Do you have one of those friends, the friends that no matter what you just can't let go? I do. AND, that friend is a boy. Ugggg. This is one of those blogs I don't think I was ready to write. I'm not sure I'll really ever be ready to write about him. His name is Jeremy. Writing his name right now is causing my heart to twist up in funny ways. Its like that song by Wynona Judd, that says, "I still catch my breath when someone mentions you", ITS JUST LIKE THAT! It's like, the kind of thing, you could never describe in a blog. It could never do justice to the profound bond I had with him. Its like trying to describe your love for you child. How do you describe 17 years of history?
Jerm and I met in 2nd grade. He was so dorky and so cute at the same time. We started dating, you know, elementary love. He had a hard life. No way around it, Jerm got the shit end of the stick. So he spent a lot of time at my house. I didn't live far, just a bike ride away. Thats what we did. We rode bikes together. We rode to school, to each others house, to the 7-11 for 7-up and Snickers ice creams, we rode up and down the street, we rode circles around each other, we rode just for the sake of nothing better to do. Jeremy and Shannon. We were best friends. Even though we quit dating we were still friends. We always joked that we were each others longest relationship since we technically never broke up. We never kissed or anything like that, well, at least not for about 10 years. Jerm always stuck up for me no matter what, and hung with me even when we became two completely different people. When high school rolled around at different times we both liked each other but we never seemed to get it right. He was dating someone, I was dating someone, or the strength of our friendship would get in the way and make it weird. I found this quote once:
Then suddenly when I was about 19 I think we both just opened our eyes and saw two totally different people staring back. We worked together and saw each other every day. I realized I was dressing to impress him, and I always had a reason to run into the back when he was there. I felt like a little kid with a silly crush, only this was a crush I knew could hurt me. One day, in the back by the refrigerator we kissed. Our very first kiss. WOW! It was so crazy. This guy, who had been my goofy friend was suddenly screaming with sex appeal. His touch made me shiver and his kiss sent me through the moon. I was shocked. I think we both were. He said he always knew it would be right, I asked him why he never let me know. I guess he was just waiting for me to figure it out on my own. At this same time I met Rob. I was fragile I hadn't really dated since Eli and the last thing I wanted was love or anything serious. Jeremy and I got so close so fast. The question of sex started popping up and I freaked out. I mean one second we would be making out and I was dumbfounded by his body and the next second I would be running away thinking, this is goofy Jeremy. I think more then anything I was terrified of the feelings I knew would come with going all the way with him.
Late one night I was at Rob's on his patio and Jerm called, we were talking and all the sudden he said "Shannon I love you!" I hung up. Just like that, I closed my phone and hung up. He called back and repeated it thinking my phone died. I said, Jeremy, I just can't right now and hung up. SNAP I shut the phone and SNAP my heart stopped. I stood there, trying to ask myself if I really knew what I was doing. Did I realize this was my last chance. I understood it. I understood I had just thrown away ten plus years of the greatest friendship in my life. I walked into Robs room, got in his bed and waited for him to come home. Jeremy and I didn't talk for nearly a year. When I saw him, my heart would stop. Instantly the questions would pop into my head. Did I make the right choice, what was I thinking, there is my life right there. I would look at him and see the anger and the hurt and at the same time I could see he moved on from me.
Then I got married. He was invited and he swore he would be there. He wasn't there for the ceremony but seconds later after guests threw bird seed I came running down the stairs with my new husband, I looked up and saw him, standing there about twenty feet away. My heart stopped. More like it died. Why was he so far away? Could he not bear to actually see me get married? Or was he just late and I was being totally narcissistic? I told myself, he just couldn't bear to watch me get married to another guy. He looked amazing. In his gray trouser shorts and black socks and black shoes and a black button up long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up so you could see the star tattoos just below his elbows. His hair was kinda black and long and I was furious that he showed up looking so amazing. We danced and for a brief moment I wondered if I should grab him and run away. Just run off into the other life I was so afraid to lead.
But. I didn't I let him go about his life and I went about mine. Rob and I got pregnant and then Jerm came back to work for us. Every day I would see him and every single day I would wonder. What if, what if, what if. What if I had chosen him that night. What if I never hung up? But I knew what if. I knew, we would be living in a broke down apartment. He wouldn't have a car, I would be broke, we would never be able to just drive and listen to music together because I hated his music. Every day he came to work and every day I pushed the thoughts of us behind. I had my son. My perfect little boy and I knew that everything was as it was meant to be. I knew I needed to let go. But I couldn't. Finally one day Jerm quit working here. He came in on his last day and when he left I chased him out front bawling. I cried and cried because I knew this time when he left he would have no reason to call me and let me know he was okay. He was gone. I understood we wouldn't be talking anymore. My birthday came and he didn't call. Jeremy always called. I understood. I pushed it aside and pushed him out of my thoughts. He went on to play with his bands and I would hear about him from time to time over the last year and each time my heart would stop, my breath would stop, the world would stop, and just for a second I would dream of him and me together. Then I would snap back to reality and realize, that he was off playing in bands and someday I would just be that girl, he used to love but didn't even remember anymore. I was nothing to him.
And then! I went for a bike ride. Suddenly I found myself zipping down the street having so much fun and feeling care free. I found myself waiting for Jeremy to ride up behind me make some joke and start doing his silly laugh. Only, this time, no Jeremy. It was just me, riding alone with my thoughts. Thoughts I thought I put away. Suddenly all I wanted to do was ride. It's like I wanted to ride the thought of Jeremy right out of me. I wanted to ride until it didn't hurt that my friend was gone. Suddenly I felt like my friend had died and I just missed the funeral. A year had passed. A whole year and not a word from Jeremy. Nothing. He was over me. He moved on. I was a a thing of the past. Just some girl who hurt him way back when. I came to work today and looked up his band on Myspace. I was shocked when they popped up. There he was. In his camo shorts, dancing around on stage. I started to cry instantly. There he was, my friend, my love, my Jeremy. He was just going along, leading this whole life without me. I opened up the picture section and he was all over it. He looked good and healthy and stunning. His song started to play and instantly Jeremy was here. His voice was filling my office. This music I hated was suddenly so comforting to me. My Jeremy was okay.
I found out he is playing some shows, and part of me wants to go and see him. Say hi, hug him, touch him or something. But then what. I leave and nothing comes of it. I go home, to my amazing husband and my beautiful son and my wonderful life. I can't help wondering if I should just leave it alone. Let him go. Forget I ever saw his page, forget I know where he will be, forget I ever loved him with my whole heart and just never knew until it was too late.
Only. I will never be able to forget. Ever time I ride my bike, or I wear my Vans or I see a guy in camo shorts, Jeremy will be there. In my mind. My little what if. My what could have been. My never would have worked out. My best friend.
Maybe, I just want my friend back. Maybe, I just wish that he could know, that I did love him. I did love him back, I was just to afraid to tell him. Maybe just knowing that he knows that would be enough. Knowing that he is still on my mind all the time and I didn't just toss him aside and I still care about him and worry and think about him every day. Maybe if I just knew he knew that, then I could ride away from him. Until then, I'll be riding my bike, waiting, for my FRIEND to pop up behind me. Waiting for the laughter. Waiting for the fun. Waiting for my memories to once again be a reality. To just see the goofy grin. I'll just be riding.