Yet another promise made. Yet another broken. "See you on sunday, I'll be at your door, and let's go for a long drive...You and me...two best buds".
Sundays come and sundays go. I never find the one you mentioned. Flashback to saturday nights,an SMS, "Are you coming for sure tomorrow?".
Your SMS comes the next afternoon, "Sorry couldn't make it... had to go with friends to XYZ resort". And a few sundays later, I know how each sunday will pass by.
Another sunday comes knocking. And I wake up with a "Hello, good morning, how are you?". Funnily enough, you never call. Its always an SMS. I can't complain coz I lived my life with you through the SMS boom.
Flashback 12 years ago, when I first saw you in the school play. The most adorable kid I'd ever seen. A few days hence, you transformed from the kid in the play, to my naughty, goofy first crush. Then you became my closest friend. You beared me for 4 years before there was a lull. Two years hence, we were back to being best buds again.
In all these years, you suffered my 3Ts - "Terrible Temper Tantrums", without ever being rude to me. I dont know how you do it. Then we reached a point where it all boils down to selfishness. You were busy and so was I. You never complained and I never left an opportunity to make you feel worse about not giving time to your best friend. Soon, our meeting was a twice yearly event - Your birthday and Mine.
Even though we live in the same city, 25kms apart, for 365 days a year.
That event was skipped this year when you failed to give me time on your birthday. And I howled mad at you.
Expectations started to cease. My trademard dialogue, "he'll be here even before I need him", was used more infrequently. But one thing never stopped amidst this. Your timing. Your SMS. It always came to me when I was down in my worse moments. Even before I could message you, I'd see a "Madam, how are you?". Even after all these years, you still know.
I have been fed too much on movies, and I worry I'd be scared of losing my best friend (thanks to Julia Roberts and "My Best Friend's Wedding"). When you get married, I guess it'll be the hardest and probably happiest day of my life. Yet I cannot recall the number of times this conversation went...
"Will you still be my best friend?"
"Of course I will!! Why do you even say that?"
"What if your wife objects to it?"
"I'll never marry a girl who cannot respect the special bond that you and I share. You have been an integral part of my life all these years and you'll continue to be for as long as I'm alive."
"But still...how can you be so sure?"
"I'm sure I know "US" well enough to say that I can survive without eating but not without the 3Ts."
Laughter all around.
Zoom in to present day, last night. The inevitable question is asked yet again. A panicked and depressed soul speaks to her best friend, the same answers are repeated, but with more conviction than the last time. As usual. I go to sleep, leaving you asking me more questions... which remain unanswered.
The next morning, catastrophe. I need help and I dont have the contacts that I need. I know you do. I call you up and we set up a hurried meeting. You ask me to meet at so-and-so place. You pick me up and we reach the place where we need to go. As we wait in your car, you ask "You remember the date, place and time of our last meeting, dont you??". A smile flows with an ease, unknown for a long time. A smile is returned again.
The work done, we leave. As you drop me off to a convenient location from where I can resume my daily activities, you do something you've never done. And it's special. Your genuine smile reassures me that I'll have you in my life, no matter what. Your eyes have never lied to me ever in all these years. They bring in a kind of hope that seems to be running out ever so often.
And after all these years, your smile transports me back to that day 12 years ago, when your irresistable smile made me think, "How cute...I wish he was my friend?". Guess what? After 12 years, you are still my friend.....and as you say, till the very end. :)