When I was a sophomore in high school I finally acquired my first boyfriend. I had just transferred schools and he was cute, tall, and sweet. We ran in the same circle and I enjoyed spending time with him and his – our – friends. And they all supported us, even some of our teachers. It was fun and sweet, hugs, hand-holding, and chaste kisses (that honestly weren’t very good). However, after a month the spark we had initially faded. At least it did for me. I’ve never really been able to pinpoint why or how, but it did. So I broke up with him. In some ways, this was the best decision I could have made. In others… well, who knows how I could have done better, certainly not me.
It’s a green house in balmy Florida. The paint is old and chipping and the color makes it fade into its surroundings. Odd for a building that stands to strikingly in my memory. The floors are real wood and in some places nails protrude from the floor boards, waiting hungrily to impale the next unlucky foot to pass by. I knew where all those hungry nails were and how to avoid their reach.
Raw wood, as opposed to… cooked wood?
Clearly I’m a little stumped by this week’s prompt. And my neighbor is playing Banana Pancakes on his guitar and its distracting me. So, while the prompt is raw wood, today you get to hear about Mr. Guitar from down the hall.
I’m writing this letter to you because, simply put, I miss you. But I don’t know exactly what to say. What do you say to the guy you just broke up with to preserve your sanity and health? That’s not to say you drove me crazy. It’s quite the opposite in fact.
Yesterday, someone told me forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven. And that very evening I saw you again for the first time in six months. For a moment, when I first recognized you, I had the inexplicable urge to turn and run. My legs stumbled and my muscles tensed, ready to take off, with or without my full consent. And then my logic kicked in.
I met you on a plane. I was anxious and nervous and you had papers and a 50 cent notebook in your lap. I’d never sat next to someone who held their belongings in their lap on a plane. I had a lot on my mind and you spontaneously jot down words in scripty scrawl in that 50 cent notebook.
Smoke rises from the ground. Two piles of rubble still in flames smolder and shift. An ambulance and fire truck race, sirens blaring lights flashing violently. A long line of red trails behind the crash, as cars hit their brakes and try to get out of the way. Traffic slows to a crawl. Cop cars fly down the road from the opposite direction. The cars look like ants from the news helicopters, circling the site buzzards.
The guest speaker stands at the front of the room, words of encouragement spilling from her mouth. Boredom and excitement wash through the students. I’m in a chair, Raina is on the table in front of me. The speaker’s words bob and weave through quiet chatter. Study Abroad. Summer. Spain. Japan. Africa.
I breathe in laughter as it infuses my soul with joy. Squeals and monster voices permeate the chlorinated pool water, transforming the liquid into a world of little-girl-chasing-aquatic-beasts. Water splashes my feet and I can’t stop smiling.