Once upon a time there was a poor but very brave man called Ali. He worked for Ammar, a rich old merchant.

One winter’s night Ammar said: “nobody can spend a night like this on top of the mountain without a blanket or food. But you need money, and if you can manage to do that you will receive a great reward. If you don’t, you will work for thirty days without pay”.

Ali answered: “tomorrow I shall do this test”.

But when he left the shop, he saw that a really icy wind was blowing and became scared, so he decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if it was crazy of him to accept that bet.

After reflecting a while, Aydi answered: “I shall help you. Tomorrow, when you are at the top of the mountain, look ahead. I will be on the top of the mountain next to yours, where I will spend the whole night with a bonfire lit for you. You look at the fire and think about our friendship – that will keep you warm. You will manage, and later on I shall ask you something in return.”

Ali won the test, got the money, and went to his friend’s house: “You told me you wanted some payment.”

Aydi answered: “Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”


  1. Linda Valles says:

    A good friend is like good wine it stays fresh on your palette when you sip it and it settles in your heart forever. It’s hard to find a good friend that will be with you through thick and thin. I was had a friend of 28 years I lost her twice. Once when she got sick and than when she die! I lost another because he didn’t want a friend. In the heart friendship is hard!

  2. eleonora says:

    Aydi answered: “Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”

  3. Ilva Asote says:

    Bartholomew the Apostle loves to play with the Stone. No jokes. These days the Stone tends to change its weigh – from light to very heavy to lift up… But all this only strengthens our friendship.
    How much have I told about the Stone in this blog? Probably 3-5% from all what I know. Must admit, today I’m simply sinking into it all.

  4. Eugenia says:

    I believe that friendship is a business, no one is friend if this one don’t give and recive. So it is change, bisness, convenient…
    But now, I’m writting in this blog to celebrate the big sword winner .I don’t believe, only one month and days,


  5. Barcelona_20_euros_en_un_café says:

    Sometimes a feel a litle bit alone, or a litle bit sad or a litle bit worry for something and then appear some of my friends like they know how I feel and the remeber me that they are with me when I need them. And I (hope that I )do the same with them…
    It’s like the story, when we need a friend they are with us.
    It’s a really nice history.

    Kisses from Barcelona,


  6. Olta Ana says:

    Maybe I understood that wrong, maybe it is only about the WOL community, but in any case, if it really going to be closed let me say to all of you Wol an Paulo that I love u. I’ve changed a lot thanks to all of you, but maybe it is time to stand only on my own feet.



    In this young man I found great richness which he was prepared to share with anyone. He revealed his life journey to me; he showed me his magical film-his life, from the time we first met until today.
    When this beardless young man was only sixteen years old he suddenly surprised her parents with decision , irresistible determination to travel to America(can you imagine something like this?) where he finished grammar school. He was an excellent student with all the life opportunities ahead of him. But after finishing grammar school he decided in three scanty days that, despite his approved university scholarship and his family’s great expectations, he would not continue with his study.
    With enormous power he decided to turn to the natural flow of life, use the wisdom of life and to live his life to the full.
    With its consumer mentality and degeneration, America truly disappointed him, he anticipated decay( which nowadays, 17 years after in 2009 really happened; the capitalist s system is now in the deepest crisis ever.) . He returned home and started his own business, he was very successful, but he never exaggerated and kept his freedom and moderation. Hi did not surrender to rapacity and greed that are so encouraged in our society.
    He traveled a lot, traveled the continents, the unknown places, met different civilizations, and absorbed new values, learnt from simple, unspoiled people.
    I will never forget how he described the “most beautiful bathroom in the world” which he found in Cuba among the poor. The bathroom had just walls and a “starry” vault. The former, ordinary ceiling had collapsed many years ago, and in this way it gave the “poor” people great richness: a beautiful view of the magical, powerful shine of the stars that were glowing like diamonds which covered the mysteriously dark sky in the night. While listening to his story I was completely amazed and I suddenly realized how very poor the bathrooms of the “kings” are in comparison to the “starry”- bathroom.
    Just after a few days I had spent with this young man, we made an agreement which I will always remember. It took only a few minutes and during that time he prepared a huge surprise and a turn in my life for me.
    The only seal on our agreement was nothing else but the handshake.(we did not go to advocate, he trusted me completely.) He only said to me: “Roman, -HAVE TRUST IN TRUST-it is the strongest “contract” and connection between people, which includes human heart.(it is very difficult to betray honest human heart and the consequences for betrayer are terrible-that is unwritten, eternal and everlasting law of life. People do not know that , they suffer a lot, because they are ignorent…)
    Only a few days later this young man gave me a remarkable book, Martin Kojc’s golden book -” THE TEXTBOOK OF LIFE” in which the author unravels the eternal and never changing spiritual laws. My friend Blaz lives by these laws and with his good example he made me turn to the natural flow of life.(and suddenly great miracles started to happen in my life…unbelievable.)
    I had an incomprehensible, invincible, deathly fear from flying and I swore to myself many years ago ,that I would have never flown ; but together with Blaz I flew carefree and lightly and felt the freedom of the eagles and the vastness of the sky for the very first time in my entire life. Blaz has opened the door into the new world for me-completely new world -world of trust and freedom.
    I left my cage, my attic, overcame my fear and now I am ready to travel the continents, ready to look beyond my narrow view of life and beliefs, to free myself from prejudice; to forget what they taught me, to search for new paths to walk on… “To fly”.
    Thank you, my miraculous friend.
    You are very similar to “Small Prince “, who came from another planet to visit us-frightened , anxious people and to show us how to “fly”.

