For people with jobs that require them to get up at the early part of the day and at the same time who love to sleep, freeing themselves with the warmth of the cottony bed sheet is the morning is like lifting up a big mountain. Impossible.
So for people like Allen, waking up in the morning is the hardest thing he could accomplish but worth achieving than anything he was doing as the newly self-promoted editor of his own publishing agency.
For fourteen years of inscribing voluminous books, the eager writer had written twenty manuscripts which include the inspiring The Best Of My Friends. A story of a young boy who had many unwanted friends who always bully him but in spite of that, the young bullied still considers them as his best friends by looking on everyone’s goodness. The book had surely created the spirit of friendship for those who had read it.
In contrast with the theme of his book, none of Allen’s friends considered him as one of their best friends. Not because he was always the target of bullying who were always easily ignored, rather he was the one who bullied them, inevitably widening the space between his peers and him.
Allen, still lying on his favorite cot, tapped the STOP button of his digital alarm clock to end its irritating ringing chime. Then, closed his eyes for ten seconds to think of the activities he would do for the new whole day. Included on his list is eight hours of sitting as he peeks for flaws on several manuscripts submitted on his office.
Nothing new. The writer told himself.
Still wearing his soft pajama decorated with nothing as plain blue and his white T-shirt, Allen walked straightly to a transparent glass door that opens the view of his azotea, his usual place to spend the first thirty minutes of his consciousness in the morning.
Before he called for Anita, his forty-year old maid who had memorized his writer-boss’s routine every first glimpse of sunshines, Allen stretched his arms until it ache a little to heat up every cell on his body.
Smiling on the beautiful yellow beam of the massive sun that touched his skin, the still sleepy novelist heard a footsteps from his back.
“A wonderful morning, hijo.” A fat lady dressed in a dark blue overlaid with a curly white in front like it appears to be an apron appeared and smiled to Allen, carrying with her a shiny silver steel tray of hot black coffee and a morning issue of The Manila Bulletin.
The writer smiled back.
“It really is Anita.” He said, half-meant, to the Mexican servant.
The lady put down his coffee delivery on the three-foot tall, round white-tainted steel table predictably creating the clanging noise of the touching metals.
“Thank you, Annie.”
“Always glad to serve, Al.”
The two smiled to each other before the old lady left to continue her household routine.
Allen then sit down on his regular steel chair. He lifted the pitcher of coffee to pour down some on his cup. The bitter aroma of the hot beverage contrarily gave a sweet wakening aroma.
He slowly touched the tip of the cup with his lip to sip a bit to initially taste the black coffee, appraising the right sweetness.
Perfect. Allen thought.
He sipped again but more than the first one. He could not resist the addicting taste of the coffee. He wanted to swig it all at once but he was thinking he could not endure the hot temperature.
As the stimulating influence of the caffeine from the coffee took effect, Allen had the fuel to pick the morning newspaper and peeked the contents of it.
Well, as he expected, crimes and political issues were on the front page. Nothing new. Nothing unusual. It’s what makes people’s lives normal he told himself. So, everything’s good, only with the consistency of events.
However, one news had made him nearly spurted the lukewarm amount coffee inside his mouth.
ZEALOUS FAN ARRESTED FOR FILCHING MASS NUMBER OF BOOKS
The headline had caught his attention. He wondered who was willing to conduct felony just for a book. Even he had really had over fanaticism experience with the books before, he had assured himself he would not do such offense.
Another question occurred on him was that what this book has that had tremendous obsessive liking effect on this apprehended bibliophile.
Following the content of the article word by word, Allen had known the whole story of the book already even without reading it within the news. Only seeing the title of the book, he could recite every scene of it.
…”The Best Of My Friends.”
After he finished reading that report, he put down the newspaper on the table. Then, leaned back on his steel chair, put his hands on the armrest and cross in front of his face. He felt the coldness absorbed by the metal seat touching his skin. The sensation intensified the blankness in his mind. He had difficulty figuring out the effect of his novel to that person.
What he had been thinking when writing that inspiring novel of him was just to give rise on the essence of brotherhood, not to urge the fanaticism of someone.
Thinking of that would not change the current situation, he lectured to himself.
