I know that something is wrong from the moment that I spot you sitting out in the rain. You’ve never really had a flair for the dramatic, and besides, you’re always talking about how it messes with your hair.
I sit down beside you and don’t say anything because at this point I have no idea what’s wrong. But I do have that feeling that I get deep in the pit of my stomach, a subtle shifting of body chemistry that makes me feel like something isn’t quite as it’s supposed to be.
You put your head on my shoulder in the place that you’ve been carving out since we were six and you punched Peter Galecki in the nose for calling me a sissy.
“Will you tell me what’s wrong?”
I know it’s not going to be good because you don’t even look at me. You just pull your sleeve away from your wrist, laying bear the mess of scars that criss-cross your arm like a game of pick-up sticks.
I knew about them. And you knew that I knew about them. But you never said anything, so neither did I. Instead, I pulled you closer and tried to love you harder than anyone else so that maybe, just maybe, you’d see in you everything that I did.
This isn’t a movie. We’re not soul mates. You know it, I know it, and neither of us would have it any other way. So I don’t kiss you. I don’t give you some answer that came to me from the heavens meant to solve all of your troubles. Things like that don’t happen.
Instead, I put an arm around you and pretend that your tears are raindrops and your tremors are from the cold. I refuse to let you fall apart alone.
That’s what friends do.