  8. HADEEL says:

    u r a great friend ZAINAB w i love u so much…..there is something in you that touched me and i can never lose ur friendship mwaaaaa

  9. Zeinab says:

    This is really nice, but I wish it is true. Unfortunately, I believe that friendship with all the pure sacrifice and love does not exist anymore…

    1. HADEEL says:

      This is true in my life because i have many friends and i mean true ones in my life… of them is ZAINAB the girl who told me to read this story …and in return I want to tell u ZAINAB that i love u so much and we became real friends in a very short time mwa i am missing u so much habibti inti

    2. Deb says:

      I think that even if rare, friendship, in its pure way, still exist and it’s what helps us to go through difficult moments. Just belive in love, just trust in love and Love will do the same. I know sometimes it can be hard but let love a chance… you could be surprised by its response… :)

  10. Marie says:

    Friendship is a religion without God or doomsday. Without devil either. A religion that is no stranger to love and where war and hatred are prohibited, where silence is possible. Tahar Ben Jelloun.

    Friendship is the essential and indispensable as the air I breathe. It’s true love, reciprocal, full of happy moments and difficult. It’s good to have friends from home all the time and it’s a real blessing to be sure. I’m happy and proud of my friends. I’m pleased with our shared wealth.

    Light & Love,

  11. WOW…. this is really beautiful…. of course it is metaphorical speaking… because if it were that cold… he would freeze to death, looking up for the LOVE of his friend…
    But…. saying that…
    I believe that PAULO wants to underline here the power of a true friendship… when nothing can stand in someone way of achieving what they wanted to … because they are not feeling alone… and when the fire that kept warm their desires stars to fade away… slowly… your true friend is there for you… to light up the fire again…and keep it burning….
    By the way… for me…
    this is a very very deep message….doesn’t speak to me only about a TRUE FRIEND…but…
    about GOD…
    …because I feel his presence in my life so strong… and I can not deny this… I feel like HE is here to keep me going… to speak to me about LOVE… that LOVE that we have to OFFER UNCONDITIONALY to be can TRUE…. He speaks to me about the beauty of forgiveness… and about the mystery of life… LIFE IS SO SO SO beautiful… if YOU LIVE IT IN A RIGHT WAY… dear FRIENDS… I love you all, so much… I don’t think I could hate for long even my worse enemy…. but saying this I am not a saint… I make mistakes… but I try to stand up again, to stand straight and keep my head held up high…
    I am fortunate that I always meet in my life nice persons who tried to help me… I admit that I need a lot of help at the moment but I had friends like RON, VIKRAM…. who were here for me when I needed them the most! I love them, from the bottom of my heart! I also appreciate another one, whos name starts with D and if he can guess who he is … then I am so glad! :) I thank you to PAULO COELHO too, as he touched my heart through his writings…

    All my love to you all… Gabriela Romaria

  12. Very important that we light a fire even if the friend may feel a little burned at first.

    1. If he feels burned… maybe it is not because of our loVE? :-/ Isn’t it?… ’cause if he is …then LOVE can not do any harm.. MELLE! :)
      Love, Gabriela Romaria

  13. katie says:

    there are friends for reasons.
    there are friends for seasons.
    and there are friends for life-time.

