A lifetime friend can be made anywhere, I met mine in a martial arts class about 17 years ago. I might not remember the exact details of the day we met but, I do remember the countless days and nights that we have hung out. Billy and I are still close friends, but unfortunately, life gets in the way. Our days full of video games and laughter are few and far between, but when we can talk on the phone it is always a blast.
Shenanigans were and still are a staple of our friendship. Somewhat unsafe fires, fast car rides, one or two too many drinks, and at one point my brother even convinced Billy that I was adopted for about a year. When he met my dad and saw that I was basically his clone, he realized that I was not.
One (k)night when we were kids, Billy came over to spend the night. It was a night of heavy gaming and chess. Who would have expected the two video game/martial arts nerds would also like chess, but we did. As always it was a late night but not as always, something weird happened.
Let me set the stage. I had a room with many different sleeping options. A hammock hung diagonally across my room, a recliner sat in the corner, and a futon was my usual choice. This night though, Billy crashed on the futon and I had the hammock. Nothing but the proverbial 'Z's filled the room until...
I wake up with a start! My mind raced for a split second as I search my dark room for the source of the auditory sleep ender. After scanning the room for a moment I see one of the shadows move on the ground. Confused and honestly a little scared I watch it frozen for a moment before I realize what it is. It's Billy... He fell off the futon.
At this point, my sleep-filled brain tries to make sense of this situation by asking two yes or no questions. To my dismay, I receive neither yes nor no to either.
"Are you okay?" I ask while sitting up the best I can to see Billy in the hammock.
"Where's your knight?" Responds the shadow that currently is my best friend.
"Are you asleep?" I ask even more confused now.
"Maybe," He responds, elongating the word.
I take this in. Somehow the hours and hours of chess that we had played that night made its way into Billy's subconscious and now I have to deal with this half-awake chess master. Me being a lowly patzer though, I just give one order.
"Go back to bed," I say ready to be done with this nonsense and find my way back into dreamland.
"Okay." Is his only response to this before he sort of bear crawls back onto the futon.
We both go back to sleep, or rather I do, something tells me that Billy wasn't ever awake for our little ordeal. Then morning comes and we wake up late as usual. After the initial morning bleariness clears up I ask him if he remembers what happened and naturally, he does not, but we laughed and laughed about the sheer stupidity of the encounter.
Now randomly, when it is appropriate(which is never, which is what makes it perfect) we ask one another "Where's your knight?" In a slightly slurred voice and it always lightens the mood. I have known Billy since I was 11 and now I am 28, honestly, I can't believe how awesome it is to have a friend I have known that long. Friends can be easy to find or hard to come by, so give a good one a call. Maybe you even have an inside joke that you can remind them of... For now, though, I leave you with one question;
"Where's your knight?"