He was the first of my friends to get married, and he was a few years older than me. He used to be a close friend and we used to meet alot back when neither of us had anywhere else to be. But shaking his hand during his ceremony was the only contact we have had in the last 5 years.
I met him again last week. He was one day late to an event. I remember asking the others about him and whether he would make it or not. He seemed different when I saw him, and that’s expected. After all, I have not seen him since his marriage. He had bloodshot eyes, and he explained to everyone that he had to work the day before, and that he traveled as soon as he could. I came close to talk to him, and we asked each other at the same time: “so, how are you doing?” each replied with the common answer, and before we could speak any further, the conversation in the room shifted.
I tried to investigate him without asking. I wanted to know if he was happy, if things would get better later in life, if people like us could overcome themselves.
A few hours later, I ask him: “An all-nighter from work, huh? Doesn’t seem like you’ve slept” He smiles and nods.
How do I describe goodwill towards another person not out of habitual meeting, but out of sharing a common struggle? Wanting nothing from a person, but to spend the little time you have together trying to be happy.
The overlap between his stay and my leave was half a day; I greeted him in the morning, and said goodbye before sunset. He seemed a little sad that I had to leave early, maybe the same feeling I felt when he did not arrive the first day. Maybe he was also sad that he had to arrive late, or that there were schedules that had to be followed. Maybe he was sad that we didn’t know if we would meet again soon or if it would take another few years.
Who could blame us? He had to arrive late because of his work, and I had to leave early because of my studies. Keeping our friendship was certainly out of our hands.
No one can blame us, my dear old friend. But I am sorry that we became this old.