My Best Friend

My Best Friend

At 25, to come back to a primary school-esque essay topic seems counter-intuitive. It goes against everything we teach the next generation about inclusivity, accepting all and appreciating the value of each person, rather than placing value judgments.

We’re wrong.

Because we can have a best friend. We can have more than one. All of our friends could be considered the best by our own qualitative scale. And I’d like to talk to you about one of mine.

There’s never a moment he isn’t happy to see me. Or you. Or anyone. He’s the most social thing I’ve ever known, willing to let anyone and everyone prove themselves to him. He makes no judgment and asks for none in return, just an understanding and love. I suppose you could say he just has a positive attitude. Even on those days where everyone struggles to get up and carry on through the sludge and slime of reality, he powers on through. Naturally, this isn’t just for himself: he does it for you too. He’ll walk the vast expanse of the kitchen, scale the mountain of stairs, leap upon the highest of sofas, if it means bringing a smile to your face.

And emotional sensitivity? Forget about it. You’re sad? Have a cuddle. You’re happy? Let’s run! You just need some quiet? Let’s lie side by side and just be. We adapt. We have a silent conversation. Eyes sparkle and connect, and we know, we just know how to be around one another. I can’t call it beautiful because it’s so much more than that.

Beauty is skin deep, it’s a truth universally acknowledged. One moment glossy and groomed, another muddy and mucky. Covered in his own food (or yours), shivering from an unexpected shower, flying forward against the breeze. That’s beauty; the unashamed running to meet you, the unreserved and animalistic appreciation of the food you provide, the gentle nuzzling of a hand proffered in love.

He was beautiful in all ways. I’ve never seen a place light up more than when he was around.

And now it’s dark, and it’s cold, and it’s empty. Because my best friend was so tired, so very tired. We would never have been ready but it was time to say goodbye and let our boy find his field in the sky, where no one dared to serve mixer with meat and where the belly rubs never end, and no one gets cross if you accidentally walk in mud or bring a birdie home as a gift.

You were the best decision we ever made, my friend. And I can only hope we let you know that every day of your wonderful life. There were no owners, no subservients. There was a family, and that family is broken without you.

Good night, my best friend. We’ll love you forever.

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