Though we parted ways years ago, I still think of him come summertime each year. I'll remember his laugh, smile for a brief moment and go on with my day.
That summer was one of the best summers of my life. And that was in part due to my growing into who I would become for the rest of my life. But mostly, it was our friendship and conversation and how he made me feel. Important. Worth listening to. Lovely. I wasn't used to it.
He was the first boy to value me in the way that I value myself today, but before I ever learned to. I remember for a few weeks, he didn't have a phone to text or call until he got back home after camp. But he'd write down all the things he wanted to talk about and discuss with me in this yellow notepad for our nightly chats, all of which ended with both of us fast asleep on the home phone and in big trouble the next morning.
When phone privileges were taken away, we'd sneak onto the computers after our parents fell asleep to chat online via AOL Instant Messenger. I remember laughing so hard one night and still managing to get in trouble.
He cared for my family in a way that I don't think anyone but my blood had cared for at that point in my life. He wanted to know about my parents, what made them so resilient and what I felt I learned from them. He asked about my younger brother, what makes him smile and what sets him off.
In person, we clung to each other like velcro. We'd count the stars while laying in the grass, run through the courtyard and look into each other's eyes with sappy romance music playing in the background. Just like they did in the movies. It all felt so much like a movie. But movies always end.
I'd never felt that kind of loss before I lost him. It had to be love.
The #100daychallenge writing series is my way of holding my right brain accountable for all the brain fog in hopes that I'll learn to creatively organize my thoughts and learn something(s) new about myself in the process. The challenge includes prompts from the San Francisco Writers' Grotto's 642 Things to Write About. You can also follow my #100daychallenge here.