A Birthday Message

I messaged an old friend today.

It was his birthday, and

So, I sent him a happy birthday message

filled with the appropriately high number of abuses.

As I pressed ‘send’, I couldn’t help but realise

That this would be the first time since either of us

Could remember that we wouldn’t be spending this day together.

For the first time since we were toddlers,

We wouldn’t be playing a game of football together.

We won’t be sitting around his dinner table

With a handful of our friends, eating fried rice and chilli chicken.

We won’t be sitting around his living room,

Talking and laughing.

Not today.

Not like last year,

And so many more before that.

A lot has changed in a year.

We’re halfway across the world

From each other now.

We’ve known each other from

Before we could speak in complete sentences,

And suddenly,

We’re on different continents

In different colleges,

Studying different things,

Living such vastly different lives.

But receiving his instantaneous reply,

I realised that though a lot has changed,

What matters hasn’t.

I reminded him about his birthday last year,

A failed surprise, and

A good memory.

And I realised that though we’re not sitting

In his living room talking and laughing,

We’re still talking and laughing,

Sitting in our own rooms,

Oceans apart from each other.

And that’s an amazing thing.


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