Seattle, WA

May 17th, 2021

I haven’t seen Katie in years, but I’ve thought about her often. I know, you might be getting visions of Forrest Gump at this mention, right? It’s true that I stare at the moon or at the horizon at times and wonder what she might be doing, but unlike good ol’ Forrest I haven’t gotten to see her as often. She didn’t see me off to war, I didn’t get to see her become a hippie, blah blah blah. In fact the last time I saw her was when we were both off to college, and she was giving me back my class ring.

Just watching her take it off had hurt. She’d never wanted my letterman’s jacket as was common when you were with someone in high school. She wore it, but never took it with her anywhere. She always told me that the ring meant more to her than the jacket since it was something I’d bought myself, and it had a bit of me in it. My parents bought the jacket, my mother sewed on the patches I earned each year in sports, but I bought the ring. She’d worn it since I purchased it my sophomore year, as I’d already known what I wanted engraved on it.

You know what she told me when she gave it back? Those words I’ll remember to the day I die I think.

“On that day you can give it back. Only on that day.”

That’s what she said, I swear to all I hold dear. I know memory plays tricks on us and makes us recall things that didn’t happen, or makes things that we thought were real seem untrue or untrue things seem real. But this was how she said it.

I wanted to ask her what day, when, where, and how, but at that point she’d kissed me hard, long, and deep, leaving me speechless as she’d gone on her way, getting into her car and driving off.

On that day….

I haven’t seen or heard from her since, but I get the feeling that she’s been doing okay. Don’t ask how I know that, I just feel it. Of course that could be me being optimistic and refusing to believe that life could beat her down in any way. It gets us all eventually you know.

It certainly got me, but then again I kind of let it for a while.

(to be continued)

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