He wanted to help and to understand that fan’s reason of stealing all of his books in a bookstore. To enable him to do that without sacrificing his working hours, he rushed preparing himself. He took a bath for a minute. Then gathered all his belongings he needed to carry out his job for his normal day. Before driving toward his office, he went straightly first to the bookstore where the arrested book lover broke into. It was only five-minute drive from his house.
Upon arriving on the bookstore, he heard someone shouting
“I just want to be their friends!”
He recognized the one who was yelling. He looked like the person whose picture was inset on the morning paper Allen was reading. He had bet he was that fan who stole his books.
A bespectacled boy approximately in his sixteen with nearly-hunchback posture like Allen grumbled incessantly the I-want-to-be-their-friends statement.
When the novelist came near to the scene, the teenager looked on him and he identified Allen in swift second. Then, he tried to run toward the writer. But before he could touch Allen, the two alert police officers grabbed him quickly, pinning him on the ground.
“It’s okay. Let him loose.” Allen said to the two officers.
“But…” the one officer hesitated, still thinking if he should obey Allen.
Seeing his female co-officer nodding, signaling him that let the boy loose, the hesitant police released the crazed fan.
The arrested young boy dashed to Allen and hugged him as if his father bailed him out.
The confused writer did not know what would be his reaction. He just returned the embrace with tapping on the boy’s back.
“Okay, you really have a big problem here kid. So tell me, what’s with this, huh?” Allen asked cordially.
The boy whose face wet with his sweat wiped his eyes before answering his inquirer’s question.
“I just want to be their friend.”
Slightly getting annoyed, Allen asked the boy why he kept saying that statement, and to whom he wants to befriend with?
“My enemies. I want to be their friends. I want to hang out with them. But nobody cares about my intention. They thought I have hidden agenda. But, I don’t have.”
“So, breaking in a bookstore then stealing all my books will be your solution for that?”
“U-uh…Yeah. I did this so that I could give them your books. Let them read it and enable them to know that I am really sincere.”
“How did all these books prove you that you are sincere?”
“Sir, I know you are getting what I mean already because it’s written on your book. You’re the one who put it on your manuscript and let million readers put it into their minds.”
“The quotation, that, ‘To let your unwanted friends distinguish that you are true to your intention, show them the impossible.’”
“Did I also include in those” impossibles” the bad things?”
With that, the young boy had been immobilized to open his mouth. He was thinking of a valid answer, but nothing came on his juvenile mentality.
“If I did say ‘do the impossible for them,’” Allen said. “I mean of something beneficial for the both of you. Doing bad is not good for the both of you. Doing “impossibles” means showing them what they do not expect from you. Like still being there for them in spite of the bad things they have done to you. They did not expect you to endure all of those. That expectation must not be meet. You must go beyond of that. That what makes you a good friend for them. You don’t have to perform stealthy-ninja moves, unbelievable superman power or any extraterrestrial abilities for them to treat you as their friend. All you have to possess is the heart that is compassionate and attitude toward the goodness of your friendship.”
While Allen giving the real message of his book, the crazed fan removed his eyeglasses to once again wipe his teary eyes. Surely, he was moved by the novelist’s sermon. However, he could not escape the punishment of his misbehavior.
Before the teenager surrendered himself to the two arresting officers, he hugged Allen for the last time then turned toward the man and woman in uniform.
While the boy walking to the policemen,
“Officers, can we let this event pass and let just the boy free?” Allen begged to the two officers. They looked each other, baffled.
“Uhm…” the female hummed.
“I’ll just pay all the books for the boy.”
The shocked youngster looked to Allen, dumbfounded. He did not know what the author was doing. He did not expect him to do that.
“You don’t have to do that sir. It’s the boy who did this. He must be the one to punish.” the female officer said.
“Let go of the boy, Sarah.” the male officer ordered his comrade.
On the other hand, the male officer told to Allen,“It’s very kind of you to do this for this kid sir. I hope he is worth of it.”
“I’m sure he is.” The author replied.
After the negotiation, Allen talked to the boy, telling him not to do the felony again, and that he must never give up in convincing his enemies let him be their friend.
Then, with an unexplainable start of his day, the The Best Of My Friends’ creator drove to his office.