Phone call from Chanteel

Posted: August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

She called me last week. I saw the unfamiliar number ring on my cell phone and almost didn’t answer it. I don’t like to do that, but I suddenly recognized the area code was the same as her previous call to me. Don’t ask me why I can remember that from a few months ago and yet can’t often remember why I just got up and walked into another room.

If you don’t know who I am talking about, go read this post and then come back here.

As soon as I answered it, I heard her familiar voice.

“I love what you wrote about me,” was all she said.

My heart suddenly stopped and for a moment I felt as if I had just been caught with my hand in the cookie jar by my Mom. I knew I would never write something that would betray someone or hurt them, but having the subject of your writing tell you that is, at best, an odd sensation.

“You did? Really? You read my blog?” I asked and held my breath.

“Yes and I love it. I knew you were talking about me and I wanted to thank you for the story.”

I felt a huge smile cross my face. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I was camped out on my couch, getting caught-up on last season of “House” on Netflix. Drinking iced tea and trying not to think about Monday morning. I am very good at putting things out of my mind.

“I’m so glad you liked it and I almost didn’t write it. I didn’t want to say anything…”

“You have given my life meaning with your writing,” was all she said.

I did not expect this comment. “I have?” was all I could think to ask.

“You have. I’ve been following your blog since the beginning. I remember some of the people you’ve written about and thank you for showing people we are human too.”

I couldn’t help it; I started crying. Right then and there, I was sniffling and wiping my eyes, thankful I wasn’t wearing any make-up. Make-up on a Sunday just seems sinful to me.

“Why are you crying? Did I say something wrong?” she asked.

I shook my head, as if she could see that. “No! No, you didn’t say anything wrong at all. Your words have touched me more than I can say…”

“Susan, what’s wrong? Why are you sad today?” she asked. She was right. I had been sad for a few days but hadn’t said a word to anyone. Suddenly, she was the person I needed to talk to. This beautiful and messed up soul who comes into my life once in a while, touches down and then flies away until the next time.

I took a deep breath and decided to talk. Just talk. “I have, or had, a friend but I’m not sure if we’re friends anymore,” I said and the words just jumbled out of my mouth. No thought to them, no attempt to make sense or to try to even understand what I was saying.

“We were really good friends for a long time. Talked everyday and shared so much. Now the last few weeks, he no longer has time for me. I’ve tried to say hello a few times, I’ve sent a few text messages but I never get a response anymore. If I contact him, I have a 50/50 shot he’ll reply. I don’t know what I said or did, but I’ve had to accept the fact that I am no longer important and I guess it just hurts so much.”

There. I said it. I opened my soul a bit. “So, I am going to respect his unspoken wishes, even though I don’t understand, and try not to be hurt and bitter, and leave him alone. I don’t stay where I am not wanted, but right now, I am hurt and there’s not much I can do about it,” I said. I actually felt better having finally faced the fact that I was very hurt and I was grieving and didn’t know why I had lost such a dear friend.

“He’s an idiot,” was all she said. This made me laugh with the way she said it and the absolute certainty she had. Once I started laughing, she did too. I ended up talking to her for a long time and all she did was listen.

Suddenly the teacher became the student. She spoke to me quietly and in the only way she could, got me to see that I had done nothing wrong and that it was natural to grieve and I would until I was done with it.

I passed onto her the well wishes I had received from my readers and this made her giggle. I told her I was proud of her – she was steadily employed, drug free and fighting her demons every day and today she was winning. Tomorrow was too far away to worry about.

She had to run, but before she hung-up she said “I love you Susan and I love that I can call you anytime, and you’re always there. If this so-called ‘friend’ of yours doesn’t know your true beauty and strength and value, then it’s OK. I know you love unconditionally and always will. I do too and that’s why I can see it in others. We are rare, crazy and we hurt all the time, don’t we?”

“Yes,” was all I could manage to say and she was gone.

She will be back and I will be here and we shall carry on our conversation. After she hung-up, I felt the sadness leave and knew that there was a person out there who cared about me and had replaced the one that no longer did.

Nothing like trading up, eh?

  1. Laurie Morrison says:

    I’m so very pleased that she liked your beautiful story about her & yes, I agree with her that you DID show that she is human, with all the beauty & flaws that humans have. I’m also so pleased that she still calls you & that she feels safe with you & Isn’t it lovely that you were able to share YOUR heartache with her as well that is a friend in the truest sense, isn’t it.

    I so understand & empathize with your heartache. I agree that it IS very natural to grieve, whether you know why or not is not the issue. It’s a loss of someone & something you held in dear in a special place in your heart. I do that as well, so I totally understand how that affects you & how deeply.

    “I love you Susan and I love that I can call you anytime, and you’re always there. If this so-called ‘friend’ of yours doesn’t know your true beauty and strength and value, then it’s OK. I know you love unconditionally and always will. I do too and that’s why I can see it in others. We are rare, crazy and we hurt all the time, don’t we?”

