Occasionally I get an email from her. Always short. Always sweet. Just to tell me I found my way into her sleeping head. She never tells me what I do in there and I never ask. Feels good to know she can’t forget that summer though.
It was doomed by distance, really we only had that one season in the theater, and like most things from childhood, no matter how good our intentions we inevitably misplace each other.
Then again we always manage to find each other too, even if it’s just an email, or a dream.
Why should it be like this? Some people just stick I guess. We never did more than hold hands because I never worked up the nerve to kiss her, even though I thought about it every day that summer. She baked me cookies I painted for her.
And then there were the letters after letters; once she told me she still had them. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what happened to the ones she sent me.
She asked me to Vegas when she was going to be out there on business, That didn’t work out, except for maybe as a metaphor.
I stayed at her house one October, it was the first time we’d seen each other since we were kids. Turned out she was still the most beautiful girl I knew; just like when we were kids. Sitting on the couch with her, watching a movie while she knitted, it was impossible to not be like, “Damn, this could be my life.”
And for a minute that felt real good. For a minute I almost leaned in to try and kiss her. Then I remembered she had a house and a good job, and was looking for the man who was going to giver a baby. And I knew I’d always be too hungry to give her any of those things, so it wouldn’t have been right. Instead I just sat there, the ghost of a long gone summer between us.
It felt good to not kiss for the right reason for once in my life though.
I see her pictures online now. She has her baby, just like she always wanted. It’s so beautiful how you can tell that she’s a lovely mother.
Now, it’s mostly just looking in on the living, occasionally rattling old chains. Sometimes she writes. Sometimes I still make it into her dreams. Some nights, like tonight, I still paint her. And it feels good to know I’ll never forget that summer.