Anaisa Castillo, Staff Writer

It’s funny how long it took me to realize. To realize a truth that presented itself in front of me yet somehow ceased to come into mind. A truth that would have spared me from the years of enduring agony. That truth being my endless search for a best friend was nothing but what I call a needless pursuit. Coming to terms with the fact that this was an almost belated epiphany. A constant struggle is what it’s called, it was to find those who were willing to stay. Not just stay, but reciprocate the endless care I so grantedly gave. It was the struggle of having to deal with the heartache of being deserted. Let down by those who I considered my best friends. Fighting my own battles as I assisted them in theirs, never did I receive that back. At least not to the degree of care that I would deliver. Like living in a mirage, finding it hard to believe that no one sought to stop and think or stop and realize who, and what they were losing. Now, sure it may sound narcissistic to self deem to be a person worthy of great appreciation, but when one is faced with the distressing pattern of exploitation, it’s realized that no one is worthy of moral destruction in order to find someone willing and or capable of filling that certain void of absence they so long for. And that is because I soon realized the truth, that the person who could be that for me, was in front of me the whole time. 

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If despair had left from my eyes, they’d wipe them with resilience 

If I walked with absence, they’d remind me to stand with pride.

And if I ever cried out to never be enough, they’d look back at me with eyes somehow overwhelmingly full with the capability of fighting on

Though at times, I often scared them. Not because I installed fear, but because on most nights when no one was awake to hear, on nights when humanity had taken ahalt to reside in a state of inner peace, I’d break. Into a million pieces of grief. I quite literally hated this to an extent that I began to lose my mind. I failed to understand how one could reside in such a state so sound, in a state of utter content that they were permitted into a place of no care. Though I didn’t intend to, I often scared them because I guess they’d never sought the day where they’d come to witness such a fall. Especially from someone they always saw capable of never shedding so much sorrow and predominantly seen to be full of solidity. Ironically,  they’ve come to witness this countless times. Countless? No, that’s not the word to describe this but there will never be a word that stands capable of expressing this affliction. But eventually, they broke the cycle.That cycle of which they’d linger in the dark, and stand beside the doorway. They emerged from their state of concealment to check if I was okay. Obviously, okay was the last thing I ceased to be but this was only proven veracious as I pulled them into an almost gravitating embrace. 

“I’m sorry if I was too loud…I didn’t mean to wake you up. But i’m alright I guess ” I said

“Alright? Now maybe if I was deaf or even a vegetable, I’d believe you. Can’t even see you in the damn dark but I bet you look like you just inhaled the devils lettuce” They humorously said

Although they hoped it would have brought even the slightest sheer of light or even a small tug of a smile. It didn’t. 

“But seriously…are you okay? There’s no point in lying when I just heard the one person I care about most, my best friend crying like that” They stated 

“I just… I don’t know…wish I was more like you, like enough? Or even strong enough for everything” I said 

Oddly enough, they only laughed. I wasn’t sure what to make out of that but it felt like a mockery to an extent that pained me. Strangely enough, their laugh sounded a bit too familiar, not because they were my best friend, but it was as if their laugh was an exact replica of my own. And then, the feeling once again came. 

“they don’t care” spiraled my mind

“Give me your hand” They demanded

Extending my hand outwards, I then heard the rustling noise of them looking for a pen. Sitting in still silence, I tried to make out the letters to have even the slightest clue of what was being written onto my palm. Although I was apprehensive of whatever this was, I was more curious than anything.  

“OKAY IT’S DONE, just dont touch it or anything or it’ll smudge. Just walk to the bathroom and look” They said With countless thoughts running in my mind of what it could possibly say, I made my way to the bathroom. Not saying I’m lazy, but this hallway always made it feel like it took years to reach the bathroom. Making my way inside, I unexpectedly froze. For whatever reason, I was scared to see what they had written. Flipping the switch, the lights flickered before they steadied. And there I stood, with a pen in hand, with the same beaming eyes of an overwhelming spirit. With “Best friends forever” printed in my handwriting. A sheer smile formed when I realized…they…was me.