I have a friend that I met online. He was an assistant in math class during online school. At the time that I met him, he was more of a “mentor.” But once I had the chance to have a conversation with him, he was one of the funniest, smartest, and most caring adults I’ve met. He taught me a lot about how energy may affect the way you act in certain situations. All of these interactions surprised me a lot since I am a big hater of texting and keeping up or meeting people online. I was never fond of texting because it is very stressful, thanks to the awkwardness of not being able to interact with this person in real life.
It was difficult but we’ve become great friends and influences on each other’s lives. This person is Siva, “Dr. Devara.” One of the last times we saw each other we chatted about our future and said our goodbyes like usual: “Be safe, my guy.” Funny enough, this wasn’t the last time we saw each other. A few days later he surprised me and a lot of the people in the anime club from my school with a shirt with their favorite anime character on it.
We vibed outside of my house for a bit till it was time for goodbye. Much wasn’t said — it felt as if we were not going to meet for a long time. We walked two different ways. Although certainly not the end, this was the time and place where our paths took different turns.
After this, I went into 11th grade and Siva went to Medical School. We couldn’t see each other, so texting was the only communication with our busy schedules. It would take us days to respond, but we still were there for each other through things. We would catch up with calls where we would speak about the things we didn’t share over text. We would talk about anime we were watching and even share issues we were facing through that time. We called this time of our lives “The Training Arc” as we both faced hardships and great opportunities to change ourselves.
During a conversation about anime and life, we had the idea to create a podcast. It was a dream of mine to be able to have a podcast and Siva was willing to help me out, so the “Talk No Jutsu” Podcast was born. The podcast was mainly about anime, and although we only got to record one episode of it, I enjoyed it a lot. The topic of that freestyle episode was how to get into anime and what genres we thought would fit certain people based on our experience. The conversation highlighted how good of a team we were; we had great chemistry regarding the topic. I was happy to see someone participate in one of my dreams. It made me feel as if someone did care for one of my passions.
A year later, we decided to meet up and grab some lunch. As we were planning I got all the more excited — I was finally going to reunite with one of my mentors. But this mentor had already turned into a friend, one of my closest friends. The feeling of seeing Siva after such a long time was the same as seeing my friends from the Dominican Republic. It was anxiety-filled yet it brought a great smile to my face.
We set up the date, July 10th of 2022 at 1:00 pm. We had some trouble doing this since we were both working and busy. After all the struggle, the day came around. All day I was imagining what sort of things we would do or talk about. I was anxious about it since this was the first time we would be around each other as “friends” not “student-teacher” anymore. I was running around getting myself ready before the time to leave. Then, around 11:59 am I got a text “I’m about to head over, will be at your place around 1. See you soon, my man.” After that, it was about the wait. I didn’t know what to wear and then I remembered the shirt he gave me, a Gojo shirt. It was light blue matching some shoes I had. Later, around 1:08 pm, I received the message: “Here!”
I called my mom to let her know I was leaving my house. And then as I stepped outside, there he was. With the same short height, cool glasses, and earrings, right next to the RAV4 2002 he always drove around. Dr. Devara himself: Siva.
After a quick greeting, we hopped in the car and got going. During the ride, we had a conversation about how we were doing, how other students that he also was working with at my school were, and just other things we hadn’t talked about. During this conversation, I met his girlfriend who already knew me since he mentioned me beforehand. That was surprising — it made me feel as if we had a whole friendship of years and years.
Once we got to the place, we ordered some great Chinese food and boba tea. After getting the food, we talked about plans after school. He told me a few things about medical school and how his life was going. We made several jokes about the stuff we talked about.
As all of this was happening, we realized that this was the first time we’d seen each other in over a year. We didn’t notice it because it was such a genuinely relaxed time that it was unbelievable we hadn’t been together since the end of my 10th-grade year. After finishing up, we grabbed dessert at Waffles + Boba Tea in Chinatown, during which we talked about one of our favorite anime. Afterward, we got in the car, and on the way back home we showed each other some of our favorite music and had a little more conversation. Once I got dropped off, we made a pact to see each other at least once every summer. I got out of the car and said goodbye as I went into my house.
This simple interaction taught me that you don’t need to always be around someone to be able to have a strong connection with them. It’s hard, but respect and love always stay around. I realized that I could have a better relationship with other people that I wasn’t in much contact with. This simple interaction showed me that Dr. Devara and my friendship is something I want to keep around.
P.S. This message is for you, Siva. Thank you for teaching me how to better myself, and for keeping an eye on me. We may not see each other all the time, but the love and respect are reciprocated from my end to yours. I’ll always be a friend to you, and always find a way to make sure you know that. We’ve had several fun moments and I’ve cherished everything we’ve done together.
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you enjoy your birthday. And keep growing as the amazing, loving, and mature person you’ve always been. Thank you for being such a great influence and mentor in my life.
Love you always,