The List

She had a list of things in her head.
It wasn’t a list that was intentionally created, but one that was formed out of things she’d been told over the years. Things that had happened to friends, friends of friends and acquaintances. There were even some that came from things that people had done for her. They were the things that brought her a smile to her face.

They ranged from the mundane to the mind blowing –
… Like the emails sent on a busy work day just to let someone know you cared. That you wanted to cheer them up when they were down.

… Like telling someone how much they meant to you in the most indirect manner possible. Because sometimes directness crosses the line into mush and sentiment, taking away from the core of the thought.

… Like just giving someone a hug, or patting their shoulder or head to let them know you are there for them.

… Like long walks where you said nothing because you knew the other person needed someone around, and yet did not want to talk.

… Like doing something only YOU can do for someone – paint a tshirt even if you aren’t great at art, create a video, a mixtape, a wallpaper, anything. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it creates a memory.

… Like giving someone a surprise. Something they had no clue would ever happen and almost sucker punched them in the gut on a random day.

… Like just calling up because you knew they needed to hear from you. And even though you had a million other things to do, you choose to take time out to give someone who was alone company while they were alone somewhere.

There were many more such things. And often, she did not even know when a new mental note happened. These were things that friends did – not the regular friends, but the friends for life kind of friends. They were the small acts of thoughtfulness, the ones that just slipped by when one was busy looking at the big picture. Different friends did one or the other out of these many things at different points in time.

And then one day, she suddenly realized that a single friend had done all of them. Even the ones that she’d never spoken about, which were more of dreams that stemmed from someone else’s experiences. Even the ones that she’d always deemed near impossible in her context because she was good at sabotaging some of these things. A single friend sneaked up on her, and did them all. Made her realize that the list existed, and that every item on it could be ticked off even before the realization of the list’s existence had sunk in.

That’s when she realized how (and why) people fell in love with their best friends.
And, predictably, she did too.
Over and over again. With every check mark that got added.

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