as a boy, i had a friend, her name was Kirsten.
we seldom spoke. it was a silent friendship. she sat next to me on the bus, and i sat next to her in class. sometimes i would ask her how her day was, and some days she would ask me if i have water in my bottle on the way back home.
mostly though, there were moments of silence. i never noticed them, because i had other friends who were much closer to me. i never noticed that she ate her lunch by her desk, that she remained in class during recess, and other simple things about her. but what was i to do, i was eight. none of those things entered my head.
we spent more than half the year in this silent friendship, something that was a matter of convenience to both her and myself.
then, one day, she did not climb onto the bus. she did not sit next to me in class. she wasn’t there. i shrugged. maybe she was sick.
this went on for about a month, until it reached a point where i missed her and her quiet demeanour. i asked the class teacher where Kirsten was, and she told me that she had fallen very, very ill and would not be coming back to class.
it wasn’t until years later that i understood the reason for her silence, for her shyness, and the honor she had placed upon me by letting me be a part of it all.
i hope you found your way back, Kirsten.
watercolor on canvas.