Monday, September 05, 2016

For Will

I remember countless study halls, our heads bent and close together over the desk while we pretended to do our work. I remember so many phone calls, so many afternoons and evenings spent on the phone, cord stretched around corners and shut in doors for privacy before we even had a cordless phone anywhere in the house, talking for hours together about everything (and nothing at all.) I remember promises made and never broken, confessions of friendship and love, discussions of how much white chocolate tastes like coca cola and boys I liked and you hated. I knew -- I knew -- my secrets were always safe. Even though my lunch never was.

I remember green hair, thick and curly and that headshake-spasm meant to push your glasses back up your nose and fix your hair at the same time. I remember dry, chapped hands, and a hundred middle fingers, because we were in middle school and high school, after all. And so much love. Above everything else, I remember the love.

Hugs and linked arms and hands on shoulders, we were never shy in showing our affection -- maybe we were too young to realize how reserved we should have been. Too young to know how much it would hurt if it were all taken away.

I have pages and pages of our lives together, my side of every story written and carefully preserved in journals, both digital and print, chronicling first dances and first phone calls and first fights. I have pictures of everything from the high school boy's bathroom urinals to our lunch table, all of us together in a group (we were always part of a group) -- but somehow, none of that is enough, now. None of it is you.

I would trade it all away to have you back, my friend. To have you living, and happy and fulfilled in this world, so we could be friends again, and reminisce about all those old times, all those firsts. Even the lasts, too.

But I will have to settle just for loving you, for remembering now for the both of us, and I am so, so grateful for even the smallest memories of our friendship that I have left. Because now that you're gone -- really gone -- I've lost a part of me, too.

Friends 4-EVER, Will. You and Me. Always.