    1. Once I met my soul
      and was inside of you,
      Once I was so happy,
      it was when I saw you,
      That I knew…
      What true friendship is…?
      I call you… a FRIEND…

      Love, Gabriela Romaria

  14. Tammam says:

    …”there are three main reasons why one person might like/love “philia” someone else. One might like/love someone because he is good, or because he is useful, or because he is pleasant. And so there are three bases for friendships, depending on which of these qualities binds friends together…” Aristotle.

    … now, in a light hearted way… I wondered how to reconcile Aydi’s friendship with Aristotle’s description of friendship :)

    1. Well… I think somehow…it must be all 3 in once, dear Tammam…. but still….. not necessarily… ’cause for someone to be really your best friend he must gain your trust first… Once you have his trust… then you and him or her can build on LOVE… and let it shine… Beautifully…
      LOve, Gabriela Romaria

  15. gaurry says:

    many people came and gone in our life ,only the real friends stay with us for ever !

    1. Well.. I don’t know what to say to this… because it happen to me in general to have my boyfriends the best friends… but when we split… I usually decide that it is better to don’t keep in contact because in this way we both can re-build our life… So…. yes…. the other true friends I have, women… yes, they stay, indeed… and I ma so grateful to have them in my life…. I have a few to whom I can go when I feel lonely…. recently I got a new friend too, he is a man… and I am very grateful to have him in my life! He is so SPECIAL PERSON!
      Love, Gabriela Romaria

    2. Tammam says:

      Thanks Gabriela… so the thought is, whether friendship based on deriving benefit or pleasure from the other is like a friendship for the sake of the other irrespective… that is only for the sake of the goodness of the other… for the sake of the other for being…

      …as for Trust and Love, much thought is needed there… for that is where emotions and thinking are entangled with the ability to Change, the hardest of all activities!

  16. Tammam says:

    In the U.S. one meets and works with many people, no one really has time for friendship…

    once interests diverge, friendship becomes history, it is mostly a friendship of convenience, with the clock ticking, of the present only…

    True friendship is trust… fun in a friendship is in the sharing and daring of ideas and thoughts…

    1. THA IS REALLY HOW I THINK TOO… Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!!!
      Love, Gabriela ROmaria

  17. Den Rod says:

    Friendship is ‘peace of mind and soul’ and wonder.

    1. Dear DEN, peace of mind and soul… that is fantastic dear friend! If we could achieve that, we are blessed! I am happy to say that I think that a friend is a gift from GOD, OUR LIFE is a gift too… or “wonder” as you like to name it! I believe in miracles… and I know they happen at the right time and to right people… YOU MUCT BELIEV in KIRACLE to allow them to happen into your life… if you don’t believe you are pushing them away…and … then you may not find your peace at all…
      Love, Gabriela Romaria

    2. Den Rod says:

      Sure, I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES and in TRUE FRIENDS AROUND ME and I believe we both can be friends too, dear Gabriela.

  18. James says:

    What better friend is there than one’s own brother?

    1. Ah… is this a metaphore?.. :)

  19. Anna says:

    Thank you very much.
    In my opinion, in a true friendship person dont ask anything – he nows for sure, that in the same situation his friend will do the same thing for him…

    1. addiriya says:

      yes i agree. There’s no need from aydi to ask that from Ali. If Ali didnt do the same thing, then their friendship aren’t true at all. But, only a fool that its heart doesnt move with aydi gesture..

    2. YEs, that is true… Love and Light to you, Anna

    3. yes, dear Anna, I agree… he she knows inside his / her heart …and it is not really good to talk about… “what you have done for me.. ” or “what I have done for you..” …Because it is futile… and doesn’t make sense… what once do…it has to be out of love and because they care… and no one expect any recompense… but LOVE! :)

  20. Satora says:

    *A Friendship Blessing*

    May you be blessed with good friends.
    May you learn to be good friend to yourself.
    May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
    there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
    May this change you.
    May this transfigure that which is negative, distant, or
    cold in you.
    May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and
    affinity of belonging.
    May you treasure your friends.
    May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
    may they bring you all the blessings, challenges,truth,
    and light that you need for your journey.
    May you never be isolated.
    May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your
    anam cara.

    John O’Donohue – Anam Cara – A Book of Celtic Wisdom

    With loving kindness,


    1. A beautiful blessing, thank you, Satora.

    2. SATORA…. it is a beautiful poem… thank you for posting it!
      I loved this stanza very much: “May you learn to be good friend to yourself.” … and this one also:
      “May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your
      anam cara.”
      Love, Gabriela Romaria

  21. Marie-Christine says:

    Hi U Sheela lu la
    Good to :) u again.

