We were friends first before it all. Too young to know shit about love, we just were what we were.
You: spitfire and a devious grin. That part of you never changed. A shame all others did. Me: unaware of the fog I moved through. A year from getting the glasses that brought my world into focus. Blissfully unaware my vision was anything but normal. Seeing you, but never seeing you clearly. It became a theme.
I remember a boy threw a rock at me once. One large enough to leave a bruise down low on my back. You chased him off and asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t. For a long time.
It wasn’t the bruise, but my heart. Small and confused as it was, all of the love in it was yours. Perhaps, you never wanted it. You should know, I didn’t either. I was too young to decide such important things.
Sometimes you would just show up with your Dad, out of the blue, like a smiling poltergeist come to life. One of these times I tried to hide behind the couch. When you found me, I lied and said I was looking for my cat. I might have even meowed. Here, kitty kitty! I know I was embarrassed. Mortified. Wishing myself invisible.
It must have worked. Too well. I don’t think you even saw me there that time I found you kissing the girl I thought was my best friend. It broke both my heart and trust, but the shattered pieces helped me build something of my own design. Something to keep me afloat.
Emboldened by ships of both the friend and relation kind, I remember telling you how happy I was when we ran into each other at the station, both of us heading the same place on the same day by chance. Later that afternoon, having confronted the face of death and been stood up by my boyfriend (equal tragedies to the teenage mind), you saw my lie when our paths crossed again and I asked you the time just to have something to say that wasn’t a scream.
Weeks later, I heard about the gunshot. The details began to blur almost instantly. You shot yourself, that’s all I know. It’s all I want to know. Until morbid fascination creeps in and puts my pen to the page. I have no recollection of the things I wrote to you. It’s better that way. The only way it could be even better is if you’ve forgotten too.
I may have wrote more than one. I remember the sad look in your Dad’s eyes when I would pass the notes along to him. If you wrote back, I have since blocked it out. But I doubt you ever did; so much to do so little time.
Breaking. Entering. Stealing. Selling things for drugs. Taking every item that wasn’t nailed down with a complete disregard for any vestige of ownership. The world was yours to use as you saw fit. So, you used.
And the parental grapevine assured that I heard about it from afar. Sometimes it was my Mum who filled me in, speaking softly so as not to further disturb my shattered heart; other times I’d listen to your father as he spoke with honest regret, clouds floating in his sky blue eyes.
Hoping you’d wake up one day on a new path. One with a future. And somehow, after too many prison stints to count and nearly as many broken relationships, you did.
The piece of myself I tried to give you, sat unnoticed in your pocket for nearly a decade before I came to realize it was never meant to be yours and took it back. You might have never known it was there in the first place.
Isn’t it interesting the paths we take that make us who we are and the people we choose to share ourselves with. These words were penned on August 8, 2017 about the first person I tried, erroneously as it turned out, to share my heart with. His picture popped up in my Facebook feed last week and since then, the thoughts of him have returned, skulking around the dark corners of my mind. They don’t quite carry the devastation of yester-year now that my heart has been held safely in the hands of another for the last fifteen years. But, I still think of him from time to time… or who I thought he was anyway. First crushes are like that, or so I’ve read.
Do you still remember your first crush? Did they reciprocate your feelings?
Thanks for tuning in for some Words of Wednesday. Join us next week for more free-flowing stories, poetry and artful words! See you again soon! All pictures taken on August 8th, 2017 by me on my bike ride through Bear Creek Park on the way to work.