All I can think about right now—on the eve of my best friend’s wedding—is how blessed I am to have befriended Daniel.
I’ve known Daniel since high school. We were in the same homeroom, and took similar classes as most honor students do. In a private Catholic school of 400 and a class of 100, you end up knowing everyone. Contrary to what I hear from others and their high school experiences, I had a pretty good one. We had a tight-knit class. It was diverse, too (parsed out almost 25% evenly among Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Mexicans). Daniel and I weren’t the best of friends then. I was close to my friends in student council; we spent a lot of time planning school events and going on weekend ski trips with our kooky student council advisor / Math teacher. And I couldn’t help but be friends with my school arch-nemesis, Marc, who one-upped me on everything. Through the years, there was always a competitive streak between us. I brought him into my startup and he ended up going to one of our customers at double our salary! We’re not competitive anymore. Marc and I support each other more than anything. A gay single guy and a single girl trying to find love in this lovelorn city.
Daniel and I both got in to Berkeley. It was a new life for me—even though I was so close to home. Because we weren’t close friends in high school, I lost track of him. I bumped into him one day on the way home from a burrito joint. I was holding half of my uneaten burrito wrapped in tin foil. I was happy to see him and offered him my leftovers. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a nice gesture when you’re a poor starving college student. He gladly took it and from that point on, our friendship grew. He’d have me over, and make dinner. I’d have him over; we’d study, then get something to eat.
All the moments are blurring together in my mind now. I’ve spent so much time with him: skiing, hiking, going out to eat. I always paid for him when he was in law school. And when he came out to visit me when I was in school in Chicago, everything was his treat.
Those who’ve met him would most likely characterize him as reserved—which he is. That’s why I feel so lucky to be his friend. Because when you get to know him, you realize how much integrity he has, how loyal he is, how he always seems to do the right thing. He’s a true gentleman—opens doors, gladly offers his jacket. He is the best listener…ever…I can’t stress that enough. I think about the times when I’ve been at my worst, inconsolable on the phone. And then he’d be there…knocking on my door, offering me his shoulder to cry on. Daniel is the most outstanding person I know. I’m proud to be a member of his wedding party and I wish him and Chavonta the very best.