when I met him I knew what I didn’t want–

friends.

I met him working a lock in, and he was the one who asked

if I–the girl with headphones sitting alone on a rock

in a sea of rocks–was okay.

I wasn’t.

I didn’t want friends. but when he asked to climb

I said yes.

he introduced me to his girlfriend–red hair, feisty smile

warm words–and I liked her.

I still didn’t want friends.

I dodged hugs until I couldn’t dodge them anymore.

I hid my tears until I couldn’t anymore.

I buried my past until the words wouldn’t hide anymore.

I closed my heart until it couldn’t keep them out anymore.

now, I have two friends.

he likes death metal. I like acoustic.

she likes dresses. I hardly wear shoes.

they can both curse a blue streak. I’m a silent rager.

they find home in each other. I’m still aching.

they don’t believe in God. I do. and I think they should too.

I’m still scared

to have friends.

but when we’re together we all

laugh a lot

sing a lot

play a lot

create a lot

speak a lot

beĀ a lot.

a dysfunctional family, we three, to be sure

but a family, yes indeed.

we’ve got our dark days.

but if I find the courage to reach out a hand

I know it will find someone.

I guess friends are good for something.

now here we are–he’s going to school

and I don’t want to say

goodbye.

again, I am afraid

to have friends.

perhaps because last time I said goodbye

it turned out to be a lot worse than I thought

it was going to be.

but when I remind myself to listen, I hear

their plans for the future, I hear

myself in them.

South Africa, New Zealand.

movies to watch, rocks to climb.

houses to live in.

they’re not leaving me behind.

and I want to say–I’m only ever close to happy

when I’m with you two.

but I don’t.

instead I tell them I’m thankful.

instead I tell myself–

it’s okay to have friends.