I know this might sound like a fairy tale or fiction but it is not, this is true.

I thought we had it all. I thought what we had was infinite, and our love was built in stones, not in sticks. That was all just word of mouth.

I thought I would have that feeling of ecstasy for eternity but I was too blind and naïve to realise that. We were friends and just friends, but we were best friends. I treated him like a brother and even more than a brother because I felt as if he was part of my life. We had something really special, something that made me feel as if I was the only boy in the world. I knew his parents and he knew mine too and that was fabulous!

We grew up at the same area and we were both young when I first saw him. We were both going to the same school and in the same classroom. That may seem like a coincidence but it is absolutely not. I believed that we were a match made in heaven, we were sent from above and God knew exactly what He was doing when He led me to him.

We were young and free when we crossed each other’s road. He took me by the hand and asked me to look after his bag, politely. We became friends without being noticed, and if one of us was a girl I would say we were Romeo and Juliet, but it was just a pity because we were both boys. Still, we were madly in love with each other.

He loved me unconditionally and that wasn’t serendipity, that was true. Every single minute I had with him, I felt complete. He treated me like a prince, or princess. Later on, everything changed. We were about to go to Grade 9, but his parents sent him away to start a new life in the city. I felt incomplete, like a hole. I felt like I had lost a part of me.

I was very traumatised, and so devastated that I could not go to school for a week. He did not tell me that he was going to leave. I only found out he was gone when I met his mother on the way to the shop. My heart was torn apart. I could not figure out who will mend this broken heart of mine because it was broken into pieces. It was such a difficult situation to handle because we were walls that never break, but we were now two pieces of a broken heart. He was out of the picture and I was all by myself.

Everyone was mocking me at school, telling me that I fell for his money and his good looks, not just because I loved him. I was hurt. I did not want to talk to anybody because I felt betrayed by him. Still I moved on with my life. Losing him was the last thing on my mind. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I kept thinking about him always. Wherever I went I saw nothing but the ghosts of him because he was always on my mind.

Earlier in January 2008, he was back in town and I was delighted because he was my best friend. But guess what? I forgot that people change. He never came to me, or said anything to me. He came back with different preconditions and different interests. I thought I knew him but I was wrong.

I was the talk of the town, everyone was gossiping about me. Some were saying, “What happened to Paradise?” while others were saying, “Did Romeo ever break up with Juliet?” They were saying all kinds of amusing or rude things about me. I nearly stopped going to school because I was sick and tired of looking like an idiot while my estranged friend was busy making friends with others.

I wish I knew then what I know now. I would not dive in or back down. Despite everything that happened to us we will always love one another. He was written on my heart like a tattoo but still I released him. I gave him the chance to love me as a friend but he played me and he took away my feelings and made it hard for me to care.

I am now wide awake. Nobody will ever play with my feelings or try to take advantage of me again. I am a grown man now and I can choose what is wrong and what is right because I am much wiser now. His lies and games made me strong somehow. They made me realise how strong, and what a genius I am.