Twenty-six years ago, my best friend, Jeremy Austin Earnshaw was born.
I only considered him my best friend after years of closeness, when he confessed in drunken honesty that he smoked cigarettes. I think he was concerned that I would judge him for some reason. I did not. For whatever strange reason, as little and insignificant a fact as it was, this was the deciding factor in ending my quest for a best friend. It meant I could confide in him all my secrets, no matter how big or small they may be.
He died in a freak drowning accident two and a half years ago. That year, 2008, was by far the worst year of my life, for this and other reasons. It was the year my life, as I knew it, self-destructed, imploded, discontinued to exist. I felt like the life I knew was a sinking ship, and I'd luckily been thrown into a lifeboat by some unknown providence. Right now, I'm in the middle of reading "The Life of Pi", by Yann Martel. In the book, a young boy names Piscine (Pi for short), the son of a zookeeper in India is traveling by sea to his new home of Winnipeg, Canada. During the journey, the ship's engines have some kind of malfunction, and the ship succumbs to the brutality of a violent storm. Pi is thrown overboard onto a lifeboat, in the company of two extremely dangerous creatures, a hyena and a Bengal Tiger, both prior inhabitants of his father's zoo.
I felt a lot like Pi that year. The foundation on which I stood shattered, and what was left, I had to cling to with all my might, even though in the midst of dangerous, savage creatures. I can't reveal the ending of "The Life of Pi", as I haven't even finished it, but I'm assured by the writer that it's a happy ending. I'm sure that Jeremy's ending was a happy one. He's in a better place, while I'm in lifeboat, still surrounded by danger. However, I have hope, even though I feel like I've been tossed from the frying pan into the fire. And I've gotten used to it. But there's still a void in my heart, and my best friend may never be replaced.
I hope my ending will be happy too, but right now I really, really miss my old friend.