Okay! This is my story – the story about my best friend, me, and our friendship. My name is Tom and my best friend’s name is Jason. We are best of best friends. We have a good equation, chemistry or whatever you may call it. We met three years ago and we instantly bonded like long-lost friends. Trust me; I have never bonded with anyone like this before. He is quite some chap. You know what I mean, don’t ya?
We are living together for the past three years in an apartment in the West Side. We both love the place. It’s a smart place with great view. I love places with a good view. It puts me in a contemplative or meditative mood occasionally and helps me reconnect with the self. I can be quite spiritual person deep down, at times.
We not only share the apartment but similar taste in almost everything. We even share the bed (Oh! Please do not get me wrong or assume things). We have a routine. I wake him up and we go for jogging in the jogger’s park for an hour, come back home, have breakfast, and then he heads to work. I catch up with the news on TV by lying down on the couch, feeling all snug and warm. After that, I catch up on some sleep and when I wake up, it’s time for lunch. After lunch, I flip through the channels and catch up on the remaining sleep until Jason comes home. Oh! Please do not think that I’m a useless guy, a bunch of lazy bones, who is wasting his life. I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, who believes in the Epicurean philosophy of life – Eat, live, and be merry.
When Jason gets home after work, he tells me everything about what happened at work. By the way, I’m a good listener as well. You guys should try me some time. Anyway, getting back to the point, sometimes it’s a bad day for him and automatically it falls on me to cheer up the guy and make him feel pepped up. After dinner, sometimes we watch a good movie or if there is any nice match going on we watch that. Then, we quietly go to bed saying goodnight to each other.
On weekends we go to Jason’s cousin – George’s farm house and spend some time there. Or we go to the beach with friends and play beach volley or even better check out the babes on the beach. I often end up liking one or two but I can never muster up the courage to approach any one of them. Jason on the other hand, rarely admits that he found any attractive babes. When it comes to approaching, he too is like me – a shy guy. So, mostly we end up just gazing at them and go back home feeling completely dejected at our own inability.
Often Jason’s cousin George (who is married and lives in a large farm house with even larger wife) tries to hook him up with some of his wife’s friends. Knowing George’s wife way too well Jason always evades his cousin’s attempts, which always irks his cousin. When he gets totally pissed off, he takes it out on me and tells Jason that he will be without a girl all his life and will be stuck with me forever. There is something sinister about the way he tells it, as though the worst part is not ending up without a girl but being stuck with me. I must admit at this point that I don’t like George or his attempts at match making or prophecies. Can’t you see, Jason is a happy guy. He goes for jogging regularly (thanks to me), work, and has good social life. He is a simple person with simple needs, just like me. That’s why we get along so well. But some dim-witted morons cannot see or understand that. That’s probably because he cannot see or think anything beyond his large wife and farm house.
Anyway, that’s not of much importance in my story. The twist in the story came when Jason’s mother fell sick and he went to visit his mother. He stayed there for a week or two. Okay! To be exact, 14 days and 4 and a half hours. His mother’s friend and her niece had come to visit his mother on the second day of his stay. His initial plan was to leave on the third day, which never happened.
The niece’s name is Daisy. She is as beautiful as her name. She is his childhood friend. She had come to stay with her aunt during her summer vacations, when she was 3 or 4 and they used to play hide and seek in his house. This was the first time she returned to see her aunt after all these years. Her mother had passed away recently and she wanted a getaway. Therefore, she landed up at her aunt’s place.
When Jason returned home, he was not the Jason I knew. He was a lost man, a man who got himself engaged to be married to his childhood friend. Frankly speaking, I don’t think he even remembers her as his childhood friend. When his mother and her friend said they are childhood friends he could have hardly denied it or the memories of it. When I said he was a lost man, what I meant was that he is not the Jason I knew. He was always in a trance state; smiling to himself, chuckling and the rest of the times on phone with her or out with her on a date. I was not happy the way things were unfolding for me but I was genuinely happy for my best friend. He found a girl for himself.
