For the past two weeks, I’ve been anxious and depressed. I have received a tentative job offer from a company, and any day now, I am hoping to get the firm offer. The deadline to submit everything was last Friday, November 28. It’s only been a day and a half, I keep reminding myself to no avail.
What would I do if I didn’t get this job? It seems like a shoe-in; what if it slips through my fingers like the previous offer from the university? They did my background check after they gave me the offer, only to rescind it the next day. I was crushed.
I get obsessed so easily whether it’s women, job offers, material goods, aikido, et cetera. I develop the worst tunnel vision.
Without much faith, I have been begging God to give me patience and to wait on Him. I’m having loads of trouble doing that, though.
I quickly forgot about these problems, however, when I learned yesterday that my best friend from high school had passed away.
I have never had another friend like David; I don’t expect that I will. We were kindred spirits. Somehow we connected on the first day of high school despite having come from different middle schools. We were both anti-social and awkward without realizing it. We knew each other better than anyone because we were just like each other.
It was the hardest thing in the world for us to make friends with others. We were so shy and afraid of interacting with people that it’s a wonder how the two of us even met. I guess it was our destiny. I don’t recall how we actually met; I just remember having metals class with him, and, before I knew it, we were best friends. Neither of us had a circle of friends, so we made our own circle of two. We didn’t let anybody in, and no one wanted in.
Maybe it was like having an identical twin brother. I don’t know what that’s actually like, but I have read that identical twins are best friends for life. Maybe David’s and my friendship — no, our bond — was like that.
We weren’t complete unless we were together. We confided in each other — even stuff that our parents never knew about.
One time when he had built up the nerve to skip school and spend the day in the woods, I was lost and even envious. Just going one school day without him had me wandering around the halls, dazed and depressed.
Only one time did we fight; I mean literally fight. David was fuming because I decided to hang out with his neighbor, a dorky kid our age who liked the same 80s hair metal (before it was called “80s hair metal”) bands but didn’t have the same connection to David or to me.
In our confrontation later that day, we came to blows; we were both crazed with anger. Amazingly, that was the only time we were ever at odds with each other. It was the strangest thing.
Being a mama’s boy, I attended college close enough in order to keep living with my family. David told me a few times in passing that he was considering the military. I didn’t believe him. I mean, he couldn’t leave! I was attending college near my house, and our life was the same as it was in high school — just the way we wanted it.
But David ended up joining the army. His departure date loomed in our minds, overtaking us like a shadowy demon.
In college, I was recruited to join a Christian cult (but that’s a different story), and David was in the army, stationed far away. We kept in touch, but life took us down different avenues. Eventually we lost contact.
Around the year 2000, I was desperate to locate my best friend. David’s dad was transferred around the country a lot, so I had no idea where to start looking. Google produced no results. Several times I almost hired a private investigator.
I refused to give up. David was more shy and anti-social than I (and that’s saying a lot), so I figured he didn’t want to be found. Nevertheless, I continued scouring the Internet. Then my online searches for him became intermittent; about once a year, I did searches, always coming up with nothing.
I was becoming convinced that he was in the witness protection program or something.
Well, yesterday I did my annual Google search for David, and the fifth result was his obituary. On the website, David’s mother had listed her phone number hoping that I would see it and contact her.
It took me over a year to find the obituary and phone number, but I did indeed find them.
Last night, for the first time in over 21 years, I was speaking to his mother. Same voice and everything. That alone made me cry; I wasn’t ready for it. Hearing the pain in her voice brought everything together, and it finally hit me that my best friend of all time was dead.
After finding out about David and talking to his mother all evening, I am sobered and humbled. I had been stressing out over a measly job offer while David’s mother has been going through hell, perpetually grieving over both of her sons who were taken from her way too soon. (David’s older brother passed away when I was in college.)
I miss you, buddy. I will always miss you.