My favorite color over the last few years has been orange, I didn’t exactly have a reason for it. When I asked several people their favorite color, two mentioned orange. One of their reasonings behind it absolutely melted me, and it made me think. Though I carried no flashlight in my bag as she did, and my best friend didn’t have golden flecks in his eye, my orange was a memory. It still is.
I’ve always found comfort in the existence of a “twin flame”. It’s not a soulmate, contrary to popular belief. Much of the time, it is not someone you fall in love with. Rather, it’s a person along the road, or along the ride, who helps your own candle burn brighter and longer without ever extinguishing it.
I had a friend who I used to wear like a favorite sweater. I’d never prod or pry, never tug or tear, but you know how pesky those threads can get. Sooner or later he started to unravel in front of my eyes, on top of my very own skin. One loose string led to another, and another, until he was hard to even hold together. I’ve known him for years. I still have all of our letters, all of our back and forth arguing, all of the tears from both ends when we were struggling to scream with a voice that could barely muster a whisper.
Sometimes I like to think he’s the reason I even started to write in the first place. But then again... I was always better than him.
Maybe it was the other way around.
He used to write me poems. He’d rhyme the stanzas, it was adorable. Of course, sometimes it was a reach and you could tell he was scrambling for something to rhyme with.
I wish I could copy and paste them here, I’m sure he’d return my phone calls then, wouldn’t you.
He’s consistently given me the greatest advice I’ve ever received, sometimes even without saying it. I have one of them printed onto paper, because it meant that much to me. Towards the end he grew caught up in the fact that we had never so much as expressed to each other what our friendship truly meant, and the impact we had on each other.
I’ve never been able to fault anyone for leaving me behind. I don’t know if that’s even what I’d call this. I don’t think either of us left, really. I’d still wear the sweater if I could, and I’m sure he’d laugh at the holes and the missing strands. We just learned to paint in different colors, and grow at different paces. My candle hushed while his nearly started a house fire. Eventually, in time, our flames will again flicker at the same pace.
Our fires learned to ballroom dance at a young age, and it’s only fair that one of them grew more volatile much quicker.
His flame conditioned me to find orange in nearly everything I do.
My orange is still bright, and it is still dancing.
I know somewhere his orange is too.
I struggle with timing. Most of the time I neglect to tell someone what they mean to me until it is too late.
So buddy, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for letting me learn how to burn out, but always bringing the matchbox. For putting me in my place, and for backing up when I need room to explode, I reveled in every second of it. You’ve taught me the treasure of a confidence I didn’t know I possessed, a confidence I didn’t know I could hold on my own. I’ve stayed out of trouble, though I’ve tiptoed that line more than my share of times. I hope you can see now how much I’ve learned from you, though you always emphasized it being the other way around. I know my impact, and I hope now you know yours too.
Next time you need a lighter or want to stick your finger through the flame to see how much you can take, you know where to find me.