She had been my best friend forever. I’m not sure she thought the same way about me. Sometimes I even wonder if she took anything I said seriously. The first time we met was at our school assembly as little kids standing in crooked lines, fighting the cold and staging a forced attention in what didn't concern us. Kids don’t care. I wish grownups knew that.
The sun gave a lukewarm smile and the wind made our brittle scraped knees rickety, biting lightly every few moments in sudden gusts. It got harder to concentrate and that’s when a roving eye brought me to face her. That was the day I found my ‘smile friend’. It’s all we did for the next few days- smiled at each other. Besides spreading the warmth there was also the part about us having a lot in common. Never popular, never sought after, what you may call- just average.
There’s a time when you don’t know anything about yourself. If there is a ‘you’ and how it’s not the same as others, doesn't matter. What you like, what you don’t. What you want to become. That’s not to think.
To think is, if you could get to plait your hair by rolling it round and round about your fingers. To think is, why it opens up and doesn't stay. Now that’s what you call a real heartbreak.
I don’t know anything about parents. I don’t know if I had any. Nobody tells me now and back from when I was born, I don’t remember a thing. I hung out a lot at her place though. Her parents really doted over her. It’s funny actually. Even when her pony wasn’t really straight they’d still call her beautiful. I’d tell her that, but she never listened to me.
I was always telling things. I still am. Sometimes she listens. But that’s only when no one’s around. There are always too many people I’m competing with to get her attention. I’m not sure how over the last few years she suddenly got popular and I stayed behind. Sometimes that makes me sad. Mad even. And then when she asks me stuff, I lighten up. I feel important. I don’t mean to brag but my ideas are always better than her other friends’.
Yesterday she seemed upset. I thought I must make her happy and told her my new theory. The smile. Again. She wouldn’t believe me. Again.
It’s rather simple really. Well, I believe in it entirely. Here, let me help you with it.
Most people never really do what they want to, until they turn seventy. Cos then they can afford to have diabetes or get fat. The pretty people aren’t going to look at them then, anyway.
Better still, slog up and then hope to have a happy retirement. They always dream about reading newspapers in rocking chairs. I think I’m pretty intelligent for my age. I read a lot.
But I also think I’m immortal. She thinks that’s dumb. She says all humans must die. Uh oh, I beg to differ, sir!
It’s all about dying. It’s all about the end. That’s the all important thing. If you’ve devised a way to fulfilment then, you’d just as well start running now.
Always worried about not making it to some awkward old age.
Lucky for me, I’m never going to have an end.
Unlike her, I don’t worry about being swept over by a Tsunami. My heart doesn't start racing when I hear thunder reverberate. I don’t flinch when a car stops short. I am not afraid.
Because I refuse to die.
And she doesn't listen. Again.
I tell her. I tell her. I whisper to her. I wish she would hear. She thinks I’m crazy.
But one day when everyone’s gone and abandoned her forever, I will be there.
She had been my best friend forever.
Although her shadow is all I am, yet again, like old times I will tell her,
I refuse to let you go.
I refuse to die!