By: James Hatton
Song: You've Got A Friend
Artist: James Taylor
Album: Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon
(Picture source unknown)
When I was 16, she was 18. We kissed one night discussing how nobody else seemed to get us. It was a long kiss. It felt right. It qualified as one of the most exquisite experiences I had ever had up to that point in my life.
We didn't talk for two weeks after that. Eventually I was told that I had to accept that it wasn't the right time. She wasn't ready.
She went to college and for two years, every single time I heard about her dating some guy, I would get jealous and do stupid things. I know I lost at least one girlfriend over it. She and I kept in touch though and occasionally talked online.
When she got hurt, I drove the two hours to make sure she was ok. When I got hurt, I drove the two hours so she could tell me I was ok.
After school she moved to where she could get a job and I was already fairly dedicated to the beginnings of my career. We talked less, but those times were always filled with laughter and occasionally we told each other 'I love you.' We knew neither of us was lying.
I went to her wedding. She went to mine. We both congratulated each other's spouses and cried when we hugged each other. We secretly told each other that if our significant others ever did us wrong, we would kill them for the other.
She called me. She was in pain. Emotionally hurt and destroyed sorts of pain. It was easy to tell that they weren't going to last. He clearly wasn't good enough for her. I talked to her for two hours to try and take as much of that pain away that I could. My wife acted suspect for the rest of the night.
She showed up for my birthday out of nowhere. I hadn't spoken to her since that distraught phone call a few months prior even though I had sent her a couple of emails.
She pulled me outside and kissed me for the first time in nearly 20 years. The kiss was raw and fierce and everything I remembered about her. She smelled the same as she did when we were teenagers. I had deja vu of the way her head tilted.
I was the one that disengaged the kiss.
She said it was the right time now. She said I was the right choice in a lifetime of wrong ones. She said she was lonely and scared. She said she needed me.
"My wife's pregnant." It was all I could say.
She blinked a tear. She got in her car. She left.
I haven't heard from her since that night.
If she ever needs me, I hope she knows she can call.
[James Hatton is the writer/creator of the webcomic In His Likeness where he makes fun of mythology and pop culture. He's horrible at writing bios, and has rewritten this sentence a dozen times. This one too.]