It was a hot, humid late September morning, just a few days before summer ended and we all went back to school. My summer friend and I were walking along a sandy unpaved road leading to the beach. The sand was hot on our feet and we were almost dancing our way to the ocean to cool off.
My friend would be leaving soon going back north to the cold and snow. We shared many stories that summer and many hopes and dreams. I told him how I wanted to be an explorer and on the first spaceship to Mars if we were lucky enough to go in my lifetime. He, in his gentle and kind way, explained the science behind going on such an adventure. I was Jules Verne, full of wild abandon, a brooding poet deep and contemplative. He was the serious scientist looking at how we would do the things we dreamed of, looking at life with a philosopher’s soul.
It was a sad moment; the setting sun full of beauty and brilliance marking our last day together. Tears were hard to hide for the bond of friendship had grown during these sweltering summer days, but life calls us away and we must return to our separate lives. I never did see him again, but his influence would be something I carried all through my life.
I will never forget my wise friend. Even now he always whispers reason into my ear when I get off course.
Strange are the ways of the world, my Dear, Long-lost Friend, Larry! The feelings of an ever-painful vacuum are equally paramount this side as well. How can I ever forget the warmth of a bigger-than-life-size friend I met during my summer sojourn? Although we failed to meet again, never in your wildest dreams must you imagine that we parted for good. What makes me say that? The deep-rooted respect for your wisdom, your brotherly love and tender care, the quick wit, as also the nature-loving free bird that always looked for solace in the wild remain in the deepest recesses of my psyche.
Part 2 by Bharat Mathur
Let me share a little secret with you, Dear Larry; you might not have succeeded in pursuing your dreams of visiting Mars but rest assured the scientist in me gave birth to a gentle soul that found a host of other exciting opportunities as well. I have many different hats through this passage of time. Feeling strong affinity for the Motherland, I devoted some valuable years serving in the armed forces. Upon discharge, a necessary adjustment to civil life pushed me into a sequence of ventures, took me from coast-to-coast, and from country-to-country.
I still nurture the fond feelings of a carefree splash in the ocean where the two of us had fun that the richest of the richest may never imagine in their wildest dreams. All those beautiful moments we spent together make me nostalgic. Although life has its strange ways of separating and again reuniting the warm-hearted ones, I have NOT lost hope that we are destined to meet, and meet we shall, sooner than you believe. My heart tells me it’s been coming a long time, if not Down-South than definitely Up-North. So, get your bags ready as we are about to select a mutually convenient rendezvous. Until then, THREE CHEERS, Larry!
Point Of View
Friends will always influence how you see life. They add value to who you are, loving and believing in you. Without friends, part of who we are is missing. This story is part memories, part fiction with a dear friend added into the mix. Thank you, Bharat Mathur, for your heartfelt contribution.