Just a few more minutes, and it’ll be midnight. You’ll wake up to the day which marks your 17th year in this world. I’m glad I’ll be able to celebrate it with you this time.
And since I missed out on two of your previous birthdays, I think I might just make you add 2 extra candles to your cake this year.
It’s not very often a 16 year old can claim to have had a best friend for more than 10 years. So thank you, birthday girl, for being my best friend. Thank you for being that one person I can truly trust in this world full of cynicism.
So much had changed when you left. Losing a best friend was something I wasn’t ready for. And when you tragically moved to another city, it made me sad. The kind of sad that makes you wonder if you were ever really sad before –the saddest kind of sad there is. But you never let us get split by lame facts like distance or time. Thank you for always being closest to me even when we were in completely different parts of the country or separate stages of life. Thank you for never giving up on our friendship.
Scooting people as close as you aside seemed like a natural thing to do sometimes— after all, you’ll ALWAYS be there for me. But you never got mad when I didn’t call you for weeks or reply to your message just because I was too busy being someone else’s friend. Thank you for forgiving me for my stupidest stunts and my selfishness; for wearing through my best attempts to drive you away, and refusing to leave my side despite my flaws, weaknesses and failures. And thank you for keeping all the promises that you made.
You taught me what it is to be loyal, and what it is like to share an exclusive friendship with one person. You taught me the beauty of having a friend who feels like family. And even though my life without you would’ve been like a pile of abandoned puppies, I know that I don’t need to talk to you every day; because that would be like checking in with your sibling every 24 hours which would only lead to silly arguments and unsolicited fights.
I know that it’ll probably be really hard to find a more battered, broken, screwed-up person than me in this world, and that I’m not really deserving of the love that I am so freely offered. And a few crazy souls like you, for some strange reason, go on offering it anyway. But their love is often so unglamorous and indispensable to my life that it is almost invisible, and the fact that I don’t thank them more for it is a crime.
So, thank you for taking care of me in every way possible. Thank you for standing by me through thick and thin. For being there when no one else was or wanted to be and when even –you- didn’t have to be. Thank you for always being there to listen when I have something important, or annoyingly inane to say.
Thank you for always being fun to hang with. You made me realize how we don’t need to have common interests in music or movies to get along. I know I can do the most mind-numbingly boring tasks with you, and they won’t suck. You taught me how the amount of fun you have during class is directly proportional to the number of crazy caricatures of your teacher you can make; and that I can –live- on your mummy-ke-haath-ke-samose for the rest of my life, or I could just keep eating them and never stop. Thank you for being that one person whose existence makes me feel less lonely in this psycho, crazy world. And with whom the silences are never awkward.
You know exactly how incredibly immature I can act sometimes. Thank you for not judging me when I did something really stupid, but also thanks for telling me I was an idiot and probably shouldn’t have done it in the first place. Thank you for believing in me when I was too weak and exhausted to believe in myself. Thank you for being there to pick up the pieces when yet another person had let me down. Thank you for being a friend without motivation or desire to back-stab. And thank you for making sure that I’m never really alone, even when I feel like I am.
I want us to be friends when I graduate from college. I want us to be friends when I have my first serious relationship. I want us to be friends when I get my first job. I want us to be friends when I’m married and have kids or pets or a silly potted plant that I get way too attached to. I want us to be friends when I’m going through menopause. I want us to be friends when I’m old enough to have grand children. And I want us to be friends even when I’m sitting on a wheelchair and have no teeth.
So here’s to you, birthday girl. Here’s to you and our friendship.
P.S. Happy Birthday.
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