If I were to explain his pain, I should be a man. “You don’t understand,” he said. The fear in his eyes told me I would have if he had let me see. I would have. In this part of town, we’ve been raised that boys don’t cry. They don’t ask why they are treated second handily. Or how they are expected to head families and be social leaders all the time. But I never cared for that. Hell! I would have encouraged him to tell me what was going on. And when I saw tears running free from his red eyes, I sat. Without any prompt he finally told me the truth and it was far from what I had expected. He mouthed those words and I made them in my head not hearing any word he said, I knew that this was not new. And to find out I was right threw me back.
“Are you going to help me get through this?”, his voice trapped me to agree. Who could ignore a broken soul. So I held his hands and they were cold. His skin was pale and it scared me a little. It scared me to know a friend I have had for so long might be gone. “I’m not going to cry”, I said holding back tears. “You will be fine,” the words came out and yes with tears. And with his eyes heavy with tears, he managed a smile. Those were the events of yesterday.
Today the smell of medicine lingered on my clothes. It had been a while coming back here. The sound of the machines accompanied by crying babies, affirmed my presence at this place. “You can come in now,” the nurse said to me. I stood up and my legs were heavy. I could not proceed, I thought but I had to. My friend was in that room, I had to see him. I had to apologize for not being there for him. I had to. While I was outside the room, I heard cries from inside. I peeped in and saw people gathered around him. My heart stopped awhile. Then the door opened and some distraught man welcomed me in. “He has been waiting for you,” he said, taking my hand and helping me in. And there he was.