In the Still of the Night

The dorms are silent, the school is quiet, the basketball courts are almost empty. Spring break has begun. Without the hustle and bustle of the crowds to distract me, I am reminded how far away from home I am. I used to think that I was quite happy being solitary, and to some extent I am right, but now I know that it is also true when they say no man is an island.
At least I have Zahid with me through all this. Zahid is also an international student from India, and it is his first time away from home. I guess he feels it worse than I do. He tells me that his life at home is a comfortable one, and coming to school so far from home has forced him to adapt, to change, to grow stronger. He no longer finds partying the source of all life, or alcohol its elixir. I thank God that I have been surrounded by like-minded people. We had a good dinner at Burger King's last night, and had a good talk. I've also applied to share a dorm room with him for next year, so I'm hoping it'll all work out great.
Sometimes when I think about it, what really makes friends stay? I remember so many friends I have had that somehow faded with time. It's marvelous to meet them again, and though the joy of seeing someone I shared my past with fills me, the inevitable question comes to my mind, "what has happened? Why am I not sharing my present with my friend?" In an ideal world, friends would be like stars, an ever present light in the darkness. In the real world, stars get blocked by clouds, and sometimes even burn themselves out, never to shine again. A change of school, workplace, just the simple act of growing up drives us all apart, but it is amazing that when we do meet again, for that one moment we are transported back to the past, when we were young, when the masks of our faces were thinner. To the many friends that have come and gone in my life, do always know that you're welcome in my heart, and I'm sorry if there were things I should have done I didn't do, or things I did which I shouldn't have. You are the stars that God has placed in my life, and I look upon all of you in totality with a sense of wonder. Thank you all for being there, new stars and old, guiding me. When I see the whole scheme of things, indeed like Javert sings in Les Miserables "stars….in their multitudes, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness, with order and light". God has placed all of you in your places, and I will try my best to never let all of you out of my sight.

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