“I just kinda died for you, you just kinda stared at me.”
He was handsome, with brown hair, thin glasses, and a beautiful smile. He had, as it turned out, grown up mere minutes from me in our small hometown where he still resided and we knew many of the same people, yet somehow we’d never managed to meet. He loved Queen and could talk about most music for hours on end without missing a beat. Obviously I could do the same, so instantly we connected.
For nearly a decade to follow, we shared our worlds.
We’d have dinner on occasion when we were in the same town. We’d exchange emails daily, miniature novels filled with everything from the mundane details of our day to stories from our past. We learned each other better than most people we had known for a lifetime thanks to the written word, never really giving much thought to simply picking up the phone; there were never enough hours in the day to sync our schedules, but we could always find time to write. We bonded over our commonalities and hung on each other’s bizarre, biting senses of humor. He was quiet and private but opened up to me and I, in turn, reciprocated. When I was writing for a local paper, he requested I mail him a copy of my new piece weekly (and that the first print be signed because he was “proud of” me). We would send each other not only Christmas and birthday gifts but random, surprise items that we knew the other would like.
Beside of the pool at a wedding reception - where we had gone as each other’s platonic date - he took my face in his hands and he kissed me. After almost ten years of friendship laced with hints of flirtation, any lines had become blurry. He ran his hand through my hair, kissed my forehead, and walked away.
I never saw or spoke to him again.
Almost another decade has passed since that moment. I’ll likely never know why he chose to go away with no explanation. For years, I consumed myself with the “why” until I was exhausted with getting no clarity. I reached out a handful of times but was met with silence. The “why” stopped mattering and the fact that someone who had become one of my best friends and such an integral part of my life was gone eventually stopped hurting. Except when “Aurora” plays.
“Hell yeah, I remember Aurora. All this time.”