Bromance is usually something you have to experience in order to understand it. But the bond between these two guys was so strong, reading about it alone sends shivers down your spine. Recently, someone posted a question on reddit, saying “Straight guys of Reddit, what’s the most intimate moment you had with another guy?” The thread has been upvoted by nearly 35,000 people and received a lot of heartwarming responses, but this reply in particular stood out from the rest.
“First day of sophomore year (this is 1995), I was in biology 2 and a kid in a motorized wheelchair came in with the principal,” Russell Baltes told Bored Panda. “I sat alphabetically first in class and that was the place that the wheelchair fit. We were introduced and I was charged with helping him with his books and papers and whatever he needed. I was happy to oblige, especially when I saw he had a Thrasher Magazine in with his folders, had a Guided By Voices sticker on his chair, and wore tiger striped Vans…but this dude was mis-er-ab-le.”
“Within the first couple of months, we bonded over our shared fears and our exclusive love of Wu Tang,” Russell added. “I’d see him have to go out back to where the buses waited and his mom loaded him up and strapped him into their hilariously giant old handicap van in front of everyone. One day I thought that it might go quicker with two sets of hands and I ran out to offer assistance. His mom basically tackled me and made me come over for dinner.”
The crazy thing was that they never talked about Ben’s condition. Ever. “His mom told me it was Duschenes Muscular Dystrophy and that Ben had been in a chair since he was about 8 [or] 9. So I had to do research on my own. It was terrible. I found out that it’s basically a slow-burning ALS that shuts down the functions of muscles throughout the body with a life expectancy of about 18 <…>. So at 16-17, I had a vision of him turning into a puddle of flesh in a year or so and I was always scared.”
Thankfully, the guys got 10 more years. “After graduating high school, I went off to Bowling Green and he went to Wright State in Dayton where his family moved back to,” Russell said. “Big shouts to Wright State for being a fully accessible campus, by the way. We’d talk all the time and his dad would drive Ben up to hang out with me and my friends where we did all the dumb, illegal stuff that undergrads do.”
“After college, I moved back to Dayton and moved in with family for a year or so when Ben started to slide downhill a bit. I cherish that time so much, and actually, continue to feel remorse for moving to Columbus about a year and a half before he passed.”
“I met someone and I wanted to try to start a life. Natural wants for a mid-twenties dude. I was still over at their house as much as I could be, but I could tell ‘it’ was coming.”
Scroll down to read the about the end of this beautiful friendship and tells us your thoughts in the comments.