Last week, I was out drinking with Herbert. We talked about many things, including our childhood and old friends from school. Simply, we talked about the good old times. I reminded him that in 5 years, we would still be less than 50 years old, yet we would have been friends for 4 decades.
As mentioned on an earlier post titled ‘True Friends’, my childhood circle of friends numbered more than 20 people. As the years went by, I met new friends too. Circumstances and life changing events led me recognize my true friends.
One thing I did recognize was how this long lasting friendship happened. It happened because we have common interests, and we nurtured our friendship. We were selfless to each other. We were there for each other, in good times, and in bad times. We were always in each other’s heart. Even if there are times when we did not see each other for extended period of times, we still care for the welfare of each other.
As we drank more beer, I told Herbert a story I have never told anyone.
There was a time, when I was 13 or 14 years old, when it became customary for me and a few other friends to go to Teddy’s house during lunchtime. (Teddy is also from the same school Herbert and I went to. He was also a good friend of Herbert.) They have a 3-storey house. I can’t remember what’s on the ground floor. We always go up to the 2nd floor and hangout. The 3rd floor is where they live. Each time we arrive at the house, someone has to secure 2 German Shepherds. I remember them telling me one of them was vicious and can bite people.
Once, as my friends and I climbed up the narrow staircase leading to the 2nd floor, I saw the German Shepherds on the 2nd floor coming to us. I was 2nd in line, and recognizing the danger, without thinking, I jumped to the front and shielded my friends. Thankfully, the dogs did not attack. Someone was there to grab the dogs.
In the brief moment of time, I was selfless. I protected my friends, and for that reason, I now have true friends. For that very same reason too, I was burned. I was stabbed in the back. I was taken advantage of. I made myself vulnerable.
As I continue to recognize people who have been true to me, I started learning how to protect myself. My true friends have my back covered, as I do for them. Around me are still people who will pounce on me when given the chance. Will I let them?