The Oldest friend

The problem is not so much the fact that he is always around; rather his stance.

The problem is not so much the fact that he is always around; rather his stance. He postures himself as an ally; a friend. I am beginning to believe otherwise. I remember the first time I discovered him. I must have been 4 or five years old; just a young little kid filled with wonder. We met on an open meadow out by the woods. At first we just stared at each other, watching each other’s moves, circling toe-to-toe. He mimicked my movements and I his. From that moment on we were inseparable. I would see him almost every day and in the summertime we were together until the sun went down. We would play tag or hide and seek and he would always let me win. He was so easy to find. I would chase him as fast as I could and he could never, ever get away from my pursuit. He never left my side. Was he scared to go out on his own? Did he not have any other friends? I propositioned him as to why he never played with anyone else, he never answered-just mimicked me mockingly.

As the years wore on we still saw each other quite frequently. I would see him almost every day and just not notice him. As my life became more and more full of worries and activities I forgot about him more and more. Once in a Blue Moon I would see him out at night. He always seemed a bit scarier during the nighttime meetings; his mimicking more quarrelsome. Nevertheless we were still the strongest and oldest of old friends.

Finally one day, up in years and about to say goodbye to the world, I walked outside with him for a walk before dawn. My chase was slow, but he still let me catchup to him; always the gracious loser. I asked him one last time whether or not he had any other friends. No answer. I asked him why he never ventured off by himself; why was he always by my side when I went for a walk. No answer. I became furious after all of these years without not so much as a peep from him. I started kicking at his feet, trying, urging him to speak. I continued down the path when suddenly, while trying to strike him, I stumbled and fell. I hit my head on the ground and was badly hurt. Lying there on the path, I looked over and barley caught a glimpse of my old friend. The last bit of energy and breathe were spent on asking a final time why he was always by my side. Finally, as the sun was just about to expire for the day, as was I for this life, was I given an answer. I am your shadow.