They say life is like a book. That it is the chapters that tell your story, bits at a time. A lot of the time, stories flow on so smoothly, you don't know when a chapter ends and the next begins, and honestly, most of mine are like that. I am quite content with that. And sometimes, whether it's wanted or not, the chapter writes it's own ending, and and the hard part is learning to be content with that too.
It's about a boy. When you're a teenage girl, it's always about a boy, or so it seems. He hung back from the crowd, a silent observer, it was obvious it was not his idea to be going to a week long summer camp. Just his luck that he was placed in the van with the two most talkative, goofy girls in the group. Just her luck that he laughed when they offered him teen magazines. A friendship was born over shoving candy wrappers into people's pillowcases, and junk into their luggage. The next few days the boy and the girl hung out, every waking moment between group games, hanging out at the food store, going to chapel. She noticed how tall he was, with brown sparkling eyes. She noticed the way he would look at her and tilt his head sideways. How he didn't mind the obnoxious golf pants she wore from the local thrift store. He told her he liked the piggy tales she wore, and waited for her for hours one afternoon while she laid in her bunk with a migraine. He held her hand at the lunch table, and laughed at her when she had to eat an entire lemon.
And then he kissed her. On a starry night, on a hillside in the forest. She remembers every word that was said that night. It was every bit a summer camp romance should be.
They went home and remained close. Remained boyfriend/ girlfriend. They spent hours together, and hours apart. He made choices that kept them apart, and yet they exchanged letters often. He made choices that kept them close, and they still exchanged letters. They spent time at the beach, in the pool, the mall, the park. The movies, ice skating, sitting on a hill, hours of talking. Hours of laughing. Being a teenager in love allows you to love someone for all the simple things. Before hearts are hardened and cautious.
They were different, he was the "bad boy", she was the "good girl". He was known for getting into trouble, she walked a line far out of that realm. They were drawn to each other, even though he would sink, and she only knew how to swim. She loved him because although people could find reasons not to, she found reasons she could. He taught her lots. She held his hand while he struggled with life, she learned the importance of just being there. She learned when things just plain suck, you can always find something to laugh about. He kept a letter in his wallet she wrote him, when he was going through a rough time. She had no idea he kept it there until one day he pulled it out, worn and creased from having been read- often it seemed, and he told her why. That it had meant that much to him what she had to say about him, and who she knew he was. She learned at that very moment, the importance of words, and letting people know their value in this world, and their value, even if it's just to you.
Months went by, and the boy and girl went separate ways. It was time. Still they remained friends. He would call her, she would call him, they would hang out. Every time seemed like old times. They tried dating again, and it didn't work out again. Friendship suited them better. If anything, even though the romance had faded away, the friendship remained. That's where the story ends. Not all romances end on happily ever after. Sometimes they are just a marker on the pathway to a soul mate.
Life went on, they both married others and had kids. They always kept tabs on each other through other people, one asking about the other, and happy that life had been kind to both. They ran into each other a few times, and exchanged small talk and smiles. The end.
A few days ago....
She had recently learn that the boy was struggling and had tragically passed away. That he was hurting inside too much to remain in this world any longer. He had struggled for so long. It's just sad. In so many ways, for so many people.
I'm glad I knew him. I'm glad I loved him then. He knew exactly where he stood with me and I with him. We had a history, and I have memories that I look back and smile. I told him good-bye years ago. But not like this. This good-bye hurts. It just hurts.
In the end, everything has a story behind it. Everyone has a story behind them. I wouldn't change my part in the story, even though the ending is absolutely heartbreaking.