Friendship between two people can start in a single second and can last for decades or sometimes they take just a second to end. So much has been written on this beautiful bond, so much is being written, and everything about it, be it the beginning of it, the complicated nature in the middle or the tragic or bitter end; every word is relatable to every single person. Stories of romantic love may affect many but people who haven’t been in love can only imagine them in the best way they can, however, stories of friendships are relatable and felt in every nerve, every atom, by everyone because everyone has had that one friend or friends, that they loved more than anybody else, everyone has that friend or friends that they lost to misunderstandings, stubbornness or even fate itself. Everyone has scars left by some friends, everyone has memories of friends who spent their lives trying to heal those wounds, everyone has tears for some friends that were supposed to be right here right now with them to witness the beautiful moments in your life.
There are several tragedies to mourn about, but the death of a friendship is the most universal and painful feeling. There is nothing quite like the very first moment you realize that you found a person whom you can non-stop pour out your feelings to, this person who has no idea what their existence means to you, how you’re thankful for their every breath, how their name brightens up the darkest days. This person who doesn’t realize how much their avoidance cuts you so deep inside that even after they leave you standing alone in life, you can’t find the wound so you just live with the painful feeling and hope that it gets better.
If friendship heals the gravest wounds, it can also create them. If it gives one of the purest, unconventional feelings of belonging, losing it can result to a feeling of being so lost that you lose your way home because that person or people were it. And things get even worse when you realize after some time that even if you try to mend things, it wouldn’t change anything. If one has friends, worse things that happen to them seldom seem that bad, happiest moments are even happier. That’s the magic of friendship.
There are moments in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything and all of them include my friends; even after the end, though these memories bring a painful feeling in my chest and tears to my eyes, I know these are the memories that I’ll be telling at parties when I’m drunk and reminiscing about all the friends that gave me so many wonderful, funny and sad stories.
Some friendships are stored in old photographs, dusty empty picture frames, side-notes in old school textbooks and back pages of notebooks and messy handwritings because they helped you finish your homework before the teacher entered the class or getting punished together and getting kicked out of the class.
Friendship is the smell of chalk, it is your loose school neckties, it is the undivided sandwich that you have nobody to share with, it is reminiscing about old jokes when you’re about to go to sleep but after laughing there are tears in your eyes, the hand-made birthday cards that had more insults written on them than emotional words but you could feel the unending love between the lines, the mundane words you used as code-words to address people you hated, it is the lump in your throat when you hear their name in other people’s conversation and you can’t take a step to be a part of that. Not anymore. Friendship is wishing you and your friends could have an immortal life so you could die together when the world ended.
There is no feeling to describe the feeling when you can feel your friend slowly changing by the world, while you stay the same; to feel them drifting so far that even if you run to catch up, they’re a million light years away. There is no feeling to describe the unfamiliar emptiness that starts building in your heart when you can feel yourself drifting from them, like continents. How painful it is to feel so far away even if you are right next to each other, when once, no matter what, the distance didn’t matter. Now it is all that matters. There is no feeling to describe the feeling when you realize that even when you see them after years in a public transport, you can’t find the resolve to go and say hi because you’re afraid that they’ll act like you were strangers. There is no feeling to describe when a friend’s betrayals affects you so much that you find it impossible to trust people anymore, be it romantically or even in your family.
Friendship is hearing stories by your dad’s childhood friends and wondering if you’ll ever get to be like that. It is feeling the betrayal of Brutus, the pain felt by Caesar, the anger of Mark Antony. Friendship is knowing how someone is going to react during a particular movie scene, how much they really love a certain band or singer but don’t want anybody else to know, it is knowing when they’re smiling just so you wouldn’t worry or cry because of them, it is not crying because you don’t want to worry them, it is crying anyway when they comfort you without asking for it. It is sharing of clothes, fights about the stupidest things, it’s the comforting shoulders for tears, it’s when you stand up for your friend when someone says something insulting about them but you insult them all the time. It’s the anger and loneliness of being the only one present in school when all your friends were absent. It’s the long angry rants about exes and pity-parties that lasted weeks.
Friendship is beautiful, sad, tragic, painful and infinite. It never ends even if it dies. Friends are your own private sun when it’s raining constantly in your life, they’re the laughter when they fold their umbrellas and dance in the rain with you; they’re the ones that save you when you don’t want to be saved, they’re the ones that make fun of your ugly haircut but are ready to cut down anyone else that makes fun of you. They’re the people who will pretend to be sick and take sick leaves when you’re sick because school without you was hell for them. They’re the ones who will support you even when your family disagrees with you. They’re the ones that stop you from making bad decisions but if you don’t listen, they’re ready to part of the crew of that sinking sink. They’re the people who will get up at two in the night and drop everything and run to you if you’re feeling blue or you were in jail. *laughs*
There is a saying that without friends even heaven will feel like hell, and with friends hell can feel like heaven. Friends are worth living for, they’re worth dying for. Friends are forever, even if they don’t last that long. If you have friends that make you glad you’re alive, tell them now how thankful you are that they exist, tell them sorry if you’re in a fight, tell them that life is more awesome if they’re a part of it. Don’t live in their memories, don’t make them stories you tell people when you’re drunk and in tears. Don’t let them they get away easily. Friendship is a treasure, so value it. Value your friends. Please.
Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says.