconditional? I’d like to think so. But what about the others?

I discovered that conditions can apply, that a checklist of faults can rack up too high for the argument of friendship to bring it back down again. A simple slight might push the friendship over the edge.

Forget “might,” actually. It did.

I tried to give it one last try. I stretched my face into a smile and extended my arms for a hug, but I knew something was off. I was having a hard time looking him in the eye. I was guarded despite my best efforts, waiting for him to do something that would prove that I’d been right before in my decision not to care.

Part of me wanted to ask him if he realized how he had disappointed me, that I’d come to miss the worthwhile spirit I’d glimpsed. But more of me didn’t. I kept quiet.

And then he proved me right again. I don’t know if it was because of my cautious approach or despite it, but a couple of hours went by with no word and I decided not to secondguess myself and make an effort. As the time grew nearer, then went on, I continued to sit at home, with rosy cheeks, shining hair, keys tucked into my purse.

I heard nothing, said nothing. I never would have let time pass without offering an excuse before — it was the first time I’d decided to let someone think ill of me if he felt so inclined.

And then a friend and I went out for Fries ‘n’ Frosties — supplementing my friendship’s-over needs of a salty-chocolate blend.

Our friendship had been a conditional one, I thought as I tasted salt on my tongue on the drive home. It could exist as long as I was willing to condone unintentional but regular disrespect.

I wasn’t willing anymore.