I wonder if you even remember me? I remember you. You were my favourite friend. I can’t say my best friend because we maintained a safe distance. But you were the one who lit up the room with your amazing smile. Your laughter was infectious and your presence always joyful. When you appeared my heart leaped.
So often, you used to say to me “it’s cool” or “we’re cool”. I never knew quite what you meant. I only know you were great company. Would I have got through college without a friend like you? Do you remember our study nights, eating pizza and playing cards, did we ever study? I remember in the colder weather we spent a lot of time at the library and we did study there. But you would interrupt me with a joke and give me some relief from concentrating on Keats.
You were a true talent. I remember your work. I also remember you as a great philosophiser. Some of that crap you came out with I still treasure today. You lit a spiritual flame in me that would gasp for oxygen for many years to come. I wish I could always be around people like you. In some ways you set the bar for friendships. I am drawn to people who remind me of you even now.
Perhaps there was an attraction. I thought you were interested in me at times. But you were a gentleman. I had a boyfriend who came down to visit me a handful of times. You knew I was smitten with him. When I think of all the time you and I were alone, but you never made a move. I could trust you.
He and I we broke up. It’s a long time ago. I did call you not long after, but you must have changed your number. I am sorry we lost touch after college. I have sometimes wondered where you are and how you are doing. I have always wished good things for you. I think I knew back then that you were always going to be a good man and that you deserved for all your dreams to come true.
When I think back to our college days, part of me ponders what would have happened if I had not had a boyfriend already? Would you and I have been together? I think I would have liked that. I would have been happy because you were such a gorgeous person. Maybe having sex would have ruined our friendship. I would not want to spoil what we had. I am sure you helped me get through college. You were my favourite friend you know.
Just promise me this – please promise me this – in a world were people are so screwed up about race and the shade of our skin and where we were born and who our daddy is and where we went to school and how much we earn – you know that none of that ever mattered to me. Please tell me that the only reason you held back is because I already had a boyfriend? Because if I had been single, believe me, there was nobody else who I loved as much as I loved you. I would have been flattered and deeply honoured if you had asked me out – not just on a study night – but on a real date. I would have held your hand around campus, I would have made out with you in the park, I would have been thrilled to be yours.
I would have been proud to have been your girl.