Goodbye Nate Thaing

Dear Nate,

I am deeply sorry that we didn’t have a chance to reconcile our friendship before you leave. I thought we still had plenty of time, but I am dead wrong.

You came into my life when my heart was broken. I lost a girlfriend, but I gained a best friend. You kept me from drowning in my own sorrow. You took me in when I was dead broke. I will never forget your kindness, generosity, and friendship.

When I was at the lowest point of my life, you were there for me. We didn’t have much money, but we had plenty of joy. Reminiscing on the times when we ate Queen 6-Pack’s chicken wings, sharing a 40’s Olde E, and listening to hip-hop puts me to tears. I missed those late nights cruising and pumping 2pac in our rides. I missed those cookouts that lasted into early in the morning. Your parents, brothers, and sisters treated me like a family member. I love them all. I wish we could go back to the good old days. I still have fond memories of our time together.

I wished I could forget the past and move forward, but there was one particular incident that cracked our friendship. You were just kidding around, but it still haunts me to this day and I couldn’t fully forgive you for it. Do you remember the day when we were hanging out at David’s house? It was my first and last time at his house.

David’s stepfather was a gun nut and he had rifles locked up in a case as well as guns laying around the house. You picked up a shotgun on the couch and pointed at my head. I looked straight in your eyes and pleaded with you not to pull the trigger. You must have known that the gun had no bullet in it and I assumed that the gun had no bullet in it, but I was dead serious when I requested that you do not pull the trigger. Then I felt a puff of air on my temple. You didn’t respect my request. You pulled the trigger. I tried to explain to you why I was upset, but you didn’t seem to get it. To you, it was a joke, but to me, my life was in your hands at that moment. We were cool again, but it was never the same when I felt that you had stepped over the line. I am sorry to bring this up, but it was part of our story.

Our friendship broke when you wanted to come hang out with me for the weekend. I would welcome you to my house anytime, but I was so sick at that time. I didn’t want you to hangout with a sick person who would spend the entire time in bed instead of going out drinking. Unfortunately you took it as I didn’t want you to come. I knew you were upset and I wanted to give you some time to get over it. Unfortunately, you had removed me from your contact. I tried calling you several times and leaving you messages, but you never replied.

When my mom contracted COVID, I was in Lancaster for several weeks. I drove by your parents’ house several times, but I didn’t knock on the door. I didn’t think it was a good idea to check on your parents and you when I was living with family members who had COVID. I told myself to wait until the pandemic over to rekindle our friendship. Unfortunately, time had run out on us.

Despite our misunderstandings, I have nothing but love for you. I should have taken a more active role in our friendship. I had my own grief to deal with, but that’s not an excuse. I shouldn’t have taken your love and our friendship for granted. Remember the Nas joint we used to vibe to? AZ rhymed, “Life’s a bitch and then you die / That’s why we get high / Cause you never know when you’re gonna go.” I still can’t believe you’re gone. Once again, I am deeply sorry. Rest in eternal peace, homie.

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