The Guy Next Door

He’s the best friend, the one you always want around, no matter what time of the day it is. He’s your sanity when you go completely crazy over some random-ass guy. He’s a breath of fresh air when your family successfully drives you nuts. He’s the hug you need when you have a fight with a girl friend. He’s compassion and comfort all bundled into one. He’s even the infrequent kiss when all you want is that; a kiss. He’s the grey you understand in this black and white world. He’s also the guy you severely disliked the first time you were introduced to each other (mainly because of the greyness). He is literally a soul mate you never thought you would find.

I met my guy next door a few years ago and honestly, I wasn’t too fond of him back then. He seemed like a womanizer who was way too confident for his own good. Of course back then I was a great believer in black and white; a womanizer meant black without question. A couple of years passed by with just a few random sights of each other and that might have been the end of it. Obviously, it wasn’t.

Honestly, I don’t remember when we started hanging out, or why we did for that matter. All I remember is we struck an unlikely friendship and we went from casual acquaintances to close friends rapidly. Over the past couple of years I never realized how much I started depending on him, for advice, to blow off some steam, for love and even for something simple enough as company. I learnt his way of life, I understood why he did the things he did, I saw him making sure he never hurt anybody, I felt him spread happiness wherever he went and at the end of it all I simply felt awestruck. I saw the shades of grey he lived in and I soon realized I had been struggling with the same greys all my life. He gradually grew on me, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re not dating and you aren’t in love with him. But you hate him spending time with anyone else because he’s yours. My generation has a gift and a curse; after a point of time we learn how to avoid the feeling of total despair. We know how to manipulate our emotions according to our convenience. So no, I’m not in love with him, but I do love him. He’s more than a friend, but he isn’t the love of the life. He could be; but he isn’t. Everything is a choice, so is this.


It’s weird really. Growing up with this person was a nightmare of sorts. She was bossy, dominating and extremely moody which made it impossible for me to decipher how to approach her with anything half the time. There were a number of times I must have proclaimed I hated her, either screaming it to her or whispering it to myself, but I guess everyone around me knew that I was bluffing. She lived 2 hours away from me most of my life and each time I was about to see her, I was filled with an unexplained excitement (which was rather strange considering our first few hours were a combination of small talk, leg pulling and an awkward hug). I then went to live with her for two years and it was a nightmarish dream. All of a sudden I had someone to talk to about anything I wanted to (keeping her mood in mind; I wasn’t keen on getting my head bit off) and I had someone telling me all about herself. Except for the occasional irrational cat fights we did just fine.

Now it’s 5 years later and we’ve evolved into much more than big sister-little sister. Working anywhere where you lack family (and by family, I don’t mean distant uncle of your fathers second cousin, I mean Mom and Dad) can be the hardest evolution one has to go through in their 20’s. Surprisingly, we’re both going through that right now, in the same city. She’s my cousin; we have different parents, but it’s come to a point where I don’t think it makes a difference. I still call her my sister.

I’ve seen many a people crying over the years and never once have I welled-up with them (unless it’s one of my parents). I always tried being comforting although I suspect I was born with a cold kind of heart which makes it difficult for me to empathise with people. But seeing her tear-up lead to an unnatural reaction; not only did I tear-up as well, I also had an urge to protect her. This was new. She’s MY elder sister, it should be the other way around which I soon realized it was, but why was I feeling protective? Why did I want to do something to make her think it was going to get better when I had hardly felt so protective about anyone else?

The second I asked the question I also found the answer. She isn’t someone I met along the way, who I had a few drinks with and then parted with happily. She’s been around since the day I was born; we share blood. She’s inherently a part of who I am. Yes, we fought growing up, and we definitely had times we did not like each other (to say the least). But there are some bonds that grow so discretely that you don’t even realize it happened. Only in the situation of crisis do you realize how much you need her and how much she needs you. The evolution, so slow, so steady startled me at first, and then it comforted me. Everybody leaves home to work eventually, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Heck, it’s the exact opposite of easy. Having her around, even if it’s just on the weekends when we can actually hang out like bros (you get the feel), makes life a tad bit easier even if I won’t tell her that myself.