The first time we truly spoke, we talked about our imminent departures from Toronto. I think that day was the warmest of all days we spent with each other, sun-filled, a surprise. “I’m not here anymore.” “I’m just kidding, I’m here, don’t worry.”
Nearer the end, we hiked to the beach and raced to the waves. The wind seemed to be perpetually against us. I gave up competing, stood with my hair dancing around me, and admired you admiring the horizon. I did not take a picture—but if I could have taken one picture of our three weeks, that would have been the moment. You, the bright gray landscape, your forest green backpack, your figure—solid and easeful—…the beauty of what I saw beyond me.
Later that evening, I sat on your bed, I held a book you loved, you leaned your arms against my crossed legs. You asked me about the boundaries I had asked for; I told you I had grown fond of you. I said our friendship made me happy, and I buried myself in the nook of your shoulder.
The first time I leaned against your shoulder, the back of your sweater was covered in pine leaves of trimmed shrubs. It was sunset. I went home cold, confused. Many times did I feel that way, not during, but after. I cried, I despaired, stone-heavy on the moss yellow carpet of my room. I felt shameful and unprepared. I thought, too soon, not enough, not for me.
But you still listened. And my friends listened. And even in that one late night, when my resentment seeped into every corner of your room, and you told me you were tired, you still kissed me goodbye. And I still sobbed on the way home, but later I tried to make it better, because you had tried to make it better, and my friends reassured me I could make it better.