In Remembrance of Me

November 13, 2010
You told me to take a walk with you, and like usual, I did as you said. It was cold and windy out, and looked like it could rain any moment; still, we ventured out into the elements and started our trek down the muddy path in the field. The prairie wasn’t exactly pretty this time of year. Many plants were dead, or dying, and it lacked color. It was a desolate spot, but it was ours to share.
I watched as you opened your mouth, drew in a breath, than quickly shut it again, as if you didn’t know how to start what you needed to say. The silence became overwhelming and I imagined in my head what you could possibly have to to say. Maybe you were about to end our friendship. We were leaving for college in a few months, and maybe you didn’t want to have any strings tied to this place. You had been acting strange, but I had assumed you were worried about graduation or something typical like that. I racked my brain to think if I had said something wrong in the past few weeks. Nothing came to mind instantly.
After ten more minutes of silence, I couldn’t take it any longer.
“Why did we come out here?” I asked you, as it began to sprinkle. I shivered and waited for you to respond. The wind began to pick up and you still didn’t answer me, almost as if you didn’t hear me.

Finally, you said, “You love me, right? No matter what happens?”
You looked exhausted and heartbroken as those words left your mouth, prompting me to quickly agree, “No matter what.”
It became quiet again, and I was left wondering what you were thinking. We had been best friends since we were born, and I couldn’t believe you were questioning my devotion to you. I knew it had to be big, at least in your point of view. That was why I kept walking next to you, even as it began to rain harder. I could feel the temperature dropping every second we stayed out there. By the time the first roll of thunder came around, I was shaking uncontrollably, and you put your arm around me. We stopped walking, and just stood there for a while, me huddling into the side of your body, trying to absorb any amount of heat. You just stood there impassively, or so I thought. It took me a minute to realize you were crying. This was new. You were always the strong one, I was the one constantly running to you in tears and broken.
I didn’t like this role reversal. I didn’t know what to say or do. I figured that just standing there and being ready to listen was good enough, at least in this case.
“My parents are splitting up, and I’m going with my dad,” you said, and I was crying inside for you. I knew how much you hated it when your parents fought. “My dad is going to move to Georgia,” you added.
“Okay,” I said, because what else could I say? Don’t go! Please don’t leave me in Illinois all by myself! This situation was hard enough for you already, and I wouldn’t be the one to make it worse.
As the rain came pouring down without ceasing, we just stood there leaning into each other, trying not to envision the future. I don’t know how long we were out there, but I knew I would stay out there as long as you needed me to. I didn’t want to lose this moment, because I knew as soon as it was gone, I would be struck by the loneliness of my situation. You said you were leaving in two weeks. That was not nearly enough time for me to prepare myself, but maybe it was better this way.
Maybe a shortened goodbye was better than a long one. I guess I would find out. I knew, though, as we silently held onto each other, that our friendship would last. It would have to, because I couldn’t stand it any other way. I would always remember you, no matter what. Believe it or not, you taught me so much. You taught me what love really is, what friendship really is, and how to completely and utterly trust someone. And despite everything else going on, I smiled in remembrance of our friendship.

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