A Book, Its Cover, and Friendship

Posted by hanjeno.o
2017.04.18 16:53 EDITORIAL/문예 :: Literature



“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Such a cliché, overuse of an English idiom huh?


Really, though, you can’t ignore how accurate of a message it is. I’ve recently had the message delivered deep down in my heart – regarding the matter of friendships.


Sometimes our greatest friends are those we don’t expect.

Just as likely, the ones we had expected to last a lifetime fall out of our lives, just like that.


This one girl, she seemed all too different from how I roll – very Korean against my rather Korean American background, far too outspoken, with morals which seemed different from what I had thought then was the only “right”. I have to admit I did not think too highly of her nor did I think that we had a chance at being good friends.


And we weren’t at first.

But with the help of a certain middleman, she slipped into my life and now stands by me strong and steady. She spends every waking moment with me, makes me laugh, cries when I do, and teaches me things I didn’t know I even needed to learn. She may not be the most righteous of a person, but it doesn’t really matter. People around us may regard our friendship as shallow due to its short duration, but that too doesn’t really matter. She’s the greatest friend anyone can ever be to me.


I feel ashamed of myself for once judging her by her cover, considering her a shallow friend with whom to just “go out” on a Friday night.


I know better now, learned my lesson that this kind of friendship – the kind that we don’t actually plan for – is the most beautiful.


I’m saddened that such change in my life came so late in my college years – utterly regretful that I wasted so much time on a meaningless give and take of a failed friendship.

Of course friendship is not merely about giving and taking, but I had honestly believed I had gotten my caring thoughts across to her, both mentally and physically.


Yes, perhaps I was “inconsiderate” looking back but was it really too much of me not to have realized it on my own… given only vague hints? Did I really deserve her sudden treatment of me in an unpredictable way – that with the utmost sensitive ego – which made me nervous without knowing the reasons.


No one’s expecting anyone to bare up rainbows at all times, especially if feelings were hurt. But a cold shoulder, deliberate awkward moments and vulnerable talks… If one sided and not communicated to the receiver the reason why, no matter how “fed up”, I see as manipulation.


She cannot be my friend anymore, and I’ve come to accept the fact that not all friendships are meant to last. I think and even hope at this point that we will never cross paths again.


In my opinion, truest of friends do not entail a strictly defined boundary – having to consciously think about each other at all times, being considerate in all circumstances or giving full attention to each other when spending time together. Sometimes, friendship is about the comfort of just being together in each other’s presence – taking turns listening to each other’s stories no matter how much we may seem like we’re only talking about ourselves at times. Friends are not about constantly complementing each other and boosting each other’s egos – sometimes it’s more about knowing what is best for each other and reprimanding each other in appropriate circumstances. We wouldn’t talk shit about each other to others ever, but we may talk shit at each other openly and honestly without having deep down feelings hurt.


And as for me, none of the things that matter to you matter to me anymore.


Regarding my true friend who supports me now while you hurt me so much, I only care that she is kind and that I care that she is kind. Vice versa. I simply care that no matter what the circumstance I know, truly know, that her words and actions aren’t based in hatred – that she can tolerate it when I am different.


There are no rules in friendship. All that matters is that it fits or that it is made to fit with efforts from both sides.


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