“You just have to stop caring so much.”

The room was dark, but behind him there was a light on. I could only see the outline of the left side of his face and body, while the other half was dark. I could see the slightest bit of his left eye, and he was looking at me. We had been talking about why it’s so hard for me to find friends. I told him if I can’t depend on them, then what’s the point?

“Who cares if you can’t depend on them? You can have friends that aren’t your closer, dependable friends. You can still have fun with them, and that’s what matters. You need people that you can go out and have fun with,” he said to me.

He never stopped looking at me while he talked. He spoke genuinely, and from the heart.

“And once you find people that you can just have fun with, they can introduce you to other people, then to other people, then it will be easier for you to find those friends that you can actually trust and depend on. But you have to start somewhere, you can’t expect everyone to be like you,” he explained.

I sat in amazement, and gave him all of my undivided attention.

I sincerely listened to what he had to tell me, because he had been in the same situation as me at one time in his life. He learned how to make his situation better.

“So I guess I have to be the adult still, right? If something goes wrong, I still have to be the one to take care of everything? I hate having to always do that,” I said.

“Listen, if there’s one thing you can learn from what all I’ve been telling you, it’s just to stop caring so much. Care about yourself first, as selfish as that sounds. Don’t do so much for people that don’t treat you as good as you treat them. If they don’t appreciate you, then f*ck them. They don’t deserve you or your friendship. They’re stupid not to have you as a friend.”

I decided that he was right. I had never seen it in this way. I was so taken aback by how positive he was, and I knew I should have been that way from the beginning. He didn’t agree with me, or say, “Yeah, f*ck people. I don’t have many friends either. Who needs’em?” He told me how I really needed to look at it. And I really needed to hear it. He was right. I can’t expect every friend I meet to reach “best friend” standards, but having these friends around would be nothing but good for me. I can’t expect so much from everyone I meet, because people just suck sometimes. In a dream world, maybe it would be different.

“When I was in high school, I maybe had 2 close friends, one of them being myself,” he said.

I teared up. He continued.

“And I thought, in my mind, if anything were to happen and I didn’t have my other friend, I would still have me as my best friend. And I was okay with that. I think that’s what helped me get through all of it.”

I was trying to hold back a river full of tears. I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken because this wonderful, caring, and positive guy had to go through what I did. I thought the exact same thought: Well, at least I have myself. Nobody should be so lonely that they think that. I knew exactly what he felt. It’s as if he took the words right out of my mouth. He knew. He understood.

I thanked him, as sincerely as I could. I really meant it.

“You’re welcome, Keely. You deserve it, and I always want to be here for you with stuff like that. It’s only because I’ve been through it, and that’s why I felt like I should tell you what helped me in my experience.”

We were sitting face-to-face on a mattress on the floor. I scooted closer to him, and I hugged him. “I want you to always be able to talk to me when you feel that way,” he said. He looked at me in the eyes once again, and kissed me. A soft, caring kiss that spoke louder than any words he could have said.

I had never heard such a sincere statement from someone. And this was the first time I actually listened to someone, and realized that they were right.

He was right.