I didn’t quite believe in the power of hugs until maybe today.
A friend told me earlier that a person needs to be hugged daily, with one lasting for about 20 seconds for a proper serotonin fix.
I’m not a hug person, it goes with not being affectionate, so one day, months ago, when he suddenly came out of nowhere asking me for a hug, I resisted briefly.
“I just need a hug.”
So awkwardly, and hesitantly, I wrapped my arms around his slouched body, barely touching him, just enough space so I can tap his back for whatever comfort it may bring. I remember counting up to three, before letting go.
“Can I have another one?”
I let that next one last for a little while longer.
I don’t remember now what he needed that hug for, or why he needed 2, or why it had to come from me. I just remember feeling slightly proud about myself, for not hugging properly thus not completely submitting, but for being a good friend at the same time by meeting him halfway.
Had I known what was going to happen in the next months, I would have hugged him for 20 seconds for his serotonin fix.
And then again, and then again, and then again, longer, and tighter so I can be his serotonin fix. Let science do its magic, and allow our bodies to touch, so the chemicals may do its job, without us doing anything but permit.
Had I foreseen this tragedy, I would not have let him go.
But I did.
And now I need a hug.