Admiration, Annoyance, Affection, Frustration, Pride, Envy, Freedom, Insecurity, Hurt, Guilt and Happiness.
A friendship that has seen the spectrum of emotions from good to bad and then more.
Sixteen years of knowing, growing and evolving together. An unlikely bond. Earth and Air. Grounded and flighty. We have seen a lot. You and me.
I flip through pictures from the past decade and earlier. I shake my head and nod in disbelief. Few things in life are as serendipitous as our friendship. Often when I meet new people and the topic veers to friendship, yours is one of the first names I evoke. My eyes glaze over when I recollect our happy times. Times when we sat up till early morning catching up on the non events in our lives. I pause and smile when I recount tales of how fraught with guilt and fear I was when we decided to watch a movie with friends at the Lido theater.
The conversation moves on but my mind is stuck years in the past, reliving the angst and the heady freedom that being independent for the first time in our lives brought. The meaning that your friendship brought to mine. It meant I was never alone. I never was friendless. It meant there was someone who would save a spot on the train. Someone who would cover my back without being asked to. It meant being myself at my vulnerable best.
With you friendship took a new meaning. One that meant being ready for brutally frank views. For being told the unvarnished truth. For being taken to task at being stood up. For being shown what it looked like from the other side.
Time and distance mellowed us. We catch up often. We are guarded in some things we share. Except this time around it is tempered by having walked in those shoes. There is more understanding than hurt.
Looking at my call list at the end of the day, I smile when I see your name. It reminds me to count my blessings. It reminds me that a phone call away is someone who can call my bluff, listen to me, talk non stop on inane things, debate for an hour and yet feel like the call was too short.
You give meaning to the word friend and for that I am deeply thankful. Happy Birthday my dear friend.