Growing up, I never had friends, or if I did, it was only for a short period of time. I spent my time in near complete solitude, interacting with only my family, and with their busy schedules, even that was a rare occasion. Children my age thought I was weird…a freak of sorts. I am both blessed and cursed with a neurological tic disorder, which sends my face, legs, and hands into uncontrollable spasms during all hours of the day. Blessed because in all reality, this is no big problem. Cursed because I was shunned away from my schoolmates, and made into a monster. So, I spent my time alone, dreaming and thinking of the perfect best friend, the coveted, hidden gem of a friend known as the soul mate.
Between the ages of five and seventeen, often times the only thing that got me through the day, and often times one of the few things that truly kept me alive was the dream that one day I too would find that special friend. My proverbial partner in crime. Someone who could simply accept me as me and not the repulsive, revolting, repugnant creature I was thought to be. I never really believed myself though. How could there be one individual that could be a perfect match to my warped, depressing, and ugly being? But then I found him. The day I met Patrick was the day that I became a true believer of the soul mate.
He is six foot four, and I am five foot three. He has blond hair, and I dye mine a rainbow of colors. He is able to shrug off my tics as if they didn’t exist at all, and I can finally feel like a real human being. We share the same birthday one year apart, the same hobbies, and the same interests. Whether it may seem so or not from the surface, we are the perfect match.
So how does one meet their soul mate? Complete chance. Patrick and I shared many of the same classes and many of the same friends throughout our high school careers. We had been friends after he decided to say “hi” during band class one day, but I don’t know how we really got to be so close. Our relationship really clicked as we drove for ten hours on a bus from Lugano, Switzerland to Paris, France, both as musicians on the United States Youth Ensembles concert tour of Europe (he plays tuba, I bassoon) talking about none other than our favorite hobby: a war game played with painted miniatures called Warhammer 40,000. Since that fateful day, I cannot imagine living without my best friend, no, my soul mate next to my side.
Are soul mates real? I can’t answer that. You’ll have to find out for yourself. Whatever the outcome may be though, I know that I found mine, and like swans, we will be together forever.
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