I still remember the first time I met him.
It was just another Sunday and the kids in my neighborhood were playing football, 7 VS. 8, choosing to leave me out as always. I admit that I was disappointed, yet again, but by now I was used to this treatment. I climbed the small hill behind the school and made myself comfortable under the only tree that grew there. We talked a lot (well I did most of the talking because trees can’t talk) whenever I sat there feeling left out, which was almost every day. That day I felt as if someone else was there but when I looked around it was just me and Mr.Tree. I felt it again and this time as I turned around, this pair of black eyes stared right into mine. And things started changing for the good ever since.
He was very shy, he hardly spoke and I never stopped since the day we met. I finally had someone to play with and talk to and who understood me. I no longer looked at my feet when the other kids called me names and made fun of me. My parents were really happy seeing that I was no longer sad about the move 7 months ago. They wanted to meet him, who finally managed to put a smile on my face. But he was really shy and didn’t even come near my house. He would always walk me to the bus stop near my house after we hung out and then just leave. I never asked him why he did that.
We always played by the tree on the hill where we first met. And when we didn’t play, we talked. I was kind of jealous of him because apart from his shyness his life seemed perfect. But he wasn’t like the other kids with the “perfect” life. He didn’t make fun of my imperfect life.
He was always there by my side, gave the best advice, he knew what to say and when to say. He was very talented too; a good singing voice coupled with talent on the guitar and the keyboard, something I always envied. He was also good at sports too, especially basketball. But it was the fact that he listened patiently to my silly jokes, school stuff, family matters and mostly about how lonely I felt at school when he wasn’t around. He would just smile and stare at me. And then when I settled down, he would analyze what I told him and then he always came up with the right thing to say.
Life as a teenager is always hard with all the hormonal changes and to top that having parents whose work requires them to move from one place to another about every two years. It was time to say goodbye so we decided to meet under our tree for one last time. He was not there when I got to our spot. I walked around for a while and soon got tired of waiting. As I was about to leave, I saw a piece of paper sneaking out from under a rock by the tree.
“My dear friend, this is not goodbye.
You know I will always be there when you need me.
I will always be there to listen to you.
All you have to do is find a lonely tree.”