Life is boring when your are not around. Happy Birthday - Let's make it grand.
I know from time to time, when I make a post about some event, or a night out with my friends, I might mention their name but very rarely do I go into too much detail. This particular post is dedicated to two of the my very best friends, Paul and Ben who are both celebrating their birthdays this weekend. But I wanted to tell you the story, of how we all became friends and some of the milestones we shared.
The two of them kind of come as pair, they both have been friends for a number of years and although I met them both at the same time, I connected with Ben more and in fact, I didn't really like Paul that much and it took over a year from when we first met for us to really connect. But let me start at the beginning.
When I moved to Manchester for the very first time in 2006, it was only a short stay, which lasted for only two months. One of the reasons I quit and moved back home was because I struggled to make any friends and I couldn't rely on my brother and his boyfriend for all my social interaction and despite their best efforts, I was lonely and needed a friend to call my own. I tried the move again in early 2007 and this time I was determined to expand my social horizons. It really all started when I began working for a sales company and befriended Damon, who is still a very close friend. We connected instantly and even in our first week, we would call each other and text constantly, having conversations that would last for hours.
During the first 2 weeks of our new jobs, Damon and I organised a night out to celebrate the successful completion of the initial training, along with some of the other new recruits. It was the night that I met Paul and Ben for the first time, at Ben's apartment. I remember it very clearly, how Ben flirted with me and how young I thought Paul looked. The night out itself was very successful and I spent the next morning hungover on Ben's couch. Ben and I shared a little kiss that night and when we got home, Damon convinced me to slip into Ben's bed, although nothing happened. I didn't even get a spoon from him. Ben and I became friends almost immediately but there was an awkwardness with Paul and it seemed I wasn't able to connect with him. I actually had a tiny little crush on Ben at the time, which lasted for a couple of weeks.
A month or so later, I needed to move and Ben was also looking to for a new apartment and we decided to find a place together. We moved into the Green quarter in Manchester City Centre, into an apartment, I really loved. I really admired Ben, he had a good job and he really looked out for me. The next few months, were spent partying and our friendship went from strength to strength. I was also very reliant on Ben, he made me feel safe. Probably a little to reliant.
Paul was a different story, we shared many friends in common but we never socialized outside of group events and we rarely spoke unless it was to arrange plans. By 2008 I had moved out of the Green quarter and moved in with my boyfriend at the time and although I still spoke to Ben and Damon on a regular basis, Paul and I rarely interacted.
When I broke up with Dwight, my boyfriend. I was ready to start going out and enjoying myself again. He probably doesn't remember this but it really touched me one night, when I was alone and Paul invited me to join him and some of his friends from the bar he worked on night out and although I didn't go, I really appreciated the gesture. But I remember the events which allowed our relationship to develop. It was a Thursday, in February 2009 and I was on the bus, heading home to my new place and I got a phone call from Paul, which was very rare, he wanted to know what I was doing. He wanted to go out and it seemed that no one else was up for doing so that night. I agreed to go but I remember being very apprehensive about it. What would we talk about? Did we have anything in common?
I needn't have worried, the night was a real turning point and as the months went on, we socialized we called each other all the time and chatted, he became my best friend. I don't need to go into all the special times Ben, Paul and I have shared over the years, how they have been there for me and how I have been there for them. All the fun we have had and how important we were to each others lives.
It is them two especially that are a big part of the anchor which holds me to Manchester, they have inspired me in ways they probably don't even know, to be a better person. I can gush about them all day. They will be celebrating their birthdays this weekend and unfortunately I won't be able to participate and that is frankly driving me crazy, it is times like this, that I miss them more than I normally do. But even though there is a sea between us, I know that they will always be there for them as they would be for me.
We have been friends for over 5 years and I consider myself incredibly lucky just to know them. I look forward to the next 5 years worth of memories. So although I can't be there, I raise a glass to the two of them and I hope they have an awesome time.