Friends are a strange lot. The definition of friend changes over the course of our lives. It means different things to different people. We have different expectations for different friends.
When I was a child, a friend was someone I got along with and played with. Best friend was someone I did this with frequently and who I could also trust. Sometimes they broke my trust, but I’m sure I did the same.
Friendships evolved as the teen years arrived. I continued to have friends of both genders, but things became complicated by hormones. Inevitably, one side would develop a crush on the other. Ray, my best friend, and I thought we might be perfect as a couple since we were fantastic as best friends. We attempted a kiss while alone in his truck one Saturday night. Almost as soon as the kiss started it ended with both of us backing away immediately. We just gaped at one another. Slight disgust was apparent on both faces. We agreed it felt too familiar and to never attempt the experiment again. We needed to know to move past the big question and now could. He shifted to dating nearly every single girlfriend in my inner circle, one after the other. Like he was doing a taste test. Hilarious and none of the participants took any of the connections seriously. My friendship with this guy was invaluable. I learned a close, platonic friendship with the opposite gender was possible. This is the reason I still believe it is possible, though both sides must have the same intentions for it to work. I trusted him with my life. Eventually, his parents moved away, and we lost touch. I still miss him a great deal and sometimes wonder if we will run into each other again one day. I sincerely hope so. It would be wonderful to see the man he grew up to be.