Those who came before | Part I

I remember you as one of the first things I really really wanted and ended up getting, if only for a week. You were my first lesson in how moments in our lives can be so fleeting, how cherishing them is the best way to honor them, to honor ourselves, and letting them go is the second best way.

I fell in love with writing sophomore year of high school, the same year we watched the news of 9/11 on TV in our creative writing class. Our teacher said we'd always remember where we were on that day, and I felt comforted knowing you would always remember me. She encouraged us to write about it. I wrote about you.

There aren't many ways our story was different from any other high school friendship-turned-romance-turned-friendship, other than my memory of it. It was what excited me about growing up. It wasn't love, but it was my first taste of that willingness to do anything to just sit next to one other person, that guttural need to breathe the same air. I'm supposed to look back now, say it was just teenage hormones, but I won't dismiss you as such. You were my first glimpse of what would come, of feelings that lay just below my skin.

I saw you a few years back. I had moved to the city you went after you graduated, and we sat on your living room floor outside Harvard Square. I pass that building on my way to work in the mornings now, on my way home in the afternoons. Back then I felt as though I were miles outside the city, but now I know how close we were to everything that backdrops my daily life. We were giddy with reunion, but I remember realizing how nothing would ever be the same. We were four years beyond the people we were when we'd last seen each other, trying to remember what that friendship felt like. We didn't see each other much after that, you moved on to a bigger city, but I still think of you some mornings, groggy with sleep, and I remember those cold mornings driving to school in my 1986 Mitsubishi pickup. I used to wake up a full half hour early, drive in the opposite direction of the school so I could pick you up and sit next to you for that much longer.

Those who came before was inspired by Brittany erin's beautiful series, My 7 Broken Hearts

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