“We just prank called the Suicide Prevention Hotline!” Kyle exclaimed gleefully. The girls simply sighed and shook their heads.

“It was amazing!” I assured them.

“I’m sure it was,” Ali said, trying to restrain her smirk.

“You guys. . .” Liz said and let her sentence trail off. Once, long ago, she had tried to keep some order over our ideas and actions, but now she had realized that this was futile and merely registered her disappointmentin us, which she did often.

I believe that timing is everything in life. After all, it took Kyle and I ten years to be on speaking terms with each other, and this led to the greatest friendship either of us ever had. When we finally did click, I think that it was for very certain reasons. To put it bluntly, we each had the one thing the other needed.

In Kyle’s case, he needed stability. At the time, he lived with his mother, her live-in boyfriend Kit, and his son Seth. His mother, though well-meaning, had the assertiveness of a can of Diet Pepsi. Kit, by contrast, was a pushy, manipulative creep who, as it turned out later, made his living romancing women under the guise that he was a war veteran and would be a millionaire once his patents came through, moving in with them and taking over their house and finances, all the while dragging his smug, pudgy son with him every step of the way. Kyle’s mother was simply the latest victim. As a potential step-father, Kit was verbally and emotionally abusive, a thief, a liar and a homophobe, all traits which unfortunately seemed genetic.

One particular evening, as Kyle and I were watching a movie in his room, his mother called him into the kitchen for a conference. Meanwhile, Kit stormed into Kyle’s room and gave me a ten minute lecture on what a terrible person Kyle was.

Matt Perry
Happy Families
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