Tonight as I tried to block out the regret that was balled up in my stomach and screaming in my ears, I took my guitar that Chris bought for my birthday ten years ago, and sat out on the front stoop.
Out there in the dark, under the porch light, I experienced one of those rare, perfect moments when you wish something will happen and it does. I was quietly playing since I didn’t want the neighbors to hear and I was thinking about Jake and our bizarre camping trip. I caught my breath remembering how he kissed me on his sleeping bag in the blackness of the night with fireflies darting about like tiny fairies. If I closed my eyes I could almost smell the orange blossom blooms and hear the frogs calling in the night. It was easy to get lost in him since he was so confident and unbearably alluring with every touch. I remembered his smile in the dark, so close to me, and put my forehead down on my guitar. I needed to forget him. This was torture. Not only was he unpredictable and randomly cruel, he was 8 years younger than I. We were doomed from the start. But something inside me didn’t want to let go, especially now that I was free. It was stuck in my brain, his navy-blue sleeping bag that smelled like Jake and shaving cream. And that kiss…he could be firm but soft at the same time, with my hair slipping around on the polyester and getting leaves all tangled up in it. Oh how it made my heart thud when he gently and slowly pulled them out while staring into my eyes.
And now Jake was right over there…only 3 houses away. I sighed, then looked up at the golden street lamp and remembered the first time I talked to him under it…when I realized he had some sort of a crush on me. I smiled to myself and flushed as I recalled how stunned I was. I’d had college kids hit on me before, but none that looked like him. I put my head back on my guitar and looked at the leaves on the step by my shorts. I thought about how when you catch a falling leaf you can make a wish. And that is when it happened. A leaf floated from above and landed on my guitar. I know that isn’t exactly the same as catching a leaf, but it must have been something, because then my phone buzzed and when I looked at it, the text simply said, “I’m sorry.” I stared at the number. It was Jake’s. Once again I caught my breath because of him, and my heart started to thud. He was thinking about me right now. Could he hear my thoughts? Perhaps he was sitting in his room missing me and perhaps even regretting completely-ruining things between us. I just held my phone and stared at the words. Did he expect me to text him back? He probably had no idea how I felt about him now. I kind of liked having that power. But I wanted him to know that I missed him anyway.
So I simply texted back, “I know” and hoped he would get the Han Solo joke. It wasn’t that long ago that we had been laughing that the “I love you, I know” exchange was the best dialogue in all 6 movies.
I put my phone back in my pocket and took a deep breath. My heart was still thudding. He still cared, and it was enough to make the night sparkle for a few moments. Were those sparks all going to go away now forever? That’s when I made up my song. Perhaps I’ll post it for you.