My mother never liked him and my father continuously threatened him if he came too involved, the fact was: I love him, and truthfully still do. I went over to his house one day in June before he moved to Eau Claire to live with his mom. After my saxophone lessons that morning, I called him for the payphone outside the gymnasium to tell him my lessons were finished. He told me he’d be right up to get me.
After waiting a couple of minutes to make sure Mr. J. wasn’t coming down the stairs, I headed outside to wait for our worlds to meet again. During the couple of minutes of waiting outside, I was on edge, wondering, waiting, if today it would all end. If today were the day I’d be caught getting into his car. As soon as I saw the blue-grey colored car, a smile took the place of my worried scowl. I always enjoyed riding in his car during the morning. He’s usually be without shoes and Z93 would be playing on the radio, a sever contrast from the usual psychedelic head-pounding noise generally coming out of the speakers. Today though, he even had his bass and subs turned off. Almost instantaneously I knew something was wrong. As we pulled up into his driveway, he let out a huge sigh, and sweetly said, “Come on, let’s go inside. I have something to show you.”
My favorite place in the whole house was the dining room. There was always so much happening in there. On any given day, you could see remnants of breakfast or possibly last nights’ supper. Books were always scattered across the table, taking up more than half of the almost nonexistent space it provided, and you could find nearly anything you wanted on that table if you just had the patience to try and move everything that was on top of it. All of the clutter gave this room a heart-warming charm and you’d always feel right at home. There was also this superb view of the backyard that contained one single tree, perfectly positioned in the vast expanse of green flawlessly cut blades sticking out of the fertile earth at obscure angles, looking as though God himself designed this image.
If you took two steps from the dining room, you’d find yourself int heir minuscule kitchen. Between the dining room and the kitchen, there were three radios and two televisions. On a normal lazy summer day, quite unlike this one, all three radios and both televisions would be turned on all at once. As I first walked through their front door that morning, the noise was on the verge of becoming unbearable. Though after I relaxed and stopped trying to sort through the jumble of lyrics and TV commercials, the rhythm of the noise engulfed me, and I found myself standing next to him intertwined in the noise just as he was; it became our theme song.
I regretfully tore myself out of the noise and sat down on the old comfy blue plaid couch, hoping he would soon end this agony and show me what was bothering him. Soon enough, he came back from the kitchen with papers in his hand. All he said as I looked over them was, “I’m sorry, but I can’t come back.” He was sitting right across from me, his hand gently on my knee as if he was trying to keep me from floating away into my own dreamland where we could be together until our hearts were content, where daffodils bloom as snow surrounds them, where everything was still okay.
I looked over the grade sheets from all of his teachers. I knew that two of those grades were my fault. If I hadn’t kept trying to get him out of those classes so we could see each other, then he never would have failed. He kept telling me it wasn’t my fault. If he honestly didn’t want to get out of class, he wouldn’t have, but he wanted to see me too. I tried to stop it, but it was inevitable. A single crystal tear silently rolled down my cheek, the one and the onl
y. He wasn’t coming back, and that was the truth. I knew right then what I had to do.
Kari came over around 10:45 that morning. She already knew he wasn’t coming back next fall, and she’d known for a couple days now. It was her who convinced him he had to tell me. “The sooner the better,” she said. This way, I’d have time to get use to the idea that he wasn’t coming back, before school started up again in the fall. She was also the one who came up with the idea of taking some pictures of us together. It was a brilliant idea really, and I truly owe her for the memories she sealed in time that day.
We went outside into the backyard, that looked almost too good to be real, and went over to the tree. Kari told him to climb its robust branches, so naturally he did. Then came the scary part, she wanted me to climb up there too and sit on his lap. “No way!” I told her. “You can’t make me go up there.” Needless to say, I got in the tree, and we came up with some great pictures.
We were still outside when his mom arrived home, and asked if we wanted any cheesecake. I didn’t because my stomach was still doing flips from the news I had just found out, so he asked her to cut two pieces. We were sitting on the back porch when she came out with two plates, topped with delicious looking pieces of cheesecake. When I looked closer at the plates, I had to laugh. There sitting upon the plate she handed her son, were two forks. “ How sweet,” I thought to myself. The piece of cheesecake didn’t last too long, but we did get pictures of use feeding each other bites of it at the same time. These pictures captured a memory that I hope never strays: a moment in time sealed in history forever of a mid-summer nights dream.
At this time during the summer, I was still telling everybody that I was going to summer school classes even though I wasn’t signed up for any, and that I’d be home around noon. Surprisingly, I more often that not arrived back home on time too. Leaving his house a couple minutes before I was due back home, we’d usually speed across the back roads to our final destination before going off in our separate ways to pretend nothing ever happened. I’d generally make it through the door right as the noon whistled declared to the whole world, that I had once again gotten away with my little scheme, but only just barely.
Last year I thought I was so unhappy. My mom and I were always fighting, everything I did seemed wrong, and the world around me was crumbling at my feet. Most of my problems with my mom were because of him. She thought with his “bad” attitude and “horrible” friends I was doomed for the same thing. Just as there were good times last year, there were always times when I believed my mom was right and I was destined for hell. I remember countless night of waking up with tears on my pillow and my hair matted to my face, only to realize my worst nightmare was coming true and I couldn’t escape. My tears fell so swift and so true the days after I realized the forever I had been promised wasn’t coming; not in this lifetime, not for me, nor for him. Sometimes I still catch myself praying to God that he’ll pick up the telephone and try to call me, just so I can hear the smile in his voice, and let his smooth, intoxicating laughter grow inside of me. Until then, my tears will always be bitter, and a sweet serenity will be just out my reach in this painfully immeasurable, horrifyingly beautiful, bittersweet forever.