To The Good Times We Had

Raindrops fall on the window and as they slide down they dissolve. Others, those really persistent ones- or maybe they’re just lucky- find another and collide. They fight their way through the storm and eventually go down together.

‘Let me start off by saying that I do not want to be here today. I have better things to do on a Saturday morning than… this.’

Silence.

‘I would rather go fishing with you. It’s Saturday, on Saturdays we go fishing. Why aren’t you already in that old, smelly car of yours trying to get that broken engine started? It always takes you more than thirty bloody minutes to get the stupid car running and don’t forget the extra ten we have to wait in that yellow box because the motor has to heat up first. You really need to get that car fixed, man. Or maybe you should just buy a new one, I’ll help you save some money for it.’

‘In the meantime we can eat those overly delicious sandwiches your mother always makes. You know, those sandwiches with the roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes from your little garden, cheese- not for me, extra for you- and that creamy sauce on top. I knew the secret ingredient, but I always forget it. What was it again? Lemon juice? Whiskey?’

‘Apple cider.’

‘HA HA! Yes! Apple cider. Thank you!’

I spread my arms and with this hint of excitement I pushed through a smile. Then I laughed a little. Then I just stared for a while. Gazing eyes and my hands on my hips, thinking about nothing specific actually. There was a questionable silence floating in the air, but it didn’t really bother me. Nothing really bothered me at all, I couldn’t care less. I noticed I was sweating, or maybe I was still wet from the rain outside, but I arrived here more than an hour ago so that would make no sense. It was running down my back and I had some terribly clammy hands too. So I decided to take off my jacket, but before I threw it on the floor, careless and apathetic as I was, I took out my flask filled with the water of life, raised the bottle up to the sky and what was supposed to be just a sip ended up with me drinking the whole damn thing. I cleared my throat.

Silence.

‘So, sandwiches. Three for each of us, but I always get four because you can never eat more than two. You know, you are never going to get as strong as me when you keep eating like a little girl, my friend. In fact, you already look like a little girl, wearing your hair in a bun like that. So I suggest that you save some extra money for a new haircut as well. I used to like your long beautiful black hair , but I really think it’s time to enter manhood since it’s your twenty-fifth birthday next week…I’m really sorry for shaving off your hair back in the days when we were little, by the way. I remember a guy in school that looked a little like you. Brown eyes, big eyebrows, a cute nose and he even had the same crooked teeth. He shaved off all of his hair and it looked really cool on him! I genuinly did not think it would turn out that bad. I had just started shaving off the top of your hair when the electric razor broke and I still don’t know how that happened, I swear! So, instead of looking like a cool kid you ended up looking like a mad monk. Why did you even agree on doing that? I remember the look on your mother’s face and how furious she was when she entered the bathroom. She kicked me right out of the house and we weren’t allowed to see each other for one week. Let me tell you, that was the worst week of my entire life. One week later, when we finally got to see each other again, we met at the basketball court behind your house. The one where we always used to play our imaginary games and never play basketball, because we both never really understood the point of bouncing and then throwing a ball into a net. Sometimes we would watch the Big Boys play the game and then laugh hysterically at them when one of them fell and then run hysterically because we were scared of ending up there in one of those nets. But I remember that moment like it was yesterday. You stepped out of your door and with your head in the air and your shoulders straight you walked across the court, right through the Big Boys, rocking that ugly green sweater you always used to wear and that same monk haircut from a week ago. You didn’t care, you didn’t care at all! You were bigger than all the Big Boys together. You were my hero. That same day I got the same haircut and we walked around like that for months.’

I looked down at my feet. The world around me was spinning in circles and there was this unbearable weight on my shoulders that made my whole body tremble. I was searching for the right words to speak, but my head was empty yet there was so much I wanted to say to you. Even if I had something to talk about, I did not have the power nor did I have the urge to properly take a breath and fill my lungs. Although, I was in desperate need of a cigarette. Both my mind and vision were blurry. I sank down to floor, head in my hands and I wept.

‘These hands,’ I lifted both of my arms above my head,’ with these hands, I’ve saved your life. I’ve gotten you out of a lot of trouble, my friend. Multiple times! As little boys we always used to climb in trees that were so high that it could get you killed if you lost your grip or chose the wrong branch. You went up first and I was right behind you because you always picked the wrong branch! Every damn time.’

I shook my head.

‘As teenagers, we got into a lot of fights. But you always had my back and I had yours. I definitely did, look at all these scars you got me! In high school, you were madly in love with this girl. What was here name again? Mary? Poppins? You with your backpack filled with, not books, but magic cards and a lot of confidence thought it was a great idea to do a little trick for her and somehow make the card magically disappear in the poor girls bra. You fool. The next thing I remember is you getting beaten up by her, apparently older, boyfriend and one of his lapdogs. As your best friend it was my duty to come and save you, although you really deserved this one. That was the day your ugly green sweater, finally, got torn into little bits and pieces and we both got expelled. Again, I did not get to see you for another week.’

‘By the time we were older, there were others things I had to save you from. Somehow, you had lost your way along the road. You had chosen to take a path that none of us should ever walk on. You found a way to make that creative mind of yours and all your fantasies come to life. I have spent hours, long nights, by your side. Both of us in completely different worlds. You were high up there and I was down here. I never got to see your real world, but you would always describe it very vividly and precisely. From what I remember there were all of these different colours and shapes that didn’t even exist in this world. There were no such things as pain, anger or sadness, it was a very peaceful place and you could do anything you wanted. There was enough room for both of us, you always used to say. We would have it all to ourselves, we would have our own world. “Just you and me, my friend.”‘

‘I’m sorry I never came to visit you in your castle. I was too busy trying to save your life, or what was left of it. You couldn’t live without it and I couldn’t live without you. We didn’t have much, but we had everything we needed. We could’ve made this world our world if we wanted. But you weren’t happy here, you weren’t satisfied, you needed more and I can’t blame you for that. You had your unique, unsual, powerful and isolated way of thinking and doing things, but people never saw the beauty in that. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you this time. I hope you found what you’re looking for. And keep a seat for me on that throne when I come to visit you in your castle one day. At least I get to eat all six sandwiches now. Until our paths cross again, my friend. Cheers to the good times we had!’

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