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Fog Among The Trees MAG
Josh was the kid down the street, three years older than I, and my dearest friend.
I moved here from out of state - my dad had a job transfer. I was in the eighth grade, fourteen years old, and he was seventeen and a junior. I had moved in late spring so I would spend one year with him in high school.
The neighborhood was high-class and the town was in the woods deep in upstate New York.
Josh was the first friend I made. He was helping my dad move some stuff out of the moving truck and into the house. I was in the garage, setting up my portable ballet barre and the tape player. On the wall, above the barre, I put up my picture of Mikhail Baryshnikov and a Jane's Addiction poster. Now I felt at home and I slid my toe shoes on over my white tights. I wore a black leotard and a white blouse, unbuttoned and tied around my waist.
I turned on my Beethoven tape and began to practice my dance. It was "Moonlight Sonata" and the dance was plain, but powerful. I became totally involved in the music and escaped from reality. I stopped short during an arabesque when I heard a cough. I looked up startled and there stood Josh, who had brought in some boxes. I stood transfixed for a second. Josh had longish, wispy blonde locks that fell over his forehead and into his right eye. His eyes were a greenish-hazel, and he had a huge, sunny smile that spanned his face. He was tall, very tall, and he wore torn jeans and a white tee-shirt. He looked like a cross between a guy in "Dead Poet's Society" and a skateboarder back home in Harvard Square.
"Sorry I interrupted you...um...that was cool."
"Thanks. Um, I'm Alexandra, call me Alex for short," I said.
"Sure. I'm Josh, and I live up the street. Aw! Wow! You like Jane's Addiction?"
"That's righteous! I don't know any girls who like Jane!"
So, our friendship started. He always stayed my dearest friend, because all the girls I met would say "Hi," and make small talk, but they thought I had a disease because of the music I liked. To heck with them! Josh liked it, and he was the only one who counted.
As our friendship grew, we would tell each other our troubles. It became extremely common to call each other at one o'clock in the morning and sneak out and comfort one another. Josh gave the best hugs, like he was holding onto the only thing he had, and he said I gave the best words of comfort. He said I pushed all the grey clouds away, far, far, away from him. I can remember him calling me at night, and I would throw on my "Dr. Zhivago" coat, a black wool coat that came tight at the waist and flared out at my ankles, over my nightgown, and I'd sneak out and rush over to his house. I was so in love with him, and he didn't know it.
Then he told me.
He was going away to Berkeley that fall. I knew our friendship would end there.
The night before he left, it was very cold. I couldn't eat at all that day. I was too depressed. That night, I wore my white nightgown from Victoria's Secret, the one that went past my ankles and the sleeves flowed down to my wrists from the low neckline. It was just in case he called. I had bought it specially last week.
I lay there in bed. How could I ever sleep? I turned on the radio in my walkman. It played "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. My ultimate favorite song, and Josh's. I began to cry. I wasn't gonna lie there like I was dead, so I threw on my Dr. Zhivago coat and sneaked out.
It was cold, but I didn't care. Josh was all that mattered. While walking, I noticed a figure walking toward me. It was Josh!
We began to run toward each other. When we met, he grabbed my hand, and we ran through the dense, dark fog and into the deep forest. When we got tired, we sat down on a fallen tree. I shivered from cold and gasped for breath. He didn't let go of my hand. He drew me closer to him, and hugged me to warm me. He held me so tight. I began to cry. He lifted up my chin and looked into my eyes.
Between sobs I said, "I'll never see you again, we're never - I - "
Then Josh put his warm lips on mine and kissed me softly, then intensely. That was my first kiss.
"Alex, I love you so much it hurts. You're so much more than my best friend. Can't you see?"
"That's why I can't stand to see you leave. It's gonna kill me!"
"It's killing me more than you."
"Don't forget me," I said.
"I won't. I'll never," he said as he gently stroked my blonde curls.
He kissed me again, filling me with warmth. He held me tight against him for hours, and I wished I could stay there forever.
But I couldn't, well, not exactly. n