  22. Olta Ana says:

    Dear Sheela, I’ve missed your comments a lot!
    I thought I’d have never seen any comment of yours here again.

    All best and good luck in your life!
    Much Love

  23. funkyjustice says:

    I love this story.
    I had always thought of friendship as a gift above family in that you choose people outside of your family to confide in and sometimes your relationship is even more gratifying that your family ties.
    Well this was until I experienced human wickedness and falsehood. Friends who are as insidious as cancer! Now I find it so hard to have friendships beyond the superficial social acquaintance.

    My feelings are echoed in John Clare’s poem below:

    I AM

    I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
    My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
    I am the self-consumer of my woes,
    They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
    Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
    And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

    Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
    Into the living sea of waking dreams,
    Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
    But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
    And even the dearest–that I loved the best–
    Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.

    I long for scenes where man has never trod;
    A place where woman never smiled or wept;
    There to abide with my creator, God,
    And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
    Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
    The grass below–above the vaulted sky

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      Thank you for the poem. It is beautiful.
      Friendship is part of the “MISTERY ” of life.
      I agree with you, “it is a gift.”

  24. Marita says:

    I often thought what a true friendship was. Now I know what it is… Thank you Paulo

  25. Ahmed Alaa-eldin says:

    well for me i wish to be like ali, able to trust that his friend would be there for him and would not let him down…!!

    Keep well and smiling dear paulo :)

  26. Olta Ana says:

    Amazing Paulo!

    Friendship is so important! Once I was hearing a conversation between my mother and some other friends of her who was speaking about their mothers, and remembering stories about their grandmothers. hehehhe
    One advice that my great-grandmother used to tell my grandmother was. “Keep good relationships with your sisters” By that she meant her friends. Because she might have got a husband, but they never know how he might be,(understand that as things were in that age no one could get married more than once) She might got kids but they had to go on with their own life. Parents will die one day so the best ones left are your good friends.

    Life gives you good and bad people around but when you get good friends those are for all life time. A pity that sometimes big spaces has always divided them, but nowadays this isn’t such a big problem isn’t it. ;)
    Actually I feel so lucky because I have by my side a very wonderful friend, and I have learned sooooooooooo much from her. From her loving heart, from her strong will, especially speaking about studying. It is like we complete each other in some ways and I feel so lucky about that. I am always the optimistic one, almost flying and dreaming a lot, while she becomes pessimistic and stressed in some occasions. But this helps us both. I need to be down to earth sometimes and she needs to be more calm. Sometimes through her I can even understand my youngest sister because they are almost the same.
    There are times when I can’t stop thanking God for giving me such a good, loving and caring friend.

    Really, friendship is so precious! Sometimes I even got hurt from false friends but that doesn’t really matter. Correction: When friendship can be such a great present, that doesn’t matter at all. ;DD

    PS: I am so happy I got you too as friends here, because your words and care has made my day a better day more than once!

    1. gaurry says:

      many times I think :I ‘d be nothing without my friends ,especially the one who can lit a fire for me as I’m cold!rare but more pericious ,maybe one or two in our life that has been our luck!

  27. Hope says:

    Yea! I shall drink from Thee
    And Thou shalt drink from me
    All the good God has preserved in us.
    Blessed is he who is so firmly established here
    That he may never spill out
    What God has poured into him.
    Mechthild of Magdeburg

    1. katie says:

      hi hope,
      welcome back to “blog”-work :o)
      nice to see you again….
      it’s an old poem ….?

    2. Hope says:

      hi! you are sweet katie, thnx! nice to see you too! still in alaska? yeah it is from 1200 century :)

    3. katie says:

      wow. 800 years old.
      yeah, still living in alaska, but having now over 7 days of sunlight: spring is here soon.
      should be similar where you are? (sweden?)

      in a couple of days I will come over to europe. think this will mean disconnection from the net.
      will be nice though ….
      I am worried that it will be too warm for me then hehee

    4. Hope says:

      great! spring was my favorite season! now all seasons are wonderful!!! ja sweden is so cold and beautiful now, so if you someday cross sweden and a cold wind comes near you, you know that you have a friend in stockholm :) it is getting lighter everyday. Ja the poem is 800 years old like Rumi my favorite!

