Everyone needs a Michael

Laila Faisal
2 min readMay 21, 2024

“I wish I had a Michael,” Jaime sighed. My daughter is a social butterfly at high school who happily flutters from one friend group to another. In high school I was the geek who would go home after school to do my homework and bury my nose in a book. I had one best friend.

Michael.

We nerded out on homework and music. We then went to the same university. He took Psychology, I took Linguistics. The days when we’d be on the same 60-minute train ride back to our hometown would end up with him walking me home for another 60 minutes deep in conversation. Then he’d turn around at my gate and take the 30-minute bus to the other side of town.

“Were you two dating, Mummy?” Jaime asked when I told her about Michael. No, we were not. The last time I saw him was at a church when he married his high school sweetheart a few years after we both graduated from university.

“Have you tried getting in touch with him, Mummy?” No, I have not. Neither of us are on social media as far as I can tell. His name is Michael. Singular name. No last name. Imagine sifting through a Google result for that name.

Most of all, I don’t feel compelled to maintain connection because I know if our paths ever cross again, we would fall back to a comfortable conversation. Just like the Philosopher told the Youth in The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.

“I wish I had a Michael.”

***

Last week, after dinner, Jaime excitedly recounted her day at school. How she spent her lunch time singing and dancing with a friend on the stage in the empty school hall. Then they walked to the Cable Car together chatting away. She took the cable car up, her friend turned around and walked home.

“I think I found my Michael, Mummy.”

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Laila Faisal

Hi all, I am mum and BFF to a gorgeous girl. I'm exploring content creation and mid-way through an EdD. I'm reflecting on death since my ex-husband died.