friend z.

“But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important….if, of the friends (A,B, and C), A should die, then B loses not only A but ‘A’s part in C,’ while C loses not only A but ‘A’s part in B.’ In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call out the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all the facets…

…Hence, true Friendship is the least jealous of loves.”  C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I had quite forgotten about you.

Soft-spoken, maybe a tad bit melancholy, but always thinking. Your ruminations delved into realms I had not quite considered, your perspective always fresh and unexpected, often disconcerting. I confess that I occasionally found some of your thoughts to be more unsettling than I initially cared to admit, but your honesty has always been very beautiful to me.

Content to sit in the backseat, you always let me ride shotgun while we drove on. Or those days under the canopy of trees, on winding roads, on the wintry shores of the beaches, where we would drink and dream, and entertain the world (or so we thought) I never questioned my place in the passenger seat.

But in those days, you hardly ever spoke, and so sometimes it felt as though you had become a phantom friend. You hovered pleasantly, lingering but never imposing yourself.

Please don’t take this the wrong way: I was certainly sad to see you go. Nostalgia overtook me, sang its mournful tune over me while I walked the city streets alone, or I watched the distant lights from the terrace. Parts of me, parts of us perished with your sudden departure, but inner parts of me secretly rejoiced. Maybe this only reveals a deep seated fear of mine, and trust me: it has nothing to do with you. I’m only human, after all.

And now, I see your connection separate from ours.

Your recent resurrection caught me off guard. When I heard the news, I figured you’d show up in tattered rags, or at least be in need of some revival. A splash of water on the face. Recuperation in intensive care. But you’re bright–so bright. Brighter than the sun, and so much so that now I feel that in your presence I’ve diminished somewhat.

But I know I really haven’t.

And you are no unwelcome stranger to me–you’re a dear, long lost friend, sitting on the autumn shores of a beach, telling us your fears while I eavesdrop in silence.

It just takes some getting used to.

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