The Ultimatum

The duffel bag spilled clothes onto the floor – still unpacked from the road-trip I had just returned from. 

Books stacked in piles, and there boxes waiting to be filled.  While I had been away my family had already packed most of their own belongings, but my room remained untouched, awaiting my return.  The move was only a week or two away, and there was still so much left to do.

I pushed away the bed, reaching underneath for all the items that were lost under there, shoved into the darkness.

I sifted through papers and photos – of items to keep and throw.  Dozens of photos looked up at me – most of them of me and Georgie.  I lost myself in the sifting. 

The distinctive melody I’d assigned for when Georgie called me blared suddenly, causing me to drop a photo I’d been looking at.  We had just returned from our road-trip yesterday, and I did not expect to hear from her today.  She had been frustrated with me the whole ride home – after I had made the executive decision to cut the trip short by one day.  One measly day – and she was angry. 

I had a whole room to pack.  I didn’t have time for chatting.  But she was supposed to be my best friend.  I shouldn’t ignore her call.

I picked up.  Absent-mindedly I chatted, my attention still mostly focused on packing.  I began to tell her I was busy, that I would call her later, when she asked me about AMP.

I stopped what I was doing, and composed my voice before answering, “Why do you ask Georgie?”

”Well are you dating him or not?  Do you like him?”

She was supposed to be my best friend… but recent lessons had taught me to be a little wary.

She was supposed to be my best friend…but I was keeping a secret from her.

I calmly replied, “I don’t see why we are having this conversation.  Do you like him?”

”No, of course not,” she sputtered indignantly. 

I was losing patience with her obsessive need to control my life.  I took in a deep breath, aiming for a calm but firm tone. 

”Then I fail to see the purpose of this, I’m really busy Georgie.  We just got back from spending every moment together for over two weeks, and now you suddenly call and ask me about him?”

”I need to know,” she replied.  “I can’t be friends with you if you are dating him.”

I could feel the anger bubbling up inside me, the frustration.  She was so stubborn, so opinionated – and this was none of her business.  Why should she care?  Part of me ached to hang up, but the curiosity of what ridiculous reasoning she would spout off stopped me.

“Excuse me?  You can’t be friends with me if I date him?  Why the hell not?”

“Because, D.  You just broke up with Bob because you weren’t ready for a relationship.”

”Bob and I broke up almost a year ago.  Who I want to date is my business Georgie.”  My voice was rising.  The frustration built up inside me.  Who did she think she was?  I continued, “I’m an adult – I am capable of making my own decisions.  So, unless you know something about AMP that I don’t, like he’s secretly married, or a murderer or something, I don’t know how my dating him would affect our friendship.”  

“It just will.  I won’t be your friend anymore if you are – that’s my decision and it’s final.”

Those last words pushed me over the edge.  “Well, I don’t want to be friends with someone who gives me ultimatums.” 

And with that phone call, our friendship ended.

This post is written for The Red Dress Club prompt: “ Write about a fight.  Who won?  Why?  What happened? Use emotion.”
As always, constructive criticism is welcome.

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23 thoughts on “The Ultimatum

  1. oooohhh…the drama between friends. I’d say if she felt that strongly she must have feelings about him and was angry he had showed interest in the MC instead of her.

    The conversation flows quite well. I’m curious to see if this gets played out more

    • Thanks Carrie. :) I’m glad it flows well. I was writing from memory – but this happened 6 years ago now.
      She never admitted it, but from things my husband (AMP) later told me, she clearly did. It was a sad ending to a friendship, considering we had been inseperable for 3 years. I still think about her often – she was a major part of my life while I was transitioning from teenager to adult.

  2. Awesome writing. You know it’s good when it stirs up the feeling and memory of your readers! I, too, was waiting to hear her response.
    This reminded me of the time that my “best” friend stopped calling me because I started dating and things were “supposed to be different”. Is there some secret rule book I didn’t know about. Also, my pioneer partner-I know you know what this is ;)- had only a disappointed reply when I excitedly called to tell her that I was engaged. She didn’t even come to my wedding. Such party poopers! I guess this needs to happen so you know who your real friends are.

    • Thank you Paulina.
      Georgie’s problem was that she seemed to fall for every guy I was interested in – and she had very strict parents who shaped her into being an opinionated and judgmental person. She had many good qualities (which is why we were best friend for 3 years) but push came to shove, she showed her true feelings. It was a sad wake-up call about who my friends really were.
      That’s sad about your PP. Party poopers indeed!

      How are things going with you? On track with your baby plan?

      • We’re doing good, thanks! Baby plans are on hold since we’ll be moving and starting a new job! Yesterday I found out that I’ll be getting a new niece in the fall, so that has me distracted :)

      • Aww.. so lots of changes! :) Hope the move goes well and the new job…
        Exciting about a new niece. My first nephew (I have two nieces) will be born in August… and I have two cousins expecting in the fall.. so lots and lots of babies.

  3. Pingback: The Un-timatum Part II: Ultimatum in Disguise? « Indigo Moods

  4. Hey, we use the same WordPress theme! I hardly ever see this one used.

    Sorry she wasn’t a better friend to you. But good for you for not playing her silly game.

  5. This was very well written. I could feel the tension and frustration while reading it. I think friendship should be drama-free, and without a lot of demands. Save the demands for romantic relationships. ;) Friends should let each other breathe. And I agree with you that there should be no ultimatums. You made the right decision when you didn’t put up with her demand.

  6. I’m sorry that friendship had to end that way. But I just wanted to say you wrote that so well, I felt like I was there with you waiting for her to explain herself and the anger/frustion you were feeling. Great writing!

    • Thanks D! I so appreciate all the positive feedback I got on this piece, tho my husband said it was a bit choppy, haha. Sometimes men are too honest. :):)

    • Thanks Sweetest! Unfortunately it is a true story… It turned out to be a toxic friendship I didn’t need in my life.

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