I don’t remember you telling me that you didn’t want me to know you were moving because you didn’t want to worry me, or that you kissed me because you loved me, because you wanted to. I don’t remember you saying goodbye, or that you would miss me, or where you were going. I don’t remember getting up. I don’t remember movement.
I remember waving to you as you peered from behind your glasses the next day, behind the glass in the back windshield of your family’s station wagon as you left me. You took the violins with you.
I was fine, for years. The violins were quiet, and I was all right. I remembered that day often. I remembered how you didn’t ever say goodbye. It must have been a sign.
Stephen’s moving back.
I wasn’t surprised when I heard the rumors when we were in high school. I wasn’t surprised when they were true. I wasn’t surprised when I heard they finally did move you up a year, like they said they would for years.
I went with the rest of them to welcome you back. I stood at the edge of them. I had grown a little taller, and my hair was longer. I had little intellectual glasses I convinced the doctor I couldn’t read in order to receive. They reminded me a little of you. I was out of the fashion trends.
Most of me waited for a little boy with messy brown hair to meander out of the doorway, to stick his tongue out at the crowd and dash out of view behind the house, and I would follow you. You might kiss me again. I hoped so.
The other part of me wasn’t surprised when everything I had ever dreamed of stepped out of that door.
You were tall, and your brown hair lay perfectly. You didn’t have glasses on any more, and your scrawny figure had grown into that of a strong young man.
We were seventeen.
I was smitten. Violins started to play, faintly, somewhere behind my eyes.
You greeted them, and when I stepped up, you grinned at me.
Hi, you told me.
Hi. I was as timid as a dormouse, not wanting to spoil our friendship by acting exuberant in front of them—any of them. I was quiet and reserved.
You moved on.
I watched you from then on, like I did when we were eight, when we were eleven. My eyes never left you. I sat behind you in school, watching, pensive, instead of interacting with the other kids.
You didn’t notice me.
After school, you were always surrounded. I couldn’t get to you because of them. Tomorrow, I told myself every day, standing by your locker as the group followed you away from me. Tomorrow I can talk to him. Just him and I.
I tried to ignore the violins like you told me to.