My First Friend Ever
He entered my existence like a leaf falling out of a tree and landing upon my shoulder. The randomness of his arrival was sudden, unexpected. I had been wandering around a bit lost, I recall. Odd that later on I would still feel lost, even though he’d shown me how to read a map, whenever he was not near me goading me into endless smiles in that silly way of his.
He loved exploring and that is what I adored about him. The newness in discovering this land, at my ripe old seasoned age now, still has the power to make me at once giddy and dizzy in rapturous awe, although there are few places left for me to discover. Some souls are content to hunt alone, testing themselves only against their own improving skills. Others need an entire community to identify with. Not I. I crave only the intersection of someone who understands what I see. If I am lucky enough to catch the moon rising over a body of water, its shimmering rays reflecting in a wavering path of illumination across the colorless surface, I ache for another set of eyes to see the precise thing I have seen. Somehow it makes it more real, less a figment of my own piercing imagination.
I had questions galore and I rarely kept quiet. He must have had the patience of an ancient statue, listening to me blabber on and on. My thirst for knowledge was unquenchable back then; I know I could have been considered bothersome. He never made me feel that way, however. Instead he almost delighted in the freshness of my narrow perspective. Not only did he patiently explain things to me, he also took time from his own endeavors to come show me the answers. I would wait with happiness barely contained, anticipating his lessons like a child waiting for Father Winter.
I noticed after some time that he was fond of disguises. Sometimes he would appear before me as himself. Other times he would come find me and “accidentally bump into me”, only for me to find out later from a well timed word or phrase that he was indeed the same soul. These surprises felt wonderful to me. I knew it had taken forethought and attention given to wherever I might be. He was clearly enjoying his anonymous status and that moment when I finally understood the soul was his own. Whenever that happened, warmth would fill me rather than agitation. I enjoyed that he thought enough of my company to go to the trouble.
He had suggestions for me to explore and ideas to set off sparks of excitement in me. He was thoughtful beyond measure. He gave me items to ease my path, not gifts of epic proportions, but common sense ones. To me they were pure gold because they came from his desire to help. I tried to resist taking too much from him. I did this for two reasons: one, I am not a girl who wants a sled load of gifts to count as treasures. I prefer to travel light with a heart full of caring; and two, I never EVER wanted him to think even remotely that my attachment to him was manipulative. It was my own poor fortune to be borne into a race where so many of my own were seen as both needy and shallow. I often felt like a misfit among other elves and resented when others assumed I was a particular way, taunting me to dance for their own pleasures. He never thought that of me, I knew. He treated me with the utmost respect and consideration and left the seedier nature of my kind to others more anxious to earn that reputation.
I did not see him every day, as I tried not to impose on his journeys. It would not have meant as much to me if he came to me from a sense of duty. I wanted him to come out of free will. The days that he did were all that more special to me because of it.
There came a time, though, when he was weary and tired. I had learned enough to survive just fine on my own two long feet and was quite capable of seeking out others for companionship. I might add that none held near as special a place for me as my first ever friend. I knew he was aging and needed rest, but I did not anticipate his disappearance. It came as sudden to me as his arrival. One day he was a wind current carrying me along on a thermal; then another day, he was gone like a glorious rainbow when the moisture has evaporated.
I never forgot Tereas or the profound impression his intersection with my life left me with. I write my memories now of him to capture the closeness of something so pure and untainted. I write to honor the quality of friendship we had. I write with honor and integrity, the very lessons he taught me without even knowing he had, purely by example. I was lucky to know such a quality soul and will think of that every time I reread this memory of him, captured forever now in my own personal snapshot of the meaning he held for me.