After 3 months, they got married and she moved in with us. She was nice to me. Nevertheless, I had to move out of his bedroom, I didn’t get to wake him up every morning, and obviously he stopped telling me how his day at office went. However, we all three went for jogging and on weekend trips. With these two lovers, I felt I was playing hide and seek with two people, where no one was hiding from me or seeking me. There were times when I felt I too should find someone. But unlike him, my mother wasn’t around. I retired to my contemplative mood. I felt that though I’m there, my existence was invisible to them.
There is something about Jason that I haven’t told you yet. Like me, he is not a cat person. He is a dog person. Okay, there is a theory that you can only be either a dog person or a cat person. Yes, there are exceptions to it. But generally, you can only be one of these. Jason doesn’t like cats and whenever I chase away a cat he pats me appreciatively. Yesterday, when I saw a cat when we went for jogging, I was seized by the urge to impress Jason. I chased the cat and in my anxiousness to make it dramatic, I ended up killing it. Let me tell you, I had no intentions to kill it. It just happened accidentally. Seeing this Daisy broke into inconsolable tears. Her tears were streaming down as though somebody just opened the shutters of a dam. I’m amazed at how the female species can produce tears in such profusion. Do they have additional lachrymal glands? But what amazes me even more is how a resolute male species completely dissolves in the tears from an opposite gender. He kept consoling her. Even after reaching home, she wouldn’t stop. He didn’t understand what it was all about. Was it just about watching the carnage of a cat or is there more to it? We were in the same boat. Even I didn’t understand but I knew I was in hot water.
She wouldn’t talk. She kept crying. I thought after one or two hours she would stop it. But she didn’t. I seriously doubt whether she had cried herself like this when her mother died. He decided not to go to office. He kept stroking her hair not knowing what else to do. Eventually, she calmed down. He offered her a glass of water and he asked her what was it that bothered her so much. She spoke through sobs and hiccups that when she was 5, her mother had given her a kitten and she had it for several weeks until one day it mysteriously disappeared. She felt sick for a month. She said she was reminded of her Kitty as the cat that was killed today looked like her Kitty.
I felt like laughing, that was something that happened 21 or 22 years ago. Surely, she must be knowing that it can’t be the same cat. The whole day, I spent licking my wounds. Nobody had food that day, as Daisy decided not to have food. Around evening, there were some altercations in the house for the first time. I didn’t want to eavesdrop on their conversation. So, I stayed away from the scene. Moreover, I’m a decent chap who gives respect to people’s privacy. The altercation continued throughout the night. I was awake the entire night and so was the entire household.
Morning he came looking tired and miserable. He was in his jeans and t-shirt instead of jogging wear. He told me, “Let’s go!” I was overjoyed. I was happy that he understood me and stood strong in front of the female lachrymal glands. He got on the car and happily wagging my tail, I hopped on the car. We drove through unfamiliar streets. He was silent and lost in thoughts throughout the journey. I didn’t think it was appropriate to break the silence. I enjoyed his company even through the silence.
The car came to a halt in front of an animal shelter. We entered the premises. He talked to the grumpy looking man and he patted me on my head and walked away in haste, not even looking back once. That’s how my patient listeners how I reached here.
Three legged Jimmy called out, “Welcome aboard mate! Everyone has a story. My master gave me away, when I lost my leg in an accident. No one would adopt me because of my handicap. You look good and you’re healthy. You will find a new home.” And others joined him to welcome Tom. Only Fluffy the cat without any fur kept quiet. When the chatter of welcome died out, she said, “That’s why I always say that dogs are silly and emotional fools. Look at us cats, we never let the humans be our masters. We are our own masters. I need to tell you chap, forgetting the fact that you killed an innocent cat, that you must plot a revenge and this Daisy female she never liked you. She waited for the opportune moment to have you out of their lives.”
Others also agreed to this. Hearing all these Tom said, “That’s the difference between dogs and cats. When we say faithful, we remain faithful to the end. And the paradox in my story is that my friend ditched me for a cat. Man is a fickle being. He does not know what he wants or where his true happiness lies. He might have achieved everything but he is the vulnerable of the lot. Jason still is my best friend. I will wait here till he comes to take me home.”
Fluffy snarled in utter disgust and went back to licking her paws one by one. Tom slipped back to his contemplative mood.