I remember the first day I saw you. You walked down the hallway in school and the second I laid eyes you everything stopped for a moment. You stuck out. I remember thinking, “I’m supposed to get to know him. He’s supposed to be in my life.” But I was self-conscious back then; and so you kept walking, without me ever saying a word. I remembered you though. You’d cross my mind from time to time and I’d wonder why I couldn’t get you out of my mind. Two or three months passed by and I was sitting at lunch one day when you walked up and started talking to my friends. Then, as if you’d just noticed I was there, you looked at me and asked “Who the fuck are you?” To which I so intelligently replied, “NO, who the fuck are you?”
But that was it; we immediately hit it off and you became my best friend. You were like my mirror image in a man. We loved all the same things, agreed on so many important issues; you didn’t judge my crazy family and I didn’t make fun of your completely normal one. You meant so much to me. You were friends with my then fiancée and your girl friend and I were best friends. There was never an awkward moment with you. I remember sleeping in the same bed as you during a time in my life where the only man I could sleep next to was my fiancée; and I had no issues. I didn’t stay awake all night waiting for you to make a move on me, I didn’t jump awake because of a nightmare brought on by sleeping in an unfamiliar place, I was completely comfortable with you. I trusted you; and that was something I rarely experienced.
As it turned out, the fiancée cheated on me; and all of my friends knew and never told me. You were the only one who didn’t know but when you learned of it, a year after the fact, the first thing you did was drive to my house and pick me up. You showed me the respect of telling me the truth and not getting mad when I punched holes through your bedroom wall. I loved you for that. And then you drove me to beat the shit out of the girl, like any best friend would.
A few months went by and the time came for me to move up north with my birth mom. I obviously couldn’t live with the now ex-fiancée anymore and I had nowhere else to go with the money I made from my shitty waitressing job; so I moved. You were the only friend from our area who took the hour drive to visit me. I’ll never forget when on one of those visits we went back down to our area and ate at our favorite diner with a bunch of old friends. You and I went outside to smoke a cigarette and on the way back in we sat down on a bench in the waiting area of the restaurant. I turned to say something to you and you kissed me…
And the entire fucking planet stopped spinning.
In that moment everything froze. My heart leapt into my chest and even though I had no idea what was going on I was absolutely sure that I had never experienced a kiss even close to this. It was like you reached in and wrapped your arms around the very core of me. Everything had fallen into slow motion and there was nothing in the world but you and me and the feeling of your lips on mine. Slowly we pulled away from each other and the look in your eyes could be described as nothing other than pure fire. One word left both of our moths at the exact same time, “Wow”.
We went back into the diner and pretended like it never happened.
In hindsight, had we pursued anything at that time in our lives we would have absolutely eaten each other alive. I was still damaged from my first love, you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants after having your heart broken by your first love. It would have been absolute mutually assured destruction. A fact we agreed on 4 years later when we finally caught up to each other again. After the diner incident we moved on with our lives. I built a life in Allentown and you joined the Army and married a junkie (not that you knew it at the time). After getting home from deployment you learned that your wife had slept with all of your friends and ended up in jail for possession of heroin, so you left her. Awhile later I was down in your area doing tattoos and you saw so on Facebook. You initiated contact and it turned out that I needed somewhere safe to stay while I did work on a bunch of people. So you offered and I accepted.
And it was like we had never lost contact. You were still the same man I had always known; one who could make me laugh until I cried and who I felt truly at ease with. I could always be exactly who I was with you and you loved it. You were incredible. But something was different…
I didn’t just see my childhood best friend anymore. You had grown into a very attractive man; one who reminded me of a never spoken about kiss many years earlier. You were sitting on the lounge section of the couch a couple feet from me and we were talking like we’d never missed a beat. All of the sudden the conversation just stopped and I asked you why you were sitting so far away. You moved right next to me, put your arm around me and leaned in to kiss me…
I remember wondering if the years had turned our first kiss into this unrealistic, unattainable fantasy. Could it really be as amazing, as earth shattering as I remmebered it? Had time blown that one time connection way out of proportion?
Turns out, it had not. The second your lips touched mine everything stopped all over again. Every moment between us was fluid, intuitive, in sync… You seemed to know exactly where I was going to go, what I wanted, how I wanted it. Everything just made sense.
You. Made. Sense, and I couldn’t imagine not being with you..
I didn’t go back home for two months, even after I finished the tattoos I was initially in town to do. When I did finally drive my crappy Hyundai Tiburon back to Allentown it was with you behind me, in a Uhaul full of your belongings…
To be continued…
by Ashley King
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