I'm laying on the grass with my best friend. We've both got our knitting out, and we're watching the swallows swoop down over the lake. There's nothing excting happening, but it's one of those perfect moments where you're just happy to be alive.
Click. Click. The sound of our knitting is the only noise around. I look at her, and I can tell something's wrong. I don't ask, though. I know she'll tell me when she's ready, and prying will only make her less willing. Click. Click. One of the beautiful coy fish glides by, and we both watch it in silence. Click click. Finally, she speaks.
"We had another fight," She tells me. I thought it might be something like that. She and her boyfriend have been together for years, but lately they've been having some problems. She's the strong, independent type. He's sweet, but a bit too controlling. These days he seems to be smothering her, never letting her do anything unless he's around. She made a stand, and he got pissed. Violently so. I don't think he'd ever hurt her; he knows she'd break him if he tried. But he takes it out on the things around him. This time it happened to be her car. For the first time since they've started dating, she's having doubts about their relationship.
I let her vent. I don't figure there's anything I can say that she doesn't already know. I just listen. And when she's done, I start singing. It sounds odd, but it's something we've always done. Sometimes a song can say what you mean better than you ever could. She smiles a little and joins in. Pretty soon we're singing our hearts out, shouting into the wind. I've sung a few comforting ones to her, and she's let it all out in some angry ones. Before long we're both feeling better.
She falls silent again, and I notice she's watching me. I ask her what she's thinking about. "Nothing," She tells me, and averts her eyes. I shrug and go back to my knitting. She starts singing softly, and I recognize it as a song from one of my favorite musicals. "Cupid now, Cupid please. I beg, I plead, I implore. Can't I be in love with her and not the one that I love more?" Then she blushes and looks away.
I have to say, I never expected this. She's my best friend. I've known her most of my life. She's been there for me through everything. She was my biggest support when I came out, and my shoulder to cry on when my girl and I split up. She's always been an avid gay rights activist, but she's also always had a boyfriend. The thing is, I don't know what to think of this. Yes, I find her attractive. Yes, I enjoy her company. But I've never actually had a crush on her or anything.
I don't really know how to handle the situation. So I play it cool. I tell her that I'm no better than anyone else out there. Let's face it, I'm not one of the beautiful people. And while I'm not a complete jerk, I'm far from perfect. She agrees with me. But then she says something I'll never forget. "Someday you'll find the right person. And when you do, you'll be their Angel." Now, I don't know if any of you are fans of the musical Rent, so that may not make sense to anyone. But to sum it up, an "Angel" is someone who walks into your life and suddenly gives it meaning. They're the ones who can light up a room just by being in it. The type of person we all strive to be. A long story made short, it's the best compliment I've ever recieved.
I suddenly feel very sappy. Things haven't been going well for me, and that simple compliment was more kindness than I can take right now. I feel the tears welling up, and I turn away. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people seeing me cry. So I offer to go make us some tea. As I'm walking toward the house, I can her her start to sing again. "Don't you wish we could be in love?..." Before I can stop it, a single tear slides down my cheek.