I counted numbers from home, 1, 2 3 as a child eager to be in school.
My friend taught me.
I was on his shoulders every time practicing with his bags and books.
Ready to be like him, to wear a uniform and sit.
Then, my first day at school.
A cold hit me, I cried through it all and only my friend could seat with me in class.
he left his higher class to be beside me as a comfort.
“Why was he in my class that day?”
Years after when I saw the pictures that spoke.
“You were sick and no one else could comfort you”
I grew up with books, I hid in words, I cherished the imaginations of forever.
I wrote and erased, those were shy beginnings.
And every time I stumbled upon my friend’s writings, I was awed.
Poetic softness. Beauty and enigma.
Can I write like this?
I copied his words, leaned on his books.
I don’t know a finer writer.
We have the compassion of artists but still, I know no other with such empathy as his.
With the ready to forgive stance.
I am sorry for everything, let peace reign, I forgive you.
With my friend, I have learnt.
My early drawing lessons were with him- the palm tree, the house, the face, the nose.
a story comes to mind of how we sat and listened to the endless stories he made up while standing up.
he spinned his stories into the night for us.
Till we fell asleep and he was alone telling them to the darkness.
Mother comes in.
“Who are you talking to?”
“I am telling them stories”
“They are all asleep, Bobby”
That’s our friend.
Today is for you because I can count the million things you are to me.
You are my brother.
You are my friend.
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