Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Mmmmm, I miss you Chad.
The delicious ache of aged loss swelled inside me.
How many years had it been now? — since he’d gone. Who else remembered? — was it less and less?
I knew: I’ll never have another friend like him.
Not like what we had. Young and carefree. All about boyz. Everything an inside joke. Gossip our second language.
Life got too serious. And hard. For both of us.
My heart missed our laughter. And the way he looked at me. Like he loved me no matter what.
This couldn’t be the end of our story.
But what was next?
He was there, I was here, still mucking it out, crawling in the dark, figuring out life, “learning” — stressed as fuck with glimpses of joy and peace and relief. I still had a lot of work to do here. All the work seemed to be left. I was just getting started!
But damn, I miss you.
I ached imagining the laughs we’d be having now about The Spain Days, when we were study abroad students tearing up the town.
One time we took the wrong bus route. We were trying to get to the mall, and ended up far out of town on a busy highway. After we yelled at each other to the point of hysterical laugh-tears, he called his Spanish friends to pick us up, but we had to cross four lanes (that seemed like 16) of speeding traffic. We started and stepped back, yelping in exhilarating fear and hesitation as semis barreled past, unable to get the timing right to cross. So much traffic moving splat-you’re-dead fast.
The girls pulled over across the highway in a tiny Euro dot of a car.
“Ok — ” he yelled through the roar, leaning into our chance, “you ready?!”
We clasped hands for dear life and ran, squealing all the way.
I wish we had never let go. Held on tight to each other through the terror of surviving life.
But I understood, too. As much as other people should be enough to keep us here, they aren’t. Sometimes giving up is the only option one can give themself to start over.
In the meantime, I would carry on, and write about him. Feel him next to me when Ace of Base bleared through the radio. Glorifying The Spain Days. Openly aching.