    I could NOT have said it ANY better as I feel exactly the same way Susan! 😎

  2. Miriam says:

    I love you, Chanteel

  3. Paul says:

    Sometimes you go to a “program” to get out of your cell. Sometimes you need to pass something or see your cousin.

    Sometimes you go because you’re sick and tired of bring sick and tired. You must change. “Want to” has been around for years and has done nothing. “Must” has taken over.

    And, truly, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

    Having read this entry and the related one, it’s clear how much the two of you helped each other.

    To that young lady formerly known as “Chanteel”, I say, “Stay the course.” Your life is being beautifully written today. If you and I take life on life’s terms, we’ll be okay one day at a time.

    To you, Susan, my dear friend, I say, “Stay the course.” Your life is being beautifully written today. If you and I take life on life’s terms, we’ll be okay one day at a time.

    Thank you both for delivering encouragement to me.

    • Susan Lewis says:


      Thank you and you are right. I know Chanteel is reading the comments, so she heard what you said.

      No one will ever knock me off course again. Ever.


  4. Paulissa says:

    Susan, thank you, thank you for sharing the way you see the world and our fellow human beings. We often learn the biggest lessons in the most unexpected ways. Love begets love and the mutual affection the two of you share is a beautiful gift. Your loving heart shines through and the values you carry allow us to experience the lessons as well.

    To Chanteel, you are beautiful, brave and loved. Most of all, you have loved yourself into a better place. Teachers appear when we are vulnerable enough to allow the lessons. Dance boldly, dear one.

    Much love to both of you. May your friendship continue to fill the empty spaces.

  5. wow susan what a great story and I have recently gone through the same thing as you experienced with the loss of a friendship! I just come onto Google Plus and soak up the unconditional love! Chantal is amazing thanks for sharing!

    • Susan Lewis says:


      So glad you liked it. Sorry you’ve gone through the same thing, but I guess it happens to all of us. Those that don’t need us in their lives aren’t worth grieving about. Yes, feel sad for a bit, but then get back up and make some new friends. True friends stick with you forever.


  6. Jane Mizrahi says:

    Chanteel, you are so lucky to have Susan as your teacher and Susan, you are so lucky to have Chanteel as your teacher.
    if that’s not the universe speaking (some say god) ; i don’t know what is. blessings…

  7. Suzanne R says:

    Susan, you more than anyone know that I feel your sadness at the loss of your former friend, as you are one of the few people in this world I felt safe enough with to tell my own story to. I love you, sister. Thank you for touching my heart, for sharing stories, for being you, and for being part of my life. This is beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes.

    Formerly Chanteel, I am so glad that you found your name and are growing your present and your future to be the person you want to be. We can only accept help from others when we are ready to help ourselves, and you, as Paulissa said, are loving yourself into a better place.

    So often in life we find just what we need, when we need it. I’m happy for both of you that you have been able to help one another and be there at the right time.

    • Susan Lewis says:


      I love you too! We share a bond and the most important thing in life is helping others. It comes with a price, but who cares? We do what we do.

      I would like to thank you for your comments for me and Chanteel. I know I can speak for her and I can assure you, your words will make her smile and make her day just that much easier. And I love you for that.


  8. Anonymous says:

    When I read the story about Chanteel (the first story), I instantly liked her and hoped for the best. I was so happy to read the next chapter. Chanteel, you are now special to those of us who know you through Susan and we are all pulling for you. When the doubt and memories creep up on you remember that we are cheering you on. Susan, once again a beautiful story, thank you for sharing.

  9. Rich Miller says:

    Chanteel you are an inspiration. It always touches my heart when someone overcomes adversity and is able to continue on. Not everyone has the desire to do that. I wish you the very best. You are worthy of praise and admiration.
    We think a lot of Susan and I’m glad that you were there for her. You were able to understand and say the right things, the way that no one else could.
    You’re a beautiful person, Chanteel. Please hang in there. Susan’s keeping her cell phone number just for you. God bless.

    • Susan Lewis says:


      Thanks so much! I have been a bit speechless over the out pouring of love to myself and Chanteel.

      Never in a million years did I think this story would do what it has done.


  10. Christine says:

    Chanteel, I changed my name when I left my past behind me. I saw it as the death of a very good friend who gave me a start in a new life. I completely understand the importance of this act. I am so happy that you are building a new life for yourself. Keep it up! 🙂
    Susan, thank you again for sharing a story that gives us understanding about who you are as well. I had tears again as I read.

  11. You are both amazing, for what you do, for what you have overcome, for still loving after what you have seen and been through. Thank you for the inspiration and for not giving up – the example and inspiration is so needed in the world. ❤

    • Susan Lewis says:


      From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your words. I’ve been having a rough day today and your words made all the difference in the world.

      I am now smiling and will continue to do so.