He says he likes the dark, rather than the light. He says he prefers cold over warmth, solitude over popularity.

I tell him that's fine.

He tells me how he feels about life. It's troublesome. He's struggling, with his friends, family, and...himself.

He says that he is lost. He tells me he's in the midst of a savage battle between two sides of himself. He's in a battle with himself.

He asks if anyone would miss him. Would anyone miss him if he left? Or if he...died?

I reassure him that he would. And then I scold him for thinking that way, but still. In a way, it's a beautiful thought.

But he insists he doesn't know anymore. He doesn't know how to act, or carry on with life.

I tell him to rediscover himself. I'm joking, of course, but he's serious.

He does.

Before he leaves, he tells me to tell my—our—friends goodbye.

I tell him he's not leaving. That I wouldn't let him. I try. I fail.

He tells me he needs to. It isn't just another game, he says, he needs to rediscover himself to live again. I try to understand. I want him to be satisfied with himself.

I let him go. I follow his request. As I expect, they are almost outraged.

I listen as they rant about how stupid it all is, and that he is fine the way he is. And I nod, and pretend like I agree to every sound they utter.

They don't get it.

I tell myself that he's in need. Of help, of support, of friends. Of something to help him through. It's not about us. It's about him. It's his decision, and I will acknowledge it as long as he is firm in it.

That doesn't mean I can't try to get him back myself. I still comfort him, and tell him everything is fine. That what he believes in is okay, and that I hope he can manage to become satisfied with himself.

Because it is.

But I still hope—deep, deep inside—that he'll come back when he does. Perhaps this will heal over when he does. Everything will be as it once was.

"No," he says, but I already know that. I've known that.

"Perhaps," I reply, and he looks away and gives a half-nod. And that is enough. It never hurts to dream.

And life goes on.

I try to remain a good friend to him, so that he never has to have doubts. I try to brush away his fears with my words, and push him on with my support.

Perhaps one day, he'll come to see that he's perfectly fine the way he is, and accept that. He'll be fine the way he is because he accepts himself.

I can only hope, and dream, until that day comes.

But as he continues to search, I will smile and encourage him.

He is in need of that, after all.

-Excerpt from diary