It was weird being back home again when all the craziness of Christmas was over. It had been nearly a week since I saw my house, and my room, and dog. The funny thing is, I didn’t miss it, except for Todd.
Well, maybe I did miss laying down on my bed at sunset. Where the last few rays of sunlight boldly shine off the crystalline snowdrifts, on the neighbors roof, across the street. Or the inevitable absence of the suns warm glow, freezing the random drips from the collection of icicles hanging off the eave, just outside my window.
I crawled across my bed as the shadows grew long across my wall, and the last hint of pink was stripped from the sky. I cued up ‘The Ascent of Everest’ and was immediately consumed by their plaintive call. Music that exists on a level that not just anyone can hear, or feel. One of those albums that can bring me to tears by how deeply I can feel it. How utterly beautiful it is. If I close my eyes, I’m right there with them on their emotional expression. That, to me, is what music is all about. A connection. A bond. A collection of souls finding one another on a subconscious level. Making music. Making art.
I felt a strong desire to make music with Adam. Play our guitars together, bare our souls. Maybe my connection with him comes from a place of music. Something beyond his beautiful looks, and addictive personality. When I’m around him I feel a pulse. A certain energy, or vibe, that draws me to him. Maybe he feels it too. Pulling us together. Perhaps it’s why he seeks out my touch. A way to complete that need for connection.
Before long, nighttime won the war for the sky. My only guiding light became the soft blue, illumination from my digital clock. It’s all I wanted, and all I needed. Curiously, the soft light shone a perfect dim trail to the corner of my desk. What sat there, haloed in its subtly, was a photograph. A captured moment in time. A time shared by two people. Even though it was taken only a few short months ago, it seems like a lifetime has passed. Kayla and I. The secret birthday camping trip in the backwoods. A night of firsts.
Where was that innocent, naive boy now? Where was that missing girl Kayla in my life? In a few short weeks, she will be gone forever. I remember when I learned of the news, I was certain I would not make it without her. Yet, here I’ve been, without her for more than a few weeks. The world hasn’t stopped. I’ve moved on…without her. But can it really end this way? The final encounter, one of hateful, degrading comments. What we had was bigger than that. Better. It can’t end this way. Not after what we’ve been through together. I owe her so very much. She was there for me when no one else was. She picked me up, from dark places. She helped me overcome fears, in many forms.
I thought when she left that I would be broken-hearted and devastated. But I know now that what we had was not love. It was young lust. Exploration and discovery. Not that I don’t care for her deeply or even love her on a certain level. She opened my eyes to a world that I didn’t know was out there. She forever changed my focus on what matters in life. People. Friendship. The search for love.
I had been working up to this day for the last couple weeks. I wrote and rewrote the script in my head many times. Orchestrated my answers to match hers. Over analyzed it to death. Why? So I could come out the other side the good guy? So I could know she left thinking I was nice? Bullshit! It’s time to own it, face her, and get closure. For both of us.
I turned down my music. Reached for my phone. Took a deep breath…and dialed.
Kayla answered with a tentative, “hello?”
I tried to counter with a cheerful, “hiya.”
I replied with defeated “yup.” Could she really have forgotten me already?
“OMG! I mean the display said your name, but I just can’t be…HI! How are you?”
I could actually see her smiling through her phone.
“Well, I’m better now…that I’ve talked to y…”
“Oh shut up with that sappy crap. I’ve only been waiting, like forever, for you to call me. God, it’s been so lon…hey. What are you doing right now?”
“Do you want to come over? I’m like, so bored. Wait! That didn’t sound right. I want to see you. Do you want to come over?”
“Sure. Umm…I could come after dinner or something.”
“Eat here. With me. It’s just me and my little bro tonight. I have to feed him, then he’ll go lock himself in his room with his video games. Come now. I’ll make dinner and we can hang out. Ok?”
“Yeah. Sounds cool. I’m just gonna shower and get dressed. Then I’ll come over. So like a half hour?”
“Yeah. Cool. I’m so happy you called. Yah!”
“Ok. See ya.”
“Don’t be late. K bye.”
Wow! That went way better than I could have ever imagined. Kayla has to be the coolest girl in the world. I did quickly shower and change. I was suddenly very anxious to get over to Kayla’s house. I ran downstairs to tell my mom I wouldn’t be home for dinner, and that I was going over to Kayla’s.
She responded with a very neutral, “ok. Have fun. Don’t stay out too late.”
I was again floored. This time by my mother. Shouldn’t she be doing cartwheels for me? Did she hear what I just said? As I walked out the front door, I knew one thing for sure. I didn’t understand girls at all.