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Journal Entry - Dec. 26, 2002

(Requiem for two friends)

TGI Friday's. I'd been here three times while in the States, and before that? The last time was with a boy from church - Danny. We talked of many things - atmosphere, music, and he was the first boy with whom I could discuss all the contents of that notebook and all the unsent letters I wrote to it to replace those to whom I did not dare say the words. It was my best friend and worse enemy, on whom I placed all the affection I couldn't mouth. He understood because he was the same way, but with him, he never explained to anyone because he wrote letters only to one person, and only she needed to know. He didn't know when he'd see her again, but he kept her in a little pocket in his wallet and showed her to me; I knew her then by a smile and a name - Kelly. With that, Danny and I were connected - strangers that were best friends. He became one of those "once-in-a-while" friends that saved me when I tottered, who was never distant because he was never close, and could see me fall where others couldn't because they were too close.

I feel as if he changed me somehow. It must have been, as shortly afterward, I wrote about that day in that notebook, a thousand times rewritten in my mind, but with as much freedom as if it were no task. I was lively, upbeat without being bipolar, free from unnecessary weight, even sarcastic and humorous with my words. Goodbye, depression.

He left a few days before me. That notebook had said goodbye a while before as well, with the words still breathing inside. I didn't expect to see either of them again. He hasn't spoken, either. I email him occasionally on a whim, and he gives me unintentional silence. I know for a fact - he'd mentioned it when I was still in Bangkok - that he sets his emails on exclusive - to those whose emails he already knew. And he never knew/will never know mine.

This place reminded me of him, and I don't feel bitter either. He leaves smiles and amusing memories that could probably be resparked in an instant if I were to see him again. As mentioned before - never close, never distant.

Oh but I still know him. He is a smile and a memory, the face of a boy somewhere in Taiwan. Perhaps that's unfair - he's a man now, was a man even back when I knew him in Bangkok. I've preserved the template of him - forever young.

God bless, hugs and kisses.

Lots of Love,
><> Elizabeth <><