I still wonder about you, how you’re doing and what you do all day. Today was a pretty normal day for me. My client rises around 7, and we start his morning routine. We spend the first 3 hours of the day in the bathroom. I feed the dog, I wash dishes, I do laundry, and I check in on my client over and over. Then I help him shower. He’s a quadriplegic, I help him for several days at a time. I would take me a long time to list the things I help him with. He’s also a good friend, and while we sat by the fire and chatted, my mind wandered. Talking about being younger and the people we used to know made me think of him.
Maybe you have a friend like the one I’m talking about. That friend of the opposite sex, purely platonic, maybe. His name was William; I suppose it still is. He always went by Bill. I still remember the first time I saw Bill, and it was 15 years ago. We were in gym class, 12 years old. I locked eyes with him across the gym; I’d never been more mesmerized in my life. It turned out gym wasn’t the only class we shared that year, most of our gifted classes were together. It would be that way until we graduated high school together, as 2 of the smartest slackers anyone knew. Sharing classes and projects, we learned that we shared a similar taste in music, movies, clothes, friends, and a lot more. We had a similar apathetic attitude and aptitude for calculus. We became friends, and we could run in and out of each others homes and rooms easily.
Somehow he never seemed to notice that I had the biggest crush on him. He seemed to notice everything else; he seemed to be the only person who could see right through all my pompous crap. After we became good friends, it was like we were of one mind. We both dated, and I know neither of us ever had a suitor who wasn’t jealous of the friendship. We were the kind of friends that could exchange less than 5 words, a ton of eye contact, a nod, and walk out together arm in arm. I have never had the kind of closeness I had with him before or since.
I had always had my suspicions he felt the same way, but for some reason that was the one thing that never came up. There were long nights spent in the back of his truck staring at the stars and talking for hours, and treks into the woods that brought us home well after dark. There were lingering hugs as we got older, and always those eyes staring into mine. He had to know, he could see it.
I’m not sure how we did it, but we lingered in that limbo for 13 years. Then he decided to move across the country to sort out some of his problems. Knowing he was leaving, Bill and I spent a lot of time together in the week or so leading up to his departure. I didn’t know what I was going to do without him. I’d literally seen him at least a couple of times a week since I was 12 years old, usually more. One night, after everyone else had left, and it was just the 2 latest night owls remaining, Bill kissed me.
Looking back now, I’m not sure how or why, but that kiss unleashed too much. We didn’t have enough time left to deal with it. The kiss led to the talk, and the talk led to the argument. The argument over who should have told who first, the only argument we ever had. Suddenly there was blame, and anger, and hurt feelings. Next thing I know, I’m storming out. I’m screaming how I hope he has a nice life out there, and how I never want to see or hear from him again. He’s yelling too, but I’m not listening.
He left 4 days later, that was over 3 years ago now. We haven’t spoken, or text, or e-mailed, or communicated in any way. It’s just a normal day, and I really miss Bill. I wonder who you miss.