My Best Friend Mike

My Best Friend Mike

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Create Your Best Future

My Best Friend Mike

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

~Elbert Hubbard

“Hi. It’s Mike…”

“Hi, Mike, what’s the matter?” Mike had been going through a lot lately, and it was not unusual for him to sound upset.

“I need to tell you something, but I’m not sure if I should,” he said. Curiosity got the best of me, and I convinced him to let me in on his big secret.

“I can’t tell you on the phone. Come over.” I walked for five minutes around the block, rang his doorbell and followed his mother’s instructions to go up to his room.

Mike had been my best friend for the past two years. At first I thought he was weird. We met during our freshman year of high school and soon became inseparable. The summer after that year was the highlight of our friendship. I never had more fun with any other person. We spent every night and every day together. Time flies when you are having fun, however, and we soon found ourselves back in school. I began to notice a change in Mike. The fun ceased, and I felt a strain in our friendship.

Mike was suffering from depression, and I could not understand why. He seemed to have everything going for him. He was doing well in school, there were no problems at home, and he had many friends who loved him. I soon found myself spending every weekend in his bedroom, trying to convince him to cheer up. Nothing seemed to work. His parents became worried and decided to seek professional help.

Mike began to take medication to counteract his depression, and things seemed a little better, but they were not what they used to be. I was still clueless as to what had been causing this change in his behavior. I did not want to give up on my true best friend, so I continued spending painful hours trying to drag him out of his house.

It was one of those weekends, and there I was, sitting on his bed, waiting to hear what he had to say. I had a sense that he was about to tell me something serious. There was a strange look in his eyes, and he would not focus them on me. The silence was overbearing. He finally looked up at me.

“I’m gay.” It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I was shocked. “Okay” was all I managed to utter. Silence followed for minutes afterward.

It took some getting used to, but I decided right then and there that I was not going to lose my best friend over it. Mike seems to be back to his normal self these days. We’re seniors now, and I still spend a large portion of my time with him and his friends.

A smile comes to my face every time I think back to the first day we met, and the first thought that came to my mind as I approached the bus stop that day: Who is that weird kid? That weird kid is my true best friend, Mike, and there is nothing weird about him.

~Brian Leykum

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