Good and evil.

There are good people in this world, and there are bad people. I suppose it's more complex than that, but I made the rules this time. I think I ride the line of good and bad. I've done my fair share of things I am not proud of. I've made mistakes. Big ones. (Hi, mom!) I've used the Lord's name in vain, and spouted my fair share of four-letter words. A lot of them, actually.

I've back-stabbed, two-faced, lied. If you haven't, you're lying.

But I admit it. That's the difference.

I had a good friend once. A great friend, actually. I respected her, and valued her friendship. Her opinions challenged mine. Her friendship, at the time, was sincere. I felt lucky to have her in my life. True, honest friends are rare. They are. And to think we met in the blogosphere makes it all the more intriguing. I cherish many of the people I've met here.

Today, it's different.

We had a falling out, a long time ago now. A lot of "he said, she said." Rumors, gossip, hurtful words and truths. I cannot even make a distinction between truth and fact anymore. The only truth is, we are no longer friends. In the least.

It was unfortunate at first, it was. It hurt to lose a good friend.

I feel differently now. Because that person is not who I thought she was. And perhaps, to be fair, I'm not who she thought I was.

As is most likely evident by the drivel I've been spewing in recent months, my personal life, albeit personal, is far from rainbows. One incident led to another; a fight here, a fight there, turmoil, hurt and tough decisions ensued. Today I'm following through with a tough, personal decision to assure my future is what it was meant to be - OK.

I made an unpopular decision. It caused pain, tears, anger, regret, etc., etc., etc. I'm dealing with that fallout, even this minute. I fight on my own team. It's a small team, but I fight hard. And soon enough, life will be my own again. I've lived a short life, but I've learned.

Oh, have I learned. And all the apologies in the world will probably never repair the damage I caused by my decision. But I will always try.

Meanwhile, this friend - good friend - stood by me as my personal life shriveled into disrepair. It's what friends do, stand by each other. Convince them of the positives, the strengths. I needed that. She was good at it. She had a wonderful job, wonderful husband, beautiful wedding and popular blog. Her opinion mattered to me.

And then we fell out from each other.

My turmoil became gossip. Suddenly people I don't associate with are discussing it. A classic case of the rumor mill at work, where it shouldn't be working.

Even the subject of the personal turmoil - him - knew about it. Together, we formed an alliance and shared anger over the situation. Over her betrayal of my privacy. Our privacy.

Her and I have not communicated in months. I no longer read her blog, you won't find it in my blogroll. The emails stopped, the gossip stopped. I think. All was peaceful in the world of unfriendship.

Until this morning. This morning I discovered an ultimate betrayal. The two of them are friends. A recent solicitation of friendship on Facebook deemed it so. He, who knew nothing of her until I brought her into his life through my friendship, and her, who stood by my side when I needed her friendship most. She stood on my team.

Because that's also what friends do. Despite the facts, despite the harsh conditions, friends stand by each other. Her enemy becomes my enemy, and vice versa. It's a Girl Code, I believe. I have an army of friends who don't pass judgment. Who listen to me cry. Who, through thick and thin, stand by me.

And to know the two of them, who are both aware of my feelings for each of them, suddenly formed an alliance makes me livid. It brings me directly back to high school, it does. I can't help it. Except this is real life. Serious life. Real lives are affected by the actions.

And I just had to get that out there. "Air my dirty laundry," if you will. I feel better now.

Editor's note: Communication has been had. She and I have called truce. We are OK. Probably not friends, but not rivals, either. I find comfort in that. I will not remove this post, though. These words are my honest and true thoughts. I can't pretend I didn't feel them.

I need to also let it be known, because I'm feeling like a responsible grown-up today, that this is my version of events. What I've been told. What I believed to be true. Partly, these assumptions that each of us carry is what led to the dissolution of our friendship. As a matter of fact, it's definitely what led to that dissolution.

And it's unfortunate.

She has a story. I have a story. He has a story. You probably have a story. We're all right, and we're all wrong. What we can take comfort in is the truth. There is a truth in all the rubble, and it binds everyone.

I am grateful to be able to move past that rubble. At least with her.