Best Friend

by HelluvaGirl

So I come to the office thinking how I’m gonna tell him that I did something stupid last night, that I got some rags and a bra and felt it was such a lame birthday present to use daddy’s money for, so in the end I went on and bought those pretty plane tickets and how I’m gonna eat cottage cheese for months on end now because I’m poor (35 year-old woman speaking…).

But he wasn’t there.

And then it struck me he wouldn’t be there before I go to Vipassana next week, and when I come back he’s gonna be somewhere else for good.

I guess I’m exiting the phase of yeah-ok-we’re-still-gonna-meet-for-lunch.

To meet someone just as kooky as you, to cry laughing at the lunch table every damn day in the office kitchen, to feel grateful that that person was born at all and you’ve just spent 70% of every business day together for the past four years, sneering at inside jokes and sharing all the dirty secrets because you trust each other without second thought…

I remember the three of us sitting in the conference room on our first day. The other guy noticed me reaching for a bottle of water and opened it. I can do it myself, thanks – I just wanted to be polite (how Swedish of me was to cut his balls off). And him, he was just staring with a blank expression (only later did I find out he was a winning poker player – and had more colourful stories than the suit could tell).

I remember how I kept it reserved and all corporate for maybe 1 year and then we sat next to each other. And little by little, I let him know me. And that one time of very few, it wasn’t a mistake.

I remember us having a couple of tense situations. He’s not the one to talk and I remember how sad it felt before we reached the other side of each misunderstanding. It just occurred to me recently that when we met he was almost a boy and now he’s the one to preach me about… things.

/There was supposed to be an inside joke about how we call them toms. Too many names, he says, I will call each of them Tom./

I remember what he looked like when he was suffering deeply. I remember him sitting in a funeral home, his face translating deep pain and acceptance all at once. It wasn’t hiding, it wasn’t safe – but I saw light. What a beautiful face, I thought. It’s very telling how one takes in pain.

What I failed to notice for a very long time is that he isn’t so much a Colleague Friend but my Best Friend. And now things are gonna change.

Someone I trust a bit has told me recently: maybe it’s easier if you know you’re gonna lose them before you even get attached?

I keep thinking about it.