Today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends. If I think about it, he's rather an unlikely person to be my friend - and wouldn't have been except for certain circumstances.
Let me explain. We were classmates at b-school. Same class, same section, a few common electives. So we met each other every day. We even had common friends - two of my best friends were friends of his. Yet, while we had a healthy respect for each other, we never really touched base. One reason being, that we were both busy with other (now inconsequential) things to have much time for fraternising.
He was one of the early birds to get a job (or the worm, if you want to put it that way). I got one too, eventually. It was time to move out. And I did, without meeting any of those three friends, without saying a proper goodbye.
Strangely however, the friendships persisted. Maybe true friends are like that. He came to visit me once, with one of our common friends. After that, we didn't keep very well in touch.
Then I got back in touch with the other close friend. This friendship went too deep for distance to fade it. It took only a few days to become better friends than we had ever been, only a few conversations to bare our souls to each other. Maybe the distance helped. It was like talking to God, or to oneself: talking to a listener who does not exist.
This friend is my Guy, and we are getting married in a week. But I began by talking of my other friend, whose birthday it is today. He and the Guy have been the best of friends for years. So my relationship with the Guy brought me closer to him too. So much so that now I probably talk to him more than the Guy does. Yes, the Guy will always come first for him. But when he comes to our wedding next week, I'll know he'll be there for me too.
We might disagree (often), fight (rarely, I hope), and meet but once a year (or less - who knows?), yet this is one friendship that I hope will last. I need him in my life, need him to be the rock he's been. He is the only person before whom I might contemplate cribbing to about the Guy - simply because I know the esteem and affection he has for him, which would not make my act the disloyalty it would be with anyone else. To put it simply, I need him because he's a genuine friend - and experience has taught me these are hard to find.
So, on his birthday, I wish him happiness to fill his life.