summer of 2012, part I.

“You were here for only 10 weeks? Your stories made it sound like it was longer than that!”

I laughed, hearing that. “Time was both long and short at the time, I think. Too short for explorations of other places – Bintulu and Mulu, to name a few – but too long in the beginning, before I finally met the right company and group of friends.”

Summer of 2012 remains the highlight of my youth, perhaps even my life.

Will I keep retelling tales from then for many more years to come? Will I relive, again and again, the countless nights spent hanging out at random restaurants around town, conversing the night away about everything and nothing? Will I always remember my last friends there – two guys and a girl – and our accidental, ultimately brief, friendship circle?

“But unfortunate – I’m no longer friends with one of them.”

“What happened?”

“I don’t know. I’m not sure. Maybe things got weird the last time I met him – in my neighborhood, the irony, two summers ago. He stays there now, has an apartment. Maybe he freaked out. I told my sister, “Maybe he found my blog.”” I drew a small laugh. “I mean, if he did, I’ll take ownership of what I put out at the time when I was feeling a lot of things… but if he thinks that I still like him in that way, months later… well I’m sorry, but if so, you’re just too full of yourself.”

Summer of 2014 remains an ultimately confusing time in my life. If there exists a first love in my life – perhaps it was then. I can’t recall it with clarity anymore – perhaps a purposeful mental block – but I remember my emotions were all over the place, spilling all over and confusing everything in entirety. I was sad, disappointed, frustrated, fearful…

Then I snapped out of it – and realized, a year later, that I’d lost a friend.

“But he’s a good person – they all are. I don’t know what went wrong. I mean, I did like him – they’re all such nice people – but maybe it came off as something more. I wasn’t going to do anything about those emotions because where would we end up, in the end? I couldn’t see an outcome. But it’s unfortunate. I wanted to keep him in my life as a friend, at least.”

I was going to fight to keep him in my life – as a dear friend. Because I have this vivid mental image of us, along with our two friends, in a car – always those car rides – bent over in our seats having a laughing fit; one of us must have made a lame joke again. The sun bathed us with its unforgiving heat despite the turned up windows, but that didn’t somber our moods; we barely noticed. Our gleeful faces, obviously enjoying each other’s company – right time, right place, right crowd…

Summer of 2012 was a poignant summer. Though it may have meant little to the three, for myself – it was defining. It marked a key period of my growth and change. In secret and silence, every now and then, I retrieve that image of us four.

I miss you, sometimes. I miss us, all the time.

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