We have been friends ever since I can remember. We were best friends from the very first moment we saw each other in kindergarten and continued ever since. Everything went smooth until we hit the age of seven. That was the time, when Carter started doing these weird things. It all started one afternoon during a lesson. Out of nowhere he started shouting “Boooooring” and doing this plopping sound with his lips, followed with a wild jerk of his head. The teacher lost it, he got so mad, that Carter was disrespecting his lecture, that he kicked him out of the classroom. But unlike anyone else in the room, I knew that something was wrong. Carter was a quiet introvert, who would never do such a thing. His facial expression was showing, that he was desperate and very confused as the rest of us.
For the rest of the week, Carter didn’t show up to school. Apparently, he continued doing those weird gestures even at home and when being told off, he admitted that he had no control and it caused him tremendous discomfort and exhaustion to try to suppress it. His parents fortunately believed him and took him to a hospital… there he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.
Growing up was not easy. All our friends were slowly avoiding us, one by one. Nobody wanted to have anything in common with that weird guy that was shouting random things or doing wild hand gestures. Nonetheless, I stayed. I never left his side. For some stupid reason, nobody was able to comprehend what an extraordinary person Carter was. Our favourite activity was to watch movies and different TV series. We had always the subtitles on, so we wouldn’t be disturbed if he did some noise – that was when I discovered that reading had an interesting effect on him, and calmed him down to some extent. I started bringing him comics and bunch of fantasy and sci-fi books. He loved it. In fact he loved it so much that most of his vocal tics started being references from those different comics and TV series. There is nothing more hilarious than when we are walking down the street and he starts shouting “To the Batmobile!” or “Heeeere’s Johnny!” or “Why so serious?” and many more. He never failed to make me laugh and he was glad to have someone to be laughing with him and not at him. Not everybody though was so nice. Many people were giving him weirded out looks, even offended. They thought he was a freak. He was unable to keep quiet for a long period of time, so school became very hard for him and let’s face it, other kids are very judgemental towards people who are different. Eventually it got even to the always positive Carter. It started slowly. He became frustrated, scared and later on very depressed. I watched him every day be more and more sad, as if a piece by piece he was dying. His ticks started to be more rude, which made him more anxious, which made him tick even more. I tried to be there for him, to support him, to cheer him up, but it wasn’t enough.
One day he didn’t come to school and I wasn’t able to reach him on his phone. I became very worried. He was capable of anything at this point, despite the loving support of me and his family. The outside world just overpowered the good and placed him in a dark hole, out of which he couldn’t get out. Anxiously I left school early and hurried over to his flat. We were twenty at that time.
I tried to ring the doorbell, but nobody was answering. I had this bad feeling, so I stopped messing around and fair and square threw a stone in his living room and climbed in. I got some very bad cuts, but I couldn’t care less. I searched most of the house, until finally, I found him on the bathroom door, crying his eyes out, holding a closed tube of pills. I sat next to him and hugged him. We didn’t speak, just sat there.
After this incident, I decided it was time to do something. I found a local group meeting with people suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and brought Carter there. He was amazed. All those people were like him, they accepted him and they loved him as much as I did. He finally found a place where he belonged and discovered that he wasn’t alone. We started attending regularly and even found out that in the group was a professional comedian. We attended one of his performances and I could see, that a new spark appeared in Carter’s eyes. Finally he could see that there was a way, that he could live happily and at last he was able to see himself as I saw him all those years… as an extraordinary human being, that everybody should be jealous of, because nobody was even close as awesome as he was.