I found your handwriting in my old journal. It wasnít on the pages, or anything violating the laws of boyfriends and girlfriends. Just a small piece of paper I'd slipped in. It was about two by six inches, decorated with some weird border, and in old Macintosh print it read, ďTo: ________, Something Iíve noticed about you isÖĒ You told me I was smart and funny. I loved your slanting boyish script, simple spelling errors, with the curvy Ďaís and the definitive way you wrote my name on the line. At the bottom, you wrote your own.
Reading over it, it makes me think of you, and the only real relationship I ever had. We were vulnerable. We talked about our failures while we played on the swings at the playground. We pretended to be a knight and princess because your childhood had been stolen. You read every cursive word of my stories and admired every drawing I sketched out. I shared your interests, but told you about the better ones and tried to explain that faith isnít genetic. Silent or singing, we managed, I suppose. Sometimes you were my only friend.
Maybe itís because I was a transfer student. One of those things where a new girl shows up and a boy says, ďCheck HER out.Ē just because she's different. Except we were probably too young for that. You might have liked me from the beginning, but it was hard. It was so hard to keep you above water with a destructive brother, unfaithful mother, nonexistent father, and the gross kids that hung around your house when I came by.
If I ever feel courageous, I could go find that phone book that you wrote you number in. I havenít called you in two years. I should. But I wonít. If I wanted to, I could walk a mile down the road to see if you still lived in town. But I wonít. Iím too scared of the fact that you might not be there. Scared, if you are there, of your family. Scared that your troubles will be too heavy now for me to keep you from drowning.