You became my friend when I didn’t even know what a friend actually is.
At the time I thought of a friend as a playmate. Someone you play with for hours and see almost every day. I think that definition of “friend” is what’s to be expected of a seven-year-old — I think I was seven back then, maybe six?
I can’t remember anymore how we met, and even the first few years of our interactions are but a blur. All I know is we used to play a lot. You’d come to our house, or we’d come to your place, and play outside. All I know is, we had a lot of fun together.
The years went by and my definition of “friend” changed. We grew older, not playing as much anymore, and whenever we hung out — which was pretty much everyday — we spent hours talking about everything and sharing secrets. Remember our secret land? A place that’s as public as public can get but to me it was our private space.
A few more years and that friendship definitely changed, we got busy with school, our other friends, boyfriends, different interests. We spent less time together, but even if we did, it did not seem so whenever we saw each other.
Over a decade and a few years later, we got busier — work, our own kids, our partners, responsibilities — there always was a reason that kept us from hanging out for hours like we used to. We were lucky to even be able to talk for a half an hour straight without anything interrupting our conversation.
Now three decades from when we became each other’s first ever friend, we are in different parts of the world. We have not seen each other in ages — in person, that is…social media still allows me to see you and vice versa — we spend hours chatting, involving one another in our lives as much as we can, talking about everything, and sharing our secrets just like we used to. We are still there for each other just like we used to.
Now that I think about it, other than my sister, I think you are the only other person who knows everything about me not because I told you about them, but because you were with me through all of them. And I hope I was the same with you.
That in every milestone in my life — all my graduations, my 18th birthday, all relationships and breakups, my children’s births, my wedding, my near-death encounter — you have been my friend through all those. That’s pretty much my whole life.
You are the friend who had been the basis of every definition I ever gave the word “friend”. You are the friend who came, stayed, and wouldn’t budge.
When I thanked you for being in my life through my toughest times, you said you are going to continue doing so for as long as I want you to. I believe you. I believe that our friendship has passed the test of time.
You were my first ever friend. I believe you’ll also be the last.