Tell us the origin story of your best friend. How did you become friends? What is it that keeps your friendship rockin’ after all these years?
One of my best friends (I have many) and I met in first grade. We parted when my parents moved. We met again over 20 years later. Our friendship has been cemented by service to our Creator.
Here is a story about two old acquaintances who meet after many years. Hope you enjoy.
Prepare to Die
Inigo the Bear is what we called him back in my high school football days, but his real name was Inigo Montoya. He was even bigger now. He came to our school from someplace in Mexico. The biggest Mexican any of us had ever seen. He was absolutely the best defensive lineman I’d ever seen. He was fast, aggressive, quick, agile, and smart.
There he was walking into the mall with a gentle, soft, sweet, pretty, and shy girl perhaps 14 years old.
“Wait for me on the bench, sweetie,” Indigo the Bear said with the kindest voice one could imagine. “I’ll be out in a minute. We’ll go shopping for what you need as soon as I’m done here.”
“Are you sure you want to go into a girl’s store with me?” she said.
“Sure,” Inigo the Bear said. “I’m a father. I’m not embarrassed to be a father. Are you embarrassed of me?”
She smiled broadly. “Of course not, Daddy, but if you’re uncomfortable and want to wait outside I’ll understand.”
Inigo the Bear smiled. I’d seen that smile before; after a quarterback sack where the guy had to hobble to the sideline. I grinned at a quick memory of the time he hit the quarterback so hard he left the field and went to our bench and sat down. We tried to get the quarterback to his team’s bench and he said, “Are you kidding me, if a fight breaks out I wanna be on the side of the guy who hit me.”
As she sat there I wondered how children have the ability to bring out the gentle nature that is locked away in many. I recalled when he accepted a full college scholarship and in his second year of school had a serious car accident. He was unable to play after that, but I heard he went on to receive a degree.
A boy, perhaps about 18 sat next to the girl. A blond haired kid, about six feet, thin, but muscular. I could not hear what was said, but she appeared uncomfortable. She turned away from him and when he persisted she scooted away. He rested his hand on her leg and she shoved it away.
I started to walk slowly toward the situation, but Inigo the Bear beat me to it.
“Stand up,” Inigo the Bear said.
What I saw next was inconceivable. The guy stands up and smirks. “Dude, she’s a babe. Like, it’s a compliment. You know who I am. I’m Lance Wilkerson, all-state quarterback. I’m going to Southern Cal.”
“If you don’t leave now,” Inigo the Bear said. “You ain’t gonna be going no where.”
“Hey, Lance,” I said. “I’m an old friend of this man. You ever heard of Inigo the Bear.”
“Yeah,” Lance said. “They got a picture of him in our locker room.”
“It suddenly came to me why they called him Inigo the Bear,” I said. “Bear is obvious, but there was a character in a movie when we were in high school and his recurring line was, “’Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.’”
The smile escaped Lane’s face quicker than a teenage thief with a a stolen CD running through the mall.
“He hates quarterbacks,” I said.
Lance smiled and left.
He got few feet away and I yelled out, “No, no Bear don’t go after him!”
Lance streaked for the door.
Inigo the Bear smiled. “I think he’ll make it. He’s fast.”
Then Inigo the Bear looked down at me. “Weren’t you our quarterback in high school?”
“Yes,” I said.
A scowl came on his face. “I never liked you.” Than he smiled broadly. “Good to see you again.” He shook my hand. “Thanks for defusing a situation.”
“Hey,” I said. “I was saving Lance, we quarterbacks have got to stick together.”