  28. Thomas says:

    I once spent a year without any friends. It made me suicidal, afterwards as I was sitting in the hospital after a failed attempt a friend I had known since birth reappeared into my life. She didn’t say anything about the thing just flipped through pictures of her stay in Kenia. And those pictures and just the presence of someone else made me I guess dream again. After she left I realised that I never had done anything for anyone like she had just done for me. She didn’t have to because we barely spoke at the time and I was a mess. But I started turning my life around and two years later I joined her in Africa after a succesful recovery. I always try to be as generous as her with people I like and I’ve never been so down and out anymore. There’ve been pits in the road but no more gorges of desolate despair and a lot of this has to do with my friends. So here’s a thank you again Griet! Down for life!

  29. Dear all,

    For this story,

    I would like to put few lines and those are:

    “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” “” Albert Camus

    God bless you all !

    1. sulaima says:

      wonderful story . i wish if had such a friendship even if its for one day

    2. Daniel says:


      For one day,
      walk at my side,
      at my elbow,
      or off in the distance,
      matching my stride.

      For one day,
      hear my heart beat,
      through wind,
      through rain,
      and through blazing sun.

      For one day,
      I’ll do the same,
      my steps an impression,
      an equal to yours,
      not over-stepped,
      or on a different course.

      For one day,
      We we will face the sun,
      side by side with no fears to defend,
      and our shadows will be left behind,
      not cast over a friend.

      With love and friendship, Sulaima and Santosh. You inspired this. Thanks!


    3. katie says:

      niiiiice. :o)

  30. elaine says:

    Another beautiful story to contemplate. Thank you Paulo.

    Many friends say, “I’ve got your back.” Which is wonderful… the part we cannot see. Aydi, had Ali’s ALL in his hands. What a beautiful friend to carry the whole of a person when needed. What a magnificent world we could have if more of us would see it this way.

    To new perspectives and action…

    Love and warm continual light to you,

  31. m says:

    “home is where the heart is” it has no boundaries, no countries. It is Universal.

  32. kalyar says:

    so nice… :)

  33. Susan says:

    Thanks for the story!
    I appreciate the far i’ve travelled in life,the friends that held my hand and cheered me on when i couldnt find the strength to go on.

  34. carmina says:

    it was an awesome really touched my heart.
    just a few month ago.i lost a friendship.when im thinking about it it makes me really sad.super sad.*sigh* but its alright i think only time can tell if we both each others friendship.right?thank you paulo for that heart warming story :D godbless.

  35. TAM says:


    1. gwangge says:

      If you get hurt by your friend and you forgive him/her, you are a best friend, however, not everybody can be everybody’s best friend.

  36. wegdane salaheldin says:

    as much as true friendship does your short story warms our heart.thank you Paulo coelho.

  37. JUMZLEVROM says:

    great story, i hope i could find this kind of friends in my life…

  38. Nada EM says:

    When I was a little kid, my dad told me a story about a wise man who asked his sun to build a house in each country or a place he visits. My dad told me that I should do the same. As a little girl I was thrilled by the idea and started asking questions on the amount of money I need and how I will get it to build a house for me in each country. He stopped me smiling and said, my little girl, a friendship is a solid – warm house that will incubate you through all the seasons of your life.. you have to build a friendship in each place you visit. This was his request and this is what I do.. build a house and sometimes few houses in each country I visit.. you can say, I am a wealthy little girl.. thank you daddy.

    1. katie says:

      this is a nice story :o)
      thank you very much.
      this is so true.
      and because I have a home at each place I lived, my home is everywhere. my home is the earth….
      not the country where I was born anymore.

  39. katie says:

    Anonymus says:
    ‘The story is good. But I could only see Selfishness. May be its not in the story but in me..’

    and I looked at the wording:
    ‘Aydi answered: “Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”’
    there is the word “promise” in there.

    this all reminds me of two terms: “conditional” and “unconditional love”.

    I am in a bad situation right now. but actually, the way I came to know my friends and we have mutual memories …
    I do not want to evaluate & judge them based on their action right now towards me and the fires they keep burning ….

    there are several friends that would not pass this test right now.
    but do I really call these friendships “bad”?
    there are reasons there …
    1. they have to deal with similar or more extreme situations and are overwhelmed.
    2. they hurt more for me than I do.
    3. they do not get it.

    So, the capacity of a friend how s/he can help depends on their current situation and also the “mental state they have – how they see love – what they are capable of” etc.

