Blast from the Past – “Foreshadowing at It’s Best”

Remember my hopes of writing the memoir?

I’ve decided it’s time to get off my ass, stop wishing and TALKING so dang much, and start DOING.

Thankfully I intend to include a lot of the writing from the blog in the memoir, so this process will mostly entail compiling, editing, layout, etc. (I say thankfully now…)

However, there is still a significant amount of writing to do to start, finish, and tie things together…and the majority of the new writing will be memories and stories of our early days, the things I haven’t wanted to drudge up and thus have used as an excuse to stall the process.

So, in the hopes of progress, I’m going to start recording a few memories here. Stories, snippets, flashes of early memories that come to me from time to time. I think it might be easier to just record them here as they naturally flow, rather than try to force them later. And now is the perfect timing, as the anniversary approaches and my mind wanders into the sentimental…

I’ll file these in with the earlier “Blast from the Past” posts; even though they originate from different places, it just makes sense. I’d love your feedback on which memories you’d like to see included in the memoir.

So, without further adieu…

Foreshadowing at It’s Best

It’s dark, save for the slight blue glow from the dashboard. My breath is shallow, my stomach is in knots. A smile curls around the edges of my lips and I exhale sharply as I feel a flutter of fingertips on my wrist.

I can’t believe this is happening.

I close my eyes and inhale behind the darkened veil, soaking in the moment.

Midtown is playing from the speakers, the ones he installed himself and described in detail while I laughed at his boyish excitement. 17 years old, everything is full of excitement. I silently sing along in my head, every word memorized. “Have you found the person, that you want to send your life with…”

I would know these songs anywhere. The words were burned in my memory. Earlier that year, he’d made me a mixed CD, this very soundtrack playing now. As I sat on my little twin bed in the quiet of the house that thought I was long asleep, I listened to them over and over, searching for a hidden message from the boy I had a crush on. It wasn’t everyday that your best friend gave you a mixed CD, made especially for you. Surely it meant something.

When had things changed to lead to this perfect night?

It happened gradually.

I suppose the first seeds were planted at the very end of middle school. I met him in 6th grade, a classmate new to our school who shared several of the same classes I did. In those years, he had an obvious crush on me. My earliest memories of him are wisps of laughter, his relentless teasing and silly jokes. Those memories get stronger throughout the years, until 8th grade science class. We grew closer that year and the teasing increased, in a fun way. He made up a song about me and sang it every time he saw me. (My nickname in those days was Twiggy, because of my skinniness, and he modified this song to “Twiggy twiggy twiggy, can’t you see, sometimes your legs hypnotize me”…13 year old boys, really.)

But he was different from the other silly guys; even though he was the joker, he had substance. It’s an entire story in itself, but that year I lost something dear to me at the school fair, a family heirloom that my mother had allowed me to wear to school on a special day. Distraught that afternoon, he was the only one who took the time to help me look for it. The end of day bell rang and he spent the rest of the afternoon in a flurry trying to help me find it before my mom got there to pick me up, even getting his mother and brother involved. It was a ring, one I ended up wearing at our wedding.

Foreshadowing at it’s best.

That spring, the end of our middle school years right before our big transition to high school, I made the cheerleading team. Fatefully, he made the football team. We teased each other for being so cliche, but were obviously secretly overjoyed at our coolness. One of the very last days of school before summer break, we had to go over to the high school after school for our first practices. My mom gave him a ride.

I guess you could say it all started there.

You see, he left his backpack in my car. To this day, I still don’t know if he did it on purpose. I suppose I’ll never know. I didn’t notice the backpack until later that evening, getting out of the car after returning home. I decided to take it inside for safekeeping until I could return it the next day. I would just sit it next to mine and leave it alone, I said.

Sure.

Later than night, in the privacy of my room, I sat the pack on my bed. I gingerly inspected it. There were a few little sketches and words drawn on the outside. I turned it around and over, checking it out from all angles, telling myself I wouldn’t open it. No, that would be sneaky. I wouldn’t invade his privacy like that. I couldn’t. Nope.

Okay, one little peak wouldn’t hurt.

I’m glad I did.

What I found inside changed everything.

I feel a gentle rub on the soft flesh between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand, and my stomach flutters again. I exhale sharply, suddenly aware that I’ve holding my breath in my reverie. I open my eyes and turn my face. In the dim blue light, I can make out the edges of his face. That cute nose, those lips slightly parted, mimicking my slight shy smile. The music played on.

“You could say I knew it all along, that you were, the one I wanted to know.”

My eyes locked on his. I didn’t say a word, and didn’t have to.

That was the beauty of falling in love with your best friend.

My head moved, a minuscule fraction of an inch.

It was enough.

The song changed. So did the mood, so did our breath.

I gently, shyly, traced the fingers of my free hand along his forearm.

His head moved, a minuscule fraction of an inch.

And in an instant, we weren’t just best friends. With a gentle kiss, in that Probe I poked fun at, with that boy who poked fun at me, it all changed.

“I wanna take you on the road. Where we’ll go I’ll  never know…”

Foreshadowing, at it’s best.

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