I must’ve been what? Sixteen or seventeen? Something young. That golden age when kids – especially boys, you know – think they can do anything. Youth is arrogance and beauty’s bastard child.
Anyway, all my friends were graduating high school with me. Most were headed off for college somewhere and the rest had a job lined up even if it was only a temp position or an internship.
I remember when my girl left. Her name was Candy and everyone used to say she was too sweet for the likes of me. She wanted to study “bioengineering” and got accepted to two different schools, both at least 50 miles away. Our good byes were short and not a little bit sad. She promised she’d come back. The John I was then almost believed.
Suddenly there wasn’t anyone to see on the weekends anymore. No one to look forward to or call my darling. I remember she used to help my mum out a lot. Always offering to do the dishes or pick up some groceries so Ma wouldn’t have to go into town.
When I think of Candy, I think of her ponytail bouncing as she runs up the house steps or her fingers tracing the spine of my back. “I’m going to miss you, John,” she whispered. The one and only time she ever called me by my real name. It was always just “J” or “babe” or “honey.” Not the last time I saw her though. She put her hand on my cheek and I think even she knew she was lying.
“Wait for me, okay?”
I guess I must have loved her because I almost did.