What is a friend?
Friends come from different places. Acquaintances, friends, best friends, lovers, and ex-lovers are just some of the ways we try to categorize the people we have a relationship with. Some common groups of friends we have are our elementary school friends, high school friends, friends from the university, workplace friends, people we met in organizations, and our neighbors. But my question is what really defines a friend.
Is it someone you constantly talk with or someone you constantly talk to? Or is it even someone who we don’t often communicate with? Are they the people we are comfortable to do anything with? Or are they the people we try to show our best side to? Do we constantly do things to please them? Are our friends someone who supports us in whatever we do? Or are friends someone who tells us that we we are doing is wrong? Do our friends need to be in the same group? Or are true friends the people we don’t think of as just part of our group? Are friends someone who would cover our asses? Or someone who rats us out to the people we love the most?
I actually don’t know the right answers but I’ll share a story about someone who I consider one of my dearest friends.
(names will be changed for anonymity)
Her name is Machi. She was my university classmate. We were actually not in the same group of friends but she was the girlfriend of a close friend of mine. What really gave us a chance to be close was when they broke up and she needed someone to talk to. Then we became close and even teased each other as “best friends” because we didn’t like such labels or terms of familiarity.
I had a girlfriend at that time, lets call her “Yuki”, who was also my classmate. Yuki and Machi were not really close friends but they respected each other. Long story short, I cheated on Yuki. I met with my ex-girlfriend and had one night of… well you know. My ex-girlfriend, Jamie, was single at that time but she knew about Yuki. Naturally, we agreed to keep it a secret. A few days later, when I went to the library to see Yuki in the spot we usually see each other, I saw her crying with a common friend. I tried to talk to Yuki and asked her what was wrong. She didn’t say anything and just continued to cry. Her friend begged me to leave so I did. My heart raced and I became angry. So I called my ex, Jamie, and asked her if she told anybody. She said that she never told anyone and me being a total moron, believed her. Maybe someone saw us? Maybe I sent an incriminating message to someone by accident? Maybe Yuki read the messages on my phone? Maybe someone read the messages on Jamie’s phone? All the possibilities raced through my mind.
After a few days/weeks of silence with Yuki, she confronted me. She sent me a message that she wanted to talk. So I met her. Without hesitation, she told me that she knows about Jamie and I. She asked me if it is true. I lied to her. The worst lie I told in my life. She started to cry and said that someone she trusts told her. She just wanted me to admit it so she can move on with her life. I nodded my head. She started to cry more but now because of anger. I remember how sad and angry she looked. And with one strong swing, she punched my right in my jaw and left. I deserved it.
Most of my friends in class stopped talking to me. I remained silent. Nobody even tried to talk to me nor do I blame them for doing so. Yuki was well loved by our class and now I hurt her. Their love for Yuki soon turned to hatred for me. One day, Machi sent me a message inviting me for drink. She told me that she had something important to tell me. Unaware of the weight she has been carrying, I met her. We started drinking and after she got enough liquid courage, she told me something that I never would have expected. She was the one who told Yuki about Jamie and me. Jamie’s male bestfriend knew about it and because he was courting Machi, he told Machi. And since Machi knew that it was the best thing for everyone, she directly told Yuki.
I was so shocked. But the first thing I did was to hug Machi. I thanked her for doing something I was too afraid of doing. Nobody will ever believe me but after I saw Jamie again, I hated myself for doing so and I wanted to tell Yuki. Machi was my friend for telling Yuki. Machi wanted me to be a man and face reality. I appreciate her for that. I love her for that.
This was around 6 years ago. I asked Yuki for forgiveness and she gave me another chance and we lasted for 4 years. I don’t get to talk with Machi often because she moved to a different country but we would sometimes talk. I dedicate this post to me friend. Machi. Thank you.