Hello.   You’re pretty sure you don’t know me — I don’t blame you.  We haven’t talked in a while.  But I thought I might as well send you this.

We used to be best friends when you were younger — remember that?  No, I don’t expect you to.  But maybe you remember a little bit.  You had all those imaginary friends?  All those make-believe worlds?  All those fanciful lives you loved to pretend you had?  I was all those friends.  I took you to all those worlds.  I showed you all those lives.

Remember when your parents took off your training wheels?  Remember how unsteady you felt, but how you somehow managed to stay up?  That was me.  I held you better than any training wheels could.

And then when you got old enough to walk around the streets by yourself — you were never by yourself.  But it was around that time that you started forgetting about those imaginary friends.  You started settling for the life you were given instead of pushing out of it to what might be.  That’s when you started to forget me. . .

I’ve been working overtime since then.  Why don’t you sleep as much as you used to?  When you were sleeping, there was less to worry about.  Now I have to be behind every wheel wheel, in all the stores, at all the friends’ houses, around all the TV’s, between every hand you hold, nearly every hour of the day.  There are a million perils I’ve helped you avoid and you don’t even know it.

Other people recognize me more than you do, and I’m not even focusing on them.  I guess they see the effects.  You and that one “friend?” — everyone but you realizes that I’m the only one that’s prevented you from going out with each other.  How that wreck was somehow not your fault? — you’re the only person who doesn’t see my hand in that.

I can’t honestly blame you for a lot of your attitude, though.  You must find it hard to see someone who, honestly, can’t be seen without years of practice.  But I encourage you — be like those other people who see what I’ve done.  Accept that there’s someone there working on your side all the time.

And see me in other people.  I said I don’t particularly focus on others, but sometimes they help me work a lot better than I can on my own.  Because, you see, you listen to people who look like you.  That one friend who’s advice stuck in your mind for some bizarre reason?  I bet you can guess who told him to say that.  Or that driver who slammed on her breaks with inhuman strength and speed so you could safely run that red light?  Yes, I had a hand in that.

I love you.  You’re worth all the effort.  You’re worth all the trying and failing.  You’re worth all the headache and heartache.  Because I see something absolutely beautiful — something precious, something that deserves to be guarded by one of the strongest forces on earth.

Everyone needs a guardian.  Call it a rule of thumb.  Call it a necessity.  Personally, I prefer to call it a principle.

I have a name, but I’d be happy if all you ever remembered was,


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