This is, by chance, not a love story.
This is a story about a very strange friendship; a relationship that was created based on almost nothing at all but has so far lasted as if the foundation was laid strongly, brick by brick, mortared with the mighty volcanic ash from bareback mountains from the world's far end. This is a story about how completely two strangers, divided by a wide stretch of an open sea, got to know each other in an occasion most of us usually refer to as coincidence. This is a story about humanity and divided emotions; a story about sharing, caring, and the likes.
This, in fact too, is a story I write in an ode for a faraway friend; never I ever have met in my entire life face to face. This is a story I write in order to show my endless appreciation for the care and the coming of this special one from the day we met till when this story is written, and God bless, for an even longer, prosperous time to come.
This is a story about you.
* * *
There was a time when life was not so kind to me in the past.
Devastated and hopeless; angst got to me real quick. Just like when you start to give up to keep on walking to a destination unknown in this journey of life, I fell on my knees in the middle of the walkway, surrounded by a total emptiness; a flanking stillness that echoed nothing but the sound of my own tired breath. There was too little hope, and there was too many tests. Future faded from my eyes, and all I saw was merely nothing - nothing at all. And there I sat on my bended knees; cold, exhausted, dying. And the rest of the people, they just kept on walking.
At that point, nothing could really save me.
But who would ever have expected, that someone would come and offered me her hand for me to hold. Out of thin air she appeared and pulled me up although I showed her much resistance, more than she could ever take. With her little strength she pulled me up and shouldered me as we both walked again, towards a destination unknown, against all odds that mattered.
She took care of me, a complete stranger to her, from hundreds of miles away. If upsetting event was about to happen to me, it will never happen, for she will first halt them from even showing up and whack the crap out of them evil things dead, only to leave one back alive to where it belongs so that the one alive could live to tell the tale.
And here I am today, standing on my own mighty feet, walking like a tiger, all prepped up for any incoming terror. At this point nothing could ever poked into my veins no more; for I am better, stronger, mightier than ever. All these are the things I owed her.
Then came my birthday.
She was one of the first few persons who wished me on that date. Even weeks before that she promised that she will send me something as a birthday gift, an offer from which I hardly accepted even until today. And Lord knows how many times I have to turn down her offer each time she asked me what do I want for my birthday.
And then there was a time when she fell and knocked herself wounded on the pavement during the walk of life sometime back, and I did not at all resist to lift her small body up and carried her like she once did to me not a little too long ago. Let there be hailstorms and quakes; I'd still carry her along the way, and I did.
I did it all the way.
Soon to discover that I was to leave the country a few weeks back, she thought I was never to return. Prior to her birthday just a few hours before my flight, I wished her though in my heart I tried my best not to, for I knew that that wish could be the worst she could have ever received from anyone this bloody year. And I knew, the moment I entered that goddamn plane that cold Wednesday morning, she was in her bed, crying.
I didn't even say goodbye.
Gone was the man who was always stood by her side, in her mind she kept telling. Now who will stand by her; to keep her happy, to keep her well, to keep her rock steady? No one. No one ever will. And she cried days and nights to that thought, a full three days and three nights completely bedridden, swamped and drowned in her very own tears.
Only to know that less than a week after that, I was back again for good.
And why did I do that? Seriously enough I did and still do not know what do I give for her birthday, so I thought a bit of surprise will make her day somewhat. And deep inside I still hope that this, all that I did, could be the best birthday present she had ever received, if not in her entire life then let it just be for this bloody year.
Because nothing reliefs you better than to know that a friend that you can count on, but has left you to a place so far away, comes back again just to be by your side.
Thank you for everything, Fara.
* * *
"Nazmi," she said. "Tell me what do you want for your birthday, please. I ran out of ideas already. Seriously."
I just smiled as I heard her frowning.
"Fara," I said. "If there was anything valuable that I have ever wished to get this year, is for you to promise me that you will live well and healthy, happy and prosper, though without me, because nothing really matters to me at all anymore at this point, other than to know that you are living happily out there in the faraway land."