November 03, 2003

Breaking Up

It had been a year. Or almost a year. Long distances had corroded the magnificent foundation they had built up when they met the previous summer. That was a perfect summer, or as near-perfect as one could expect considering it ended with him getting mono.

A new summer was about to start. A new beginning. A chance to reestablish the foundation they built so strong together the summer before, the summer that consisted of a stunningly simple meeting of hearts and minds. They had met in late June at the post-wedding reception party for a couple he knew very well and she knew not at all. She was a crasher. It didn't matter. At that point in the evening, even people who knew each other extremely well, could barely recognize one another.

He was standing in a puddle when he first met her, trying to wash off the dog poop he absolutely knew he had just stepped in.

"Are you aware you're standing in a puddle?" she asked.

"Hmm? Oh, it's not that I'm standing in a puddle so much as I'm scared of solid ground," he explained as slyly as he could. "Have you ever stopped to think that maybe I'm just being different? Maybe I just refuse to conform with the land walking majority and want to reconnect with my latent mudskipping genetic roots."

"Like all men probably should," she said, smiling as she walked away.

They continued to bump into each other as the evening progressed, with each keenly aware that there was a sexual chemistry between them that almost saturated the air. And, as the sun gradually started pushing its way over the horizon, it illuminated her truck, windows steamed with passion as they pawed and raked each other's bodies, going plenty far, but not all the way.

The rest of that summer had been a blur of activity, and passion, a powerful driving union of two souls who only felt totally at ease when together. The summer flew by, with neither realizing that it would be the happiest they'd be together.

Then she left for college two states away, while he battled the remnants of mono that had taken him down for three weeks and then he, too, went back to school. Gradually, as the year progressed, and even though they tried to keep everything alive only through the cold wires of the telephone, he could feel the curtain closing. And so could she. They could both feel the distance cutting them off from the intoxicating allure of closer proximity.

What pushed them on, they couldn't say. Perhaps the promise of another summer. A longer summer. A summer they could spend entirely together. A summer she had planned out down to the weekend.

But, he had grown dark inside. Not for her. He still adored her. But he had just graduated college. His base of familiarity was gone, and he was facing an uncertain future, a future that he knew was going to involve a lot of frantic job searching, and frustration, and anger, and resentment. And he didn't want her to follow that path with him. Plus, he was naive, young and scared.

He held her that night, tighter and closer than he had ever held her before, and when she left, they kissed. The kiss. There was something in that kiss. She felt the distance he was building. She felt the compartment he had built inside, a compartment where he was putting all the memories and emotions he had of and for her. A compartment he stamped "Do Not Open."

"You'll call me tomorrow?" she asked, a hint of pleading in her voice, and he assured her he would.

But, he never did.

Posted by Ryan at November 3, 2003 03:30 PM
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