Day 6: How we met
We met in a crowded showroom some twenty-five years ago. I looked at him from afar, and even though I was among hundreds of people, I felt like we were all alone.
He beckoned me to come closer and I felt strangely drawn to him. As I inched forward I eyed him with suspicion, unsure what to make of this stranger.
A salesman made the proper introductions and although we got to know each other, I didn’t trust him. I would find myself staring at him, wondering what secrets he held.
Whenever we met he welcomed me and when it was time to go, he bid me a fond goodbye. I found myself spending more and more time with him, getting to know him, learning to trust him, until one day we weren’t acquaintances anymore, we had become friends.
My other friends soon became a little jealous, stating that I spent too much time with him. It was true, I did spend more time with him than I did with them, but I didn’t feel guilty, for I could just be myself with him. He didn’t care about my appearance, whether I was in pajamas or in jeans, whether my hair styled or uncombed, whether I wore makeup or not. None of these things mattered to him.
We did not always get along, we had our arguments and we had fights. I accused him of losing things and when he remained stubbornly silent I turned my back on him. My anger usually didn’t last long and we made up quickly.
Then one day he said he was going to show me the world. He said that I could ask to go anywhere, anywhere at all. When I asked him to show me New York, he didn’t hesitate. He showed me the bright lights of Broadway, the majestic Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and so much more. In Hollywood, he introduced me to the hottest movie stars, and in Africa, I could almost touch the ferocious lions and elegant giraffes.
During our time together he taught me about all the planets through photographs and continued to baffle me with his knowledge. I learned about books and movies, animals and insects, mountains and forests. I couldn’t get enough of him.
Late at night, we played games. We played Monopoly, Scrabble, Snooker, Poker and much more. Sometimes I won, sometimes he did. It didn’t matter because we had fun.
Through him, I met other people. With some, the contact was brief while others became dear friends. Men and women I never would have met if it wasn’t for him.
Then suddenly he became sick. He was unable to do anything and I felt so helpless because I didn’t know what was wrong. For the first time in our relationship, he needed me. He needed my help to make him better.
I couldn’t do it myself, but I knew those who could. I paced around the room while he was examined. What if it was something serious? What if he died? How would I ever go on without him? I had grown so used to him, to him being there for me.
“Not to worry,” they told me. “It’s a minor problem. It will be fixed in no time.”
That night, when I cuddled up with him, I was especially grateful for having him in my life. We may have been strangers at one time, but now we were very familiar with each other.
I looked at him and saw my companion, my confidant, teacher, instructor, travel guide and so much more. He was my friend, my best friend. He was ... my first computer.