    So, for example, I have right now 3 very close friends that keep the fire burning, each based on their capacity that they can provide, and it is funny: their help is complementary.

    and the other friends? I do reach out as good as I can and be gentle :o)
    I know them. I know what is going on in their lives and some of them feel overwhelmed.
    I am not counting the fires they lit and I try to keep some burning.

    unconditional love ….
    there is a nice practice: each day, try to do something good in such a way that you are not recognized and can enjoy it, in an anonymous way.

    now, when I have a bad day and go shopping groceries, I often by some fruit in a very small amount.
    and just give to somebody who helps me in the store. this is indeed not an anonymous present. but I always enjoy the people’s face, and the bad day changes immediately its atmosphere.
    in a specific way, we humans are all so different indeed and similar at the same time. there could be friendships everywhere …. even on this little basic level: giving some one 2 apricots :o)


    1. Liina says:

      Yes, Katie. It very much depends on our own attitude, and the way we feel about love. What does love represent to us. Do we want to slave it or let it be free: letting it flow in, out and dwell in us.

      I loved the ending – doing something “very small” just to see a smiling face back. This is the beauty in life, there’s beauty everywhere. Wether we’re recieving or showing it spontaneously even to a ‘stranger’ – but we see it in any way. That’s what I always mean by small things becoming big. It starts from those small things that often define our attitude to life.

      Thank You!
      Love, and namaste, as You say,

  40. @CONSCIOUS_NESS says:

    Have been bk to this post several times since I first saw it yesterday. I make no secret of trying to commit it to memory so I can recount it(with ref to the great author) to all of humanity. God bless you for showing what is important.

  41. Ana says:

    Thank you Paulo for this.

  42. Charlene says:

    I believe that real friends will know when you are in need, no matter how big your smile is to hide your desperation. And these kind of people/friends are worth keeping for a lifetime. Life is never certain but if you have real people by your side, it can be a good adventure.

  43. Daniela Kunz says:

    I extended my friendship to somebody as best as I could and in the way I felt safest as it was a male/widower and I am a married woman with a family to take care of. AS he lost his wife, and he was my former neighbor and I knew his wife very well, I tried to give my gift of friendship to him as he seemed so lonely and in need of somebody whou would just be there to listen. Unfortunately my gift of friendship the way I could give it, was not accepted in the way I would have been able to give. The widower demanded one on one time with me on a regular basis and I tried to do so, but only to discover that his way of hugging and touching made me feel very uncomfortable and it made me feel unsafe. I explained to him that what I felt and hoped he would back off and just not step into my space and always be standing way too close to me. He seemed to ignore my demand and so I did avoid to go visit him at his house or other places. He scolded me for not giving more than what I had to offer and he was very bitter about it, since he did not get what he wanted. After 3 years ….or was it even more of my time – I decided to not let the widower hurt me with his bitter remarks and rants anymore. I saw that I had to be my own best friend and protect myself and be selfish for once as the widower only tried to manipulate me into something I did not want at all. I recognized that sometimes people just can’t seem to appreciate the gift of friendship.

    I have learned by this to proceed cautiously, to forgive and to move on as it is not my fault (but almost thought it was my fault).

    I have also learned to accept the gift of friendship from somebody without demanding more than what they can give.

  44. Neelima says:

    This short story truly defines friendship… It is beautiful… Thanks…

  45. Lorie Dungo says:

    Dear Paulo,

    This piece is really beautiful. It made me remember my dearest friends who lives far away from me and this piece also made me remember the value of friendship.

    Thank you so much!

    Lorie :)

  46. lizzie says:

    very meaningful… I hope I find that kind of friendship

  47. Suhad says:

    really it’s an amazing story… if u wanna know the value of friend in your life, ask someone who doesn’t have a friend… really I need a friend in my life…

  48. maricris says:

    i love this a story of true friendship..
    thanks puolo
    hopefully i can buy your books..

  49. Nour says:

    The fire of friendship? Does it exist?

  50. Mario Bugarević says:

    ( a letter to Paulo Coelho – feb 7th 2010. )

    ( Author:
    Mario Bugarevic – may 17th 2004. )


    – We need to make an appearance at the crossroads of the categorical self-established
    doctrine of a mean – during the search of the Phenomenon, and in accordance with a
    matrix of common nature – our task is to project ourselves physically and spiritually –
    – during the realization of our own life in accordance with an agreement of our own
    laws and rules.