“I’ve always loved her.”

My friend chuckled. “Love is weird, isn’t it?”

“It’s just that… I can’t love her.”

My friend nodded. “Love is confusing too.”

“Why can’t life go the way I want it to?”

My friend said nothing.

A canyon of a pause enveloped us as we sat there. I looked at him. There was a mountain of care in his eyes; I saw that so clearly I cried. He watched me dry my eyes on my sleeve.

I sniffled. “Haven’t you ever been in love?”

My friend laughed and leaned back in his chair. “Oh sure. Plenty of times.”

“Then why don’t you ever fall apart like me?”

A soft smile crawled onto his face. His eyes met mine and he said, “I refuse to be defined by my relationship status.”

Those were the last words he ever said to me. I took his advice.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ―Rudyard Kipling