Every Goodbye Ain't Gone
Disclaimer: A concussed mind has nothing to do but trip down memory lane or create... I’ve discovered I can’t really control which or when.
We spent less than a week being honest about our feelings for each other. In the month he spent at MY school, I laughed at the way my friends lined up to take a number just to confess a crush, hoping to be the feminine company He kept while visiting. His chocolaty goodness had descended upon us from a land I once knew and understood better than the foreign country I’d been deposited in to begin my quest for higher learning.
My sights were set on the candy shop full of upperclass-Men who possessed qualities absent in the boys I had recently left behind graduation night. There were mustaches and deep voices well beyond the cracklin’ years. There was swag before we knew we should surf for it. I was pleasantly distracted and He was busy dodging girls made unattractive by their forward, lustful approach. Even then He walked with a self assurance unparalleled.
The truth must’ve become necessary in that space on His lap, wedged between a car door and the accompanying farewells of His boys. It hadn’t been discussed prior to, but a sense of belonging took shape on that ride. An unspoken understanding that we’d unknowingly wasted 30 days and the equally silent apology. Cramped space, a bumpy ride and the overwhelming joy coupled with mourning what we hadn’t begun before the last grain of sand trickled to the bottom of the capsule...my head rested on His shoulder. The car swelled with the pregnant instant before goodbyes would be said and new love takes its first steps.
We hadn’t so much as traded the word “like” in the days leading to His departure, but I knew then that I loved Him. It took Him years later to say the words, but I knew in the expanse of our embrace and His lingering gaze from the window of the Amtrak that He loved me too. His actions always spoke for Him when the words felt too heavy for His youthful years.
I don’t know how I knew, but at 18, in a matter of minutes in a cramped coupe, I’d elevated and was able recognize everlasting love. We made promises to take care of each other later. He came back and I wasn’t’ there. I’ve never so much as made a piece of toast to ease His hunger, but I have tended to the garden of memories we’ve created over the course of 16 years of friendship. I saw myself with Him forever then, and too young to understand that forever doesn’t always mean the romance of fairy tales. Instead, forever has meant that we’ve been step for step with each other, watching the other grow and offering encouragement every step of the way. Lucky to know Him at all, I don’t regret never being His girl. We reside in each other’s hearts and can always call on a friend in times of joy or need. Who knows...when He came for me, had I been there, our forever may have been put on ice, never to have today as a part of our present and tomorrow as a part of our future.
Another woman gets His kiss and His warmth in the bed. I get the constancy of our friendship and that warms my heart. As for my bed...well, that’s what down comforters are for. And I've never missed what I didn't have.
Watch me move.