When A Friend Is Dying

I have known him since I was 15. I remember the first time I met him. One of my best girlfriends (to this day) was going on a quasi date with a gent we met at a party. I was the tag along. He was the tag along. We sat side-by-side at the movie theatre and barely spoke two words. I was a shy teenager and meeting a new boy often left my mouth paralyzed (my how things change). He didn’t attempt any conversation with me either. At the time, I thought all guys were outgoing so I wrote him off as an asshole. Less than a year later he was attending my high school. Less than a year later, we finally spoke words to one another. From that day on, we never stopped speaking words to one another. Flash forward to two years after our first encounter.

“I’m going to take a picture of your bum”

He was taking a media class and created a website dedicated to selected bums of the girls of Holy Cross (how he got away with that in a Catholic school, I still don’t know). I had a boyfriend at the time, one of his best friends actually, but I was secretly happy to be featured on his page. I liked being around him. I liked that we weren’t the two people we had been that first day in the theatre. Flash forward to later that summer. I was single. He was single. He threw me into a pool, fully clothed. He tread water while I rested my back against the side of the pool. We talked about the Crocodile Dundee movie and I swear he almost asked me on a date. I would never know. High school went on, we remained “friends”. We got drunk one time and made out at a cottage, but I was a boy crazy girl who didn’t put out. He was just girl crazy. I found my first “serious” boyfriend. Two and a half years went by. I was single. He was single. We became friends. He became someone I saw on a regular basis. We were really, truly friends. He became one of my favourite guys in our relatively big group. Part of me crushed on him. Most of me just liked having him around. One summer he got burned by a girl (she was clearly insane), so we went as each others date to a wedding. I looked pretty and he liked cute. I liked being his date. I liked being his friend. I liked having him around.

As life would have it, I moved away. I slowly drifted away from my relatively big group of friends and resurfaced with the people in my life that had been with me before I befriended them. He remained one of the few people from that group I always saw and spoke with when I returned home. I still liked when he was around.

As life would have it, he won’t be around for much longer. Cancer. It has become the most detested thing in my life. Last year, it took my grandfather. This year, it will take the shy boy I met in the movie theatre those 13 years ago. It hasn’t set in. He can’t really be leaving us. How do you wrap your head around acknowledging that this boy (now this man) will be gone forever in a mere few days? How does he wrap his head around it? I am in a state of disbelief. Always on the verge of tears, yet my brain never seems to fully grasp what is about to take place. I can only hope for a miracle. Someone got something wrong and he is not leaving us. Everyone likes having him around.


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