I watched

I watched Stan as he threw up all over the floor. It was his habit; he vomited over people he admired or adored. Yet he was doing it over the sluttiest girl in the third grade, I thought, and it bothered me.

I watched Stan as he dated that girl, Wendy. I remained silent as they watched Western movies together, went skating on the frozen Stark's Pond, went walking in the rainforest, spent Valentine's Day together, and many other things I didn't want to see. I watched Stan feel completely shocked when she kissed Cartman for no reason, and watched him feel confused as she took him into her "loving" embrace.

I watched Stan as he ogled the pretty subsitute teacher. I had done the same, but only to fit in with the rest of my friends. Wendy grew furious at all of us, and I watched as she skyrocketed our teacher to the sun.

I watched Stan as Bebe delivered the news to him that Wendy broke up with him. I watched his transformation happen; from being a happy-go-lucky kid to one of the Goths. I was there to help him, though at times I failed. I watched as he got used to the idea, and I watched him return to his lifestyle once more.

I watched Stan as he grew jealous of his ex-girlfriend. We had an egg project assigned to us, the typical "act as if the egg were your child" project, and I watched him grow jealous because I was partnered with Wendy. I watched him grow furious at me, calling my hat stupid, and completely hating me. I watched him do his best to keep that egg alive, to prove me and Wendy and Bebe that he could do it. I watched him deny the idea that he cared for Wendy's opinion, even though deep down inside I knew that was all he cared about.

I watched Stan as we entered middle school. We were all psyched to leave elementary school, and the minute we entered campus I watched him cast his glances at all the girls. I even watched him leave our group to chase a decent looking girl, and I watched him return with no luck.

I watched Stan as he completely idolized Danica Patrick. Stan's dad took us on a trip to see the Daytona 500 over a Spring Break, and after that he took a huge liking of the sport. I watched him as he made a few clicks on the computer, and I watched him drool over Danica's picture.

I watched Stan as he plastered posters all over his room. Hooter girls, Maxim women, and Danica Patrick littered his walls. I watched him as he put them up, almost feeling up the posters as if they were in person. I watched him as he muttered things to himself, making sexual comments about each girl he put on his wall.

I watched Stan as he got a new computer. The first thing we did was connect it to the internet. We set it up, made all the adjustments to it, installed instant messengers of all kind, and by the time we were done we sat on the bed. I watched as he started talking about the many websites that had hot women on them, and he started talking about jacking off to them. I watched as he typed in words on a search engine, and landed himself on a pornographic website. I watched him as he sat relaxed on his chair, hands in his pants, and moving his hands in motions I felt tempted to watch. I watched him as he stifled his moans, and I wondered if I should leave him to be by himself. I watched him as he stretched himself on the floor when he finished, and when he asked me why I hadn't jacked off I just gave him a mere shrug. I watched him enter his closet to change his clothing, and then we headed off to do something more fun.

I watched Stan as he asked a girl to his first homecoming dance. He had come running to me first, asking for help on how to ask her out. It was a pretty girl, I had to admit, and though I disagreed with his choice I helped him out. I watched him as he handed over to her a bouquet of red roses and ask her to the dance. I watched her face lighten up with glee, and I watched her say yes to him.

I watched Stan as he tried to find the perfect outfit for the dance. I, myself, wasn't going, but I still took time out of studing for my precalculus test to help him "shop." I watched him complain that he felt like a girl for caring, but I assured him that it was only to look the best he could for someone he liked. I watched him pick a nice black suit, with a white tie to accompany it. He gave me his thanks, and we returned home.

I watched Stan the next school day after the dance as he held her hand. The dance had been a very successful for him, and I gave him congratulations and my well-wishes as he introduced me to her formally. Inside I still disagreed with his choice, but I could not and would not sway his mind. I watched as they bid each other farewell with a kiss as he left with me to go to class.

I watched Stan as he burst into my room, crying once more. He had a dilemma, and I sat on my bed as I heard him out. He had grown a habit of watching porn on the internet, partially because of Kenny's influence and partially due to his own curiosity. I watched him crumble to the floor as he declared his problem unfair, to both him and his girlfriend. I helped him up and told him that it would be okay, and that he should probably stay away from the porn. I watched Stan cry his eyes out, something that was once again considered a feminine thing to do.

I watched Stan as we went throughout high school. He never broke off with her, lasting for more than twice as long as he did with Wendy many years ago. I watched from afar as he laughed with her, danced with her, kissed her, hugged her, made her feel special, eat with her, being suave around her, treat her to romantic dates, watched movies with her, and lay underneath the stars with her. She accomplished much more than I could with him, and I watched as she became the happiest person in existence.

I watched Stan as we graduated. I was valedictorian, and as I addressed my class I watched him gripping her hand tightly. I watched him smile as I did, saw him chuckle when I stumbled on a word, and I watched him beam in happiness when we all threw our hats in the air, being free from the poisonous grip of high school.

I watched Stan as we slowly drifted apart during our years of college. He went to Colorado State, while I went to Harvard, fulfilling everyone's predictions of my future college. I talked to him via the internet frequently, but other than that I didn't see or hear or talk to him much. I watched Stan's pictures on his myspace page, which he updated weekly, but otherwise I didn't see much of him after that.

I watched myself as I began to pass from our friendship. I knew that these friendships never really lasted, but it seemed only too overwhelming that I could lose a friendship that had meant so much to me as a child. Perhaps it had been my own fault for attending school so far away from home. I made new friends, yes, and I watched as I began to let go of Stan.

Yet I watched Stan as he visited me one year, having changed completely in almost every aspect. He brought a girl with him, and by the way she greeted me I recognized her to be the same girl that I had helped Stan get. She adored me, and told me how if it weren't for me they would've never met. I watched Stan turn red in embarrassment, and he told me that what she was saying was true. I watched him as he stayed with me over the winter holidays, watched him more than I had ever before, and even celebrated Christmas with them.

I watched Stan as he graduated from college. I flew over back to Colorado after my own graduation to visit Stan, even though I would be moving back months later as well. I watched him as he greeted me once more, accompanied by his girlfriend still. I watched him as he told me "great" news that he had, and as he held her tightly in his embrace he told me of their engagement. I watched them as they graduated, and I felt happy... yet sad.

I watched myself again as I shopped around for my own suit. I remembered how I had done the same thing so many years ago for Stan, and how he was so concerned about looking good for the girl she loved. I remembered what he had picked, why he had picked it, when, at which store, almost every detail. In a way I was doing the same, trying to look good for a particular couple, but instead of looking good for a dance I was dressing up to attend a wedding.

I watched Stan as he nervously awaited his bride to walk the path towards the alter, where he stood. I was his best man, standing next to him, and through the corner of my eyes I could see his goofy grin plastered on his face. He was in heaven, happy beyond belief, and though the matter still troubled me, almost eight years later, I still felt happy for him.

I watched Stan as he gave his vows towards the woman who would be his wife, and I remained silent with the rest of the guests. I watched her return the vows, I watched them place rings on each other, and I watched them stare into each other's eyes in complete bliss. I watched myself tremble, yet I regained my composure to prevent myself from looking like a complete idiot.

I watched Stan take her into his arms. I watched him "kiss the bride," and I watched the whole church applaud. I watched the organ player play lively church music with deliberate and meaninful strokes. I watched him lift her into the air, turning in spirals as they gazed at each other. I watched him kiss her as if there was no tomorrow, with every movement of his lips as meaningful as the next, and with each kiss more passionate than the last. They were married.

I would always watch Stan as he spent the rest of his life with that woman. But at that very moment... I watched my own dreams, my unsaid desires, as they flushed down the drain.