The New M.E. Generation











The last time I saw my friend during college was on my Senior year. I don’t recall how it all happened, but he came to visit me.

I think he was on the area for an interview or simply decided to know my life in school the same way I had done with him.

I couldn’t get to the airport, so he rented a car and found his way to my dorm.

It was great seeing him. He was wearing a jacket (a habit that would repeat many times over) and was very happy to have made it.

My residence was an apartment and one of my roommates had brought a sofa, so it became his bed. Funny enough, this piece of furniture would become another item that would serve me well.

The memories of those few days are sketchy, but I took him to dinner to an Italian restaurant I loved.

During dinner we got up to date again about the future and, as always, he had a plan. He was checking stocks on certain airlines and according to what he was seeing and learning about the companies, he would then decide on which one to apply to.

He knew he would probably have to move if an opportunity occurred, but he was fine with it. He knew he couldn’t be that choosy if he wanted to make anything good of his aspiring career.

While at dinner, he mentioned to me that his maternal grandmother wasn’t doing well. All of a sudden, he slouched down in the chair, looked sideways and got really emotional to the brink of almost crying.

I had the chance of meeting her. She meant a lot to him because, after his parents’ divorce and his mom going back to work, the grandma was the one who basically raised him.

I was shocked at how vulnerable he became, as I had never seen him like this. He had always been the strong one for both, the one that never let anything bring him down.

I sat there, frozen, not knowing what to do. I suddenly reached out and grabbed his hand across the table.

But, unfortunately, he remained as he was. He didn’t acknowledge what I did or said anything to my remark of, ‘she’ll be fine’.

It was as if I wasn’t there, as in someone else in his life had surpassed me in every aspect, even if I was just a friend in a total different relationship with him.

His hand felt cold and distant, his demeanor one that I had never seen of him and got me confused.

But I didn’t give it much thought back then other than to consoling him was the right thing to do.

It would be a few decades later when many traits of his would resurface again with another woman in his life that would greatly alter the friendship I thought we had.

And it would be pretty much as in this moment, distant, instant and cold. Instead of holding hands, he used it against me, and other, to create a block that no universal force could break apart.

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So what happens when a friendship goes wrong?

And I’m not talking about any guy previously mentioned that I’ve tried to do things right.

Believe it or not, I’m referring to my high school friend. Of all people, he’s the one that I felt has betrayed me the most.

So how did it all happened is unclear to me, but will try to figure it out.

Our friendship started during our early teens. My earliest recollection was that he started hanging out with my brother at home. Of all the guys that would come around, he was the only one took an interest in me.

I wasn’t into him in anything at first. With only 13 years, my parents were divorced, my mom went back to work, and I was responsible for many chores at home.

Like all Hispanic cultures, my brother was doing whatever he wanted, including giving attention to his buddies instead of me. Top that with being a freshman trying to navigate school and life in general with no one to lead the way.

My memories included him talking to me every time he would be home, mostly about how I was doing. He seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and that I were fine. I felt at ease with him and that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.

As I later learned, his father had a pharmacy in my neighborhood and that he worked there after school, and the mom had a beauty salon at the building where my dad had his office.

When I had nothing to do, I would walk to the pharmacy with the excuse of having to buy something. I would chat with him for a few and then headed back home. He never got upset with me while there and would always find the time to talk to me. I would later get my hair done with the mom and became a client for several years.

Curiously I never had an emotional interest with him. I never once felt like kissing or hugging him, or display any affection towards him.

After some time of friendship, he conveyed to me very politely that he had some interest in me. I felt very flattered, but never pursued him in any way any more than what we were sharing already.

He respected my way of being, including my feelings towards him, and became the only person I allowed to enter my world as a whole.

He had everything going on for him and I chose not to pursue him romantically. Sounds familiar? Yep, my love/hate relationship with men has run deeper that I thought. And sadly, being then or now, it sure feels the same.



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