As aforementioned in my previous post, I just got off of Fall Break. It fell in line with an annual festival held in my hometown, so I got to go home and help my parents move out of my childhood home while simultaneously helping my sister and brother-in-law move into that same home, and then I got to spend the subsequent two days lounging along the levee, eating overpriced food, and listening to music. It was good; I needed the break from school.
I’ve been back at school for a few days now, and I’ve felt sideways ever since returning.
See, there’s a boy.
Of course there’s a boy, right? Anyway.
I’ve known him since I was twelve. We dated once, when I was fourteen, and didn’t talk for a year or two after that because of a bad breakup. But we’ve always been friends. All of my friends I’ve had to work with, for years, to understand how they work–and vice versa. He and I were never like that, even in our MySpace IM days. He’s my Soulmate. Sometimes, when we’re together, he says things that I’ve thought a thousand times but never said out loud.
I spent my entire summer with him. This summer truly solidified our relationship for me, because we have never been closer. We have never spent so much time together. We have never spoken as much and as often as we do.
It began in January when he apologized for a fight we’d gotten into months prior, and then admitted to being diagnosed with depression, PTSD, and anxiety. And, suddenly, we were talking every day again.
It grew stronger in May when I came home from college. We restarted our, usually weekly, midnight IHOP runs. And then he took me for a late night drive. And that was my summer. Late night drives any and everywhere. I don’t sleep much, and neither does he, and we both love to be in the car.
I realized that I didn’t just like him in July, when he told me he’d put a gun in his mouth two months prior. I will never forget that night, or where we were, or what we did, or what I said. I will never forget walking on the beach thirty minutes before, nor will I forget the way he kept trying to create conversation for the thirty minutes after. We thought we saw a dead body that night. We followed a firetruck to a fire that night. That night I found out my best friend wanted to die.
I realized that I was in too deep at the beginning of last month, when it was 4AM, he’d drank an entire bottle of Jack Daniels by himself, and we’d been video chatting since 10PM. You’re the only person that’s kept me sane for the past nine months. I need you in my life. I need to talk to you every day. I’m not going to ruin this by dating you and hurting you, because I need you. If you weren’t in my life, I would be dead by now.
And I haven’t been the same since. I went home over Fall Break for four and a half days. I saw him three of those days. If you kill my best friend, he told the girl I’d gone to the festival with (who’d been drinking very lightly), I’ll kill you. He’s never called me his best friend until now.
You two are exactly like how we were at y’all’s age, a married couple told us.
And I went back to school, and he had a girl in his bed last night.
Tonight I looked up at the moon, and I thought of him. I remembered the moon on our late night drives. I remembered the moon lighting our path when we went where there were no streetlights. I remembered looking up at it through binoculars he has from WWII in his driveway. I remembered the ache I can hide when I’m an hour and a half away from him. And I let myself ache.
After this post is done, I will box up the ache and study for my Women and Gender Studies exam, and I will paint small canvases for my Little. But for now I will ache. And hope that he calls me tonight.