I'm happy just putting a smile on someone's face.
My best friend is a prime example. She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met—you’d have to be to go through what she’s been through and still be able to put yourself through two layers of schooling while raising kids on your own. We all have our bad days, though, including her, and she looks to me to guide her through them. I’m grateful for this opportunity. She guided me through some of my darkest moments, so I’m willing to go to the end of the Earth for her.
Yet, she sometimes fears that she's nothing but a dead weight to me, like a burden that I'd be better off without. I hope she understands how wonderful I feel when I put a smile back on her face. Any day when I do that is a good day in my book.
Recently, while I was driving, I received a text from her. With my phone mounted on my dashboard, I could glance at the message preview. She wanted to call me tomorrow morning to work on her writing. So far, so good. Then I started getting darker texts, so I knew I had to act. If I could just find a place to pull over, I could let her know to give me about 10 minutes to get to my destination. Then I'd be there for her.
The country roads refused to cooperate. The breakdown lane spanned the length of a brick; I could've used a brick to vent my frustrations. Searching frantically, I found nothing but gated ranches. Another message arrived: she needed to chat. Needed. I knew if she could just hold on until I found the nearest parking spot I could help her.
Her next text scared me. She wanted to call me and immediately hang up. That's her emergency signal to me. She couldn't talk on the phone at that point—she lived in a condo and there were too many people in the surrounding area who could overhear her. Why can't I find a place to pull over?!
Then I came upon an empty church. A sign from God? Who knows. I just wanted to park. I typed a quick message to let her know I was there for her. Then I explained why I took so long to respond. Once I sent those messages, I felt better. Whatever was getting to her, I knew I could make her feel better.
But she didn't respond. I glanced at my messages to see if I accidentally texted the wrong person or said something stupid. Wait a minute...sending? My texts are still SENDING?! I can't call her right now; I can only text her. Move it, you stupid texts!
After what seemed like a lifetime, my texts finally went through and she explained her predicament. Now I could help her. She told me about her ongoing battle with her insecurities. Tonight, they gnawed away at her self-esteem, obscuring her beauty from her and fooling her into feeling unattractive. Her insecurities bullied her for decades. I wasn't about to let them claim another victory over her.
She is beautiful, and I know I'm not the only one who felt that way. I reminded her of this. Against the agonizing assault of her insecurities, I fought back. In the metaphorical battlefield, I stood beside her, parrying every strike and blocking every shot they fired at her until we alone stood before her fallen enemies.
Her enemies failed. Her beauty shone across the bright, dewy grass. I may have been sitting in a dimly lit empty parking lot, but, in my mind, I proudly raised my fist as a glorious knight in shining armor. And my best friend was more than beautiful enough to qualify as a princess. She understood that now.
When I started my drive, I was upset about something. I couldn't tell you what bothered me anymore. It didn't matter, anyway. I felt so honored that my best friend chose me as her savior. She calls it a burden. If it is, it's a burden I carry proudly.
Thank you, my best friend, for giving me the privilege of making you smile. I do have a debt to repay to you, after all.