I have this one friend for over 7 years. She is extremely introverted and the hardest person to get to know. She says "Be Careful" every time that we part with so much enthusiasm I feel she has foreseen my death in a dream or something. I always say "Love ya" back. "Be Careful" is a phrase for acquaintances, "Love ya" is for friends. I have spent countless hours with her and had some great experiences. I would still say that I know nothing of what goes on in her inner mind. She guards her life details as if it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I am the only friend that has ever been in her house and I have only been twice. She has lived with her high school sweetheart for 15 years, but has boyfriends on the side that we are expected to treat as her "friend" and are never to discuss. She has had some massive trauma, but doesn't discuss it. She is estranged from her family. I hug her and I know she appreciates it even if she can't hug back. I have been trying to get her to go to therapy for a few years now. She started to go a few weeks ago out of the blue. The difference is incredible. She visited her mother and told her "I love you" for the first time since being an adult. So anyway, she picks me up to go to Bikram yesterday. I get in the car and she touches my hand which she never does. She then proceeds to tell me how thankful she is that she has me in her life, that she knows that it has been hard at times to be her friend all these years, and that I am her closest friend. I was so taken by surprise I just said normal cliche things. When she drops me off at home after class I say my normal "Love ya" as I get out of the car. As I am closing the door I hear her say "I love you too". The door closes and I just stand there and look up at the sky as she drives off. I smile and think to myself that sometimes accepting people as they are and simply encouraging them to be the best they can be is enough. It apparently was for her.