Once upon a time, there was John. He was a freshmen in college and has been waiting for a long time to start a new chapter in his life. He knew that it would be an exciting one. Four years of making friends, forging memories and making history. Life was full of possibilities. His only regret though was that he did not attend his own freshmen orientation camp. And so making friends was difficult at first and he was pretty stressed out during his first year in college. His results in school wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good either. But he did not give up. He tried to make things right by participating in other freshmen orientation camps in subsequent years. Eventually by his third year, his circle of friends grew so large that he felt comfortable knowing just about anyone and everyone in school. When he walked through the corridors of his campus, there was always someone that he could smile or greet. Anyone who knew John, respected him. For one who is naturally an introvert, making lots of friends was quite an achievement. Though, it took him a while to get comfortable with lots of people.
Life was good. His friends supported him through his studies, and he got better. He eventually knew more of his peers through his core group of friends and thus his network of friends expanded dramatically. He was not the most popular person in class, but he was widely known because of his efforts in making friends through the first and second year in school.
It was not until his third year, that Dale came along. Dale was a low key kinda guy. He did not have that many friends, although he had his own small little clique. John only knew Dale recently after an introduction by one of his other friends within Dale’s circle. His name was Jack. Jack, in John’s eyes was a wonderful person. He has a warm personality, a infectious smile that seemed to put everyone at ease when someone is having a conversation with Jack. Overall, Jack is likeable fellow with a sincere attitude. Dale was a smart guy. He aced his studies year after year. But not many people knew that. He preferred to keep it to himself and relied only on his small circle of friends, including Jack. He was content in keeping it that way.
As time goes by, John got to know more about Dale. It took a while before they regarded each other as good friends. Slowly, but surely, they found common interests and tastes to certain things that were compatible with each other. As a result, they could hold a decent conversation about subjects and topics that interested them both. They soon got comfortable with each other and eventually got accepted into Dale’s circle of friends.
John felt that he was lucky to get to know Dale, for Dale in his eyes was a special person to him. He is smart, fit and good looking. He has a unique sense of humour and a great taste in fashion. John admired and respected him greatly. Every time when they were together, be it in school or outside hanging out, John would feel special. Strangely for him, it was a very difficult feeling to describe, but he knew that the friendship they had forged was slightly different than with the rest of his peers, and therefore, there were times when it made John exasperated because he knew that certain feelings got in the way when he tried to be as normal as possible when he is with Dale. John constantly asked himself; why is he so special? What is this feeling I am experiencing when I’m with Dale? Why do I react differently when he and I were alone together? John never knew, and will probably never know if Dale feels that exact same way as John.
John cherished Dale’s friendship deeply. It made him feel special. Personality wise, John and Dale were not exactly compatible, but they at least had common interests at heart. For a time, spending time with him was all that mattered to John. Dale’s friendship was sacred, and he would soon be extremely loyal to Dale. He sometimes went to great lengths to be with him, and to please him. But of course, Dale never suspected anything. But John did not mind. He was willing to protect and preserve their friendship, because it made John feel special. Soon, John decided to go one step further. He toyed with the idea of telling Dale his true feelings towards Dale. For a long time, he thought about it and deliberated on that decision. But fear gripped him, for he played through in his mind the various scenarios of what might have happened if he confessed his feelings for him. In the end, he decided against it, and would rather remain as it was. Good friends. His fear of losing and breaking that sacred bond of friendship was greater than the revealing his true feelings for him.
Whenever John talked to Dale enthusiastically about something, or made a joke and if Dale smiled and laughed along side him, he felt special and warm. Whenever Dale looked at John in the eye, it seemed to John that time suddenly slowed down. When Dale laughed at John’s jokes or commented about something, he felt like a million suns had suddenly shone brightly in his gut, warming him up. John knew that he could only enjoy these small moments and would never amount to anything substantial. John also knew that it would not last. People grow older, and eventually moved own with their lives. John knew that Dale would eventually settle down, find the love of his life and start a family. Eventually as years go by, Dale would simply regard John as an old friend. Of friendships forged during their hay days when life felt good an infinitesimal. But in reality, like sand through the hourglass, those glory days would come and go. He also knew that John should not keep such secrets away from anyone, lest you regret it for the rest of his life. But how could he? How could John possibly do such things, showing his true feelings for him and risking ruining their friendship? A friendship that they had built together. A friendship so fragile, like glass, for a single blow would shatter everything and bring John’s world crashing down.