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An Open Monologue To The Friends Who Became Strangers...
A nostalgic but sad moment prompts me to reflect on the mortality of humans and why friendships should be cherished before they fade.
This last Sunday was one of those days where I tried to get away from my screens and root myself in nature. Touch some grass, like they say. However, that Sunday was a little different.
As I stepped out to my front porch, out of nowhere, I remembered an old friend. We were tight, attended the same secondary school, and, as fate would have it — even ended up in the same university.
He was highly intelligent, a physics genius, and he used to read a lot, like, all the time. He would tell me he was not from a well-to-do background and didn’t want his kids to tell the same story.
However, at some point in 200 level, life did its thing, and he left my university for another school up North. Somehow, we lost communication a few months later.
Feeling the grass beneath my feet, I became more curious. “Where is this guy”, I muttered under my breath. I needed to find him; I needed to see what he was up to; I needed to re-initiate contact.
It was meant to be a no-screen Sunday, but I couldn’t help it. I reached for my phone, hoping search engines would come to my aid.
Luckily, I remembered his full name. I put it on Google and Instagram, but no luck. Then I tried Facebook, and…
…there they were; the RIP posts. He died about a year ago.
I didn’t mean to start this on a sad note, but how else would I start it?
Life, as it is…
That event messed up my week. At the same time, it sent me on a fool’s errand to memory avenue. I began to wonder how everyone I’ve ever known was doing, which is wild.
How is everyone, really?
I realised that I always see the world from the angle of “everyone is fine” or “everyone will be fine”. Maybe I’m right, but maybe I’m wrong? And maybe I should actually reach out to all my old friends…
…but then, do I even have their contacts?
So I gave in.
I can’t reach out to everyone; I can only hope they’re fine. And maybe I can put them in my prayers. But how often do I even pray for myself?
I fall into an abyss of endless thoughts. I began to think about life as it is, like I just discovered it.
…And then it hit me.
The friends we journey through life with are mostly temporary and circumstantial - and there’s a very low probability that we’ll end life with them.
Read that again. It’s deeper than you think.
I mean, think about the people you used to be very close to, and suddenly, you all become strangers. You don’t even know where on earth they are. It hurts, but then, it’s completely normal.
Why? Because it’s “life”.
Like a plot twist in a movie, it hits me again. Harder this time.
Death is an inevitable part of life. Separation is also inevitable. Our elders were not capping when they said, “20 children cannot play for 20 years”. If separation doesn’t stop the play, death would raise its ugly head.
It’s sad enough that we’re all caught up in the hustle. Or maybe not so sad. But the truth is, everyone is trying to make something out of life. We neglect ourselves in the process; how much more our friends?
I hate to sound hypocritical, but I believe this is why we must be present in every moment we have with family and friends. Before they move out of the country, or get married, or before we all get too busy and forget about ourselves.
Go out on that date. Watch football with your guys. And have as much fun as you can with the people you call ‘friends’ because we don’t really know when they’ll become strangers.
And perhaps, if life is fair at all, the friends who became strangers will meet again someday and relive the good moments. Hopefully, it won